My Bakfiets is Kaput

by farrah on July 17, 2014 · 7 comments

I’m not very happy today. Yesterday was rough on the boys and I– as I managed to hit something and break part of my bike (bakfiets). You know, the one that I ride several times a day, every day- toting the boys to and fro and simply love riding. So I’m bummed that my main mode of transportation is currently out of commission, but also fear the logistics of fixing it: The how, when, and IF. *sob*.

Broken MadsenBehold my mad MacGyver skills. 

Kaput = broken

So what’s up with the belt? Well, this is what happened: the boys and I had to go to the pharmacy and pick up my happy flying pills for upcoming flights. We also dropped off the driver’s license medical release (will this saga ever end?) and I was thinking the morning was a success. Not so. As we left, I piled everyone in the bike and started on our merry way. There was a person standing in the way of an easy exit, so I tried to go around him and ended up hitting a rock? root? something hard- and it broke that silver knob right off.

As I attempted to ride, (we had 15 minutes to make it to the boys’ haircut appointment) I pedaled and heard a sickening clank. My gears went haywire and the chain was loose. I was sad, but not totally bummed as of yet because I thought the chain had just fallen off. I plucked the boys out of the bucket and did my best to inspect the damage. I realized that it was indeed pretty bad, and just parked, locked and left it as we had to hurry to make it to the appointment on foot.

Oisterwijk is not huge. We made it exactly on time- but you can imagine the drama of dragging along two 3-year-olds and a 5-year-old on this quest. Throw in the charming (yet dangerous) bumpy and old sidewalks and everyone had scraped knees. They were hot. They were tired. And thirsty. I decided that I would leave two of the three at the hair dressers’ place (we know her) and took the 3rd to a nearby bike shop so I could rent a bakfiets to get home and continue on with our day.

We arrived at the shop and there was a sign in the window I didn’t understand. I did a quick translation to find that due to illness the shop was closed but I could ring the bell for service. I did. Someone came to help us and told us that there was indeed a bike to rent. Alas, my relief was short-lived as it wasn’t there. Someone already rented it out.

So back to the hairdresser we went. I told the boys that our afternoon plans were a bit changed- and after everyone’s hair was sufficiently clipped and ‘spiky’ we walked back home to nap. Around 3pm everyone and woke up I dragged them back to the pharmacy to get my bike. I took along my trusty belt which I MacGyver looped around the injured chain in order to keep it from dragging on the ground. I then put the boys in the bucket and proceeded to walk/roll the bike all the way back down to the center and drop it off a shop.

Discouraged and pretty tired, I still came through with my promise to take the boys back to the Kermis (it was the last day) and we had fun on a warm summer evening taking advantage of line-less rides. The walk back to our house was especially nice, and I grabbed a few pretty pictures along the way.

St. Petrus Church OisterwijkI love living here. This is going to be our new neighbor btw. 

As for the bike…

The word on the street is that ‘this will be expensive‘ to fix, but I’m hoping not. I tweeted the awesome Jared Madsen and he told me never fear- he’d help:

madI love companies that respond to their customers. LOVE.

So now I wait. I sent the bike shop an email with the help of Google translate describing what Madsen can do, but who knows what the actual message says. I don’t trust GT to do a very accurate job.

Thankfully we go on holiday soon- as the boys being on school vacation is starting to drive me bonkers and if I can’t take them anywhere- all the more painful.

So that was our day, and today begins another.


{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ace July 17, 2014 at 9:28 am

Boo to broken bikes. I hope it gets fixed without a problem.

And did you incorporate chewing gum into your contraption there? It’s a pretty good looking MacGuyver job. 🙂


2 farrah July 17, 2014 at 10:23 am

lol! No- but I bet that would have made it so I could actually ride it too 🙂


3 Chamisa July 17, 2014 at 10:01 am

I’m pretty impressed with the belt job. Here’s to hoping it’s not too expensive to fix and you get your wheels back. I’d feel the same way if my bike was busted. Oh, the things we get used to over here 🙂


4 farrah July 17, 2014 at 10:24 am

Thank you! I’m trying to learn from my mistakes in the past and not thinking ‘what’s the worst that can happen’. 🙂


5 Jessica July 17, 2014 at 10:34 am

The belt job is pretty impressive, especially as it hides anything that gives me a clue of the problem.

What’s the difference between your bakfiets and a Dutch bike? Anything? Did you buy your bike here?


6 farrah July 17, 2014 at 9:20 pm

My bike is a Madsen Cargo Bike. They’re made by Jared Madsen in Utah. I bought it before we came over- he was inspired by the NL bakfiets! The difference is that a) they aren’t wooden boxes and b) the bucket is in the back. I love my bike. It’s borderline obsessive.


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