a sad goodbye to my two-wheeled friend (updated!)…
Posted in amsterdam, personal July 20th, 2010 by pia

Yesterday, while watering the plants and cleaning the outside of the boat, I glanced out to the disarray of bikes that line the street and realised with a heavy heart that mine was no longer among them. For the first time since moving to Amsterdam almost 3 years ago, my bike has been stolen.  Last night I was frantically trying to remember the very last moments I had with my two-wheeled friend, it seemed vital that I recall these very last moments  – I wanted to make sure we parted on good terms.

Even though I always knew our time together would probably be limited since having your bike stolen is just a part of life in Amsterdam, I’m still sad. For Amsterdammers, our bikes are like best friends – they go everywhere with us, they are there at scary moments, and there at happy moments. They take us to new exciting places we never knew existed. They wait for us, carry things for us, ride through snow & rain,  and get us around the myriad of biking tourists.

My dear bicycle was beautiful to me – old and rusty, but full of spark.  And it was only Friday, after getting lost with it through the back streets of a new-to-me area of the city that I thought about how truly lucky I have been to have such a fab bike.

Now, I will always be looking out for it, hoping that it has embarked on another exciting adventure, albeit in the hands of another. Of course if I do happen to see it again, I won’t hesitate to take it right back. And yes, I am a bit pissed about it, but no one – especially me – knows why humans do what they do.

Goodbye my dear two-wheeled friend, I miss you.


update: guys you are not going to BELIEVE this! French Boy just went for a walk and came back with my bike!!!!!! I am beyond ecstatic. He found it hiding behind an electrical box at the end of the road/canal. It seems someone stole it but decided it wasn’t worth it! Woohooooo!!! I love my bike even more now, what a true treasure! This is a serious cause for celebration. Thank you for all your commiserations, but let us be sad no more!


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  1. Liz says

    Join the club… It’s sad, I know. I’m sorry for you!

    July 20th, 2010 | #

  2. cindy says

    i’m sorry someone thought your bicycle was meant to be theirs.

    July 20th, 2010 | #

  3. Christine says

    Such a sweet post. So sorry. I’m about to get a bike and I worry about this.

    July 20th, 2010 | #

  4. milinda says

    perhaps it is a case of mistaken identity- or a bicycle emergency- perhaps it will return out of the blue !!
    but commiserations nonetheless : (

    July 20th, 2010 | #

  5. Catherine says

    What a wonderful way you have chosen to reflect on this!! Sorry to see it go! Hope you find a new friend to wander the city with x

    July 20th, 2010 | #

  6. Monique Germon says

    Awww love. It’s never nice to have something stolen, nor lose a friend. I am touched by your loving and sincere fare-thee-well x

    July 20th, 2010 | #

  7. Catalina says

    It happened to my sister….and then her bet friend found it! and took it…! 🙂

    July 20th, 2010 | #

  8. Catalina says

    best friend

    July 20th, 2010 | #

  9. shannon fricke says

    I always hope, when something dear is stolen, that my belonging has gone to someone in more need than me. Hopefully this is the case with your beautiful bike.

    July 20th, 2010 | #

  10. Amanda says

    I like to think Milimda has it right – a bike emergency and your friend will miraculously turn up again, raring to go. Fabulous photo Pia.

    July 20th, 2010 | #

  11. Leslie Oschmann says

    My bike was stolen after 3 years here. While I also loved that bike — there was something about it that made me feel even more at home in Amsterdam. Kind of a rite of passage (in a really negative kind of way – ha).

    There is a great re-cycle bicycle place next to me – if you are looking for a new friend.

    July 20th, 2010 | #

  12. Veronica says

    i understand…sorry!

    July 20th, 2010 | #

  13. Nina Wiklund-Kuuranne says

    Oh I am sorry to hear sad news of your two-wheeled friend!
    I´ve had my bike stolen too. And my husband has lost two bikes! I know exactly how you feel. I just could not comprehend at first that somebody had actually stolen my bike. I use my bike daily, to get to and from work, when I go shoipping, when I meet friends. I was really lost for a while before I gave in and bought a new one.

    July 20th, 2010 | #

  14. Victoria says

    Sorry to hear that Pia. To the person who took her: ‘You’ll be finding the footpath much closer than expected as she throws you off’ before making her way back to her real home… silly stealers.

    July 20th, 2010 | #

  15. Etincelle says

    It happened to me a few times in Italy… heart broken 🙁
    Hope you get a new one very soon, or even better, your old one has been returned 😉

    July 20th, 2010 | #

  16. linda dacey says

    A bike is just too easy to spirit away.
    I have a dream to buy a three wheeler ‘tricycle’
    less easy to steal and blend into the crowd…

    July 20th, 2010 | #

  17. Cat says

    How horrid. I’ve just started using my bike to run errands and still panic that it won’t be where I left it, locked to the hilt, on my return. Apparently our quiet suburb of London, which is very small and quiet, had the highest rate of bike theft in the UK last year. Joy! Here’s hoping you stumble across her soon.

    July 20th, 2010 | #

  18. Lisette says

    What a beautiful way to express your loss! While I lived in Amsterdam I had two two-wheeled friends stolen, so I know very how how you feel…

    My current two-wheeled friend is rusty and more than a little battered, but I love it dearly and would be gutted to find it missing! And in Barcelona, that too, is sadly an all too commonplace ocurrence!

    I hope you find a lovely new iron steed to befriend and share your adventures with, and keep my fingers crossed neither you nor I have to suffer their loss…

    July 20th, 2010 | #

  19. Noodles and Waffles says

    Yesterday I sold the first bike I ever bought. It was a sad moment. I can’t even imagine how I would have felt if someone had stolen it. Sorry for your lose!

    July 20th, 2010 | #

  20. pia says

    guys you are not going to BELIEVE this! French Boy just went for a walk and came back with my bike!!!!!! I am beyond ecstatic. He found it hiding behind an electrical box at the end of the road/canal. It seems someone stole it but decided it wasn’t worth it! Woohooooo!!! I love my bike even more now, what a true treasure! This is a serious cause for celebration. Thank you so much for all your commiserations, but let us be sad no more! xx

    July 20th, 2010 | #

  21. French Boy says

    The bike had been put in the most peculiar place, I wish it could speak to tell us what happened!

    July 20th, 2010 | #

  22. milinda says

    woo hoo indeed ! happy story : ) may I have something chocolatey to celebrate the return or is that really stretching my list of acceptable excuses!!

    July 20th, 2010 | #

  23. pia says

    milinda – go for it! I will join you – I still have a reeces peanut butter cup in the fridge, I will celebrate by eating it right now!

    french boy – you are my hero.:-)I wish my bike could talk!!

    July 20th, 2010 | #

  24. Mandy says

    Oh a story with a happy ending, so great. Well done French Boy !!!

    July 20th, 2010 | #


    Fantastic !!!!

    July 20th, 2010 | #

  26. dw says

    WOW! That’s such a relief! I was so sad for you, I had decided to de-lurk and share my sympathies with you. So so so happy that they are no longer needed!


    July 20th, 2010 | #

  27. Nina Wiklund-Kuuranne says


    July 20th, 2010 | #

  28. josephine says

    how cool! it found its way back to you, just like in The Red Balloon.

    July 20th, 2010 | #

  29. Becka says

    wow! That’s so weird! Glad you got your bike back!!

    July 20th, 2010 | #

  30. Eva / Sycamore Street Press says

    So glad you found it! I’ve had a few bikes stolen, and it is always a sad occasion. The last one was stolen a few years ago, and I haven’t gotten around to getting a new one…instead I’ve been walking, taking the bus, or driving. But I miss bike riding.

    July 20th, 2010 | #

  31. elle says

    I’m so glad your bike came back to you. I love a happy ending!

    Elle x

    July 20th, 2010 | #

  32. godo says

    great to hear you got it back! the thief hid it so they could come back later to pick it up. jerks. lock that thing up!

    July 20th, 2010 | #

  33. Tuulikki Titine says

    ..and now go for the two humongous locks! The ultimate amsterdam experience.

    July 20th, 2010 | #

  34. judith b says

    Dear Pia,

    I’ve been away for a while, only to discover your sad story with a happy end this morning. SO glad it all turned out well for you and your noble steed – you deserve many more happy years together!

    Bravo à French Boy pour son travail de détective!


    July 21st, 2010 | #

  35. Yvette says

    You will not believe this Pia, but I left my bike somewhere and I can’t remember where it was. This is even more frustrating, because I now have done it myself.
    Silly me
    and you’re nothing without a bike in Amsterdam are you.

    July 21st, 2010 | #

  36. Sarah - Jane down the lane says

    hooray hooray what a happy day!

    I celebrate the return of the two wheeled friend, thank heavens!

    Sarah x

    July 21st, 2010 | #

  37. Milk and Honey Home says

    That is probably the most touching ode to a bicycle I have ever read….well, it is my first ode to a bicycle…but you are such a fine writer. And what a happy ending 🙂

    July 21st, 2010 | #

  38. ingrid says

    Some things are just meant to be!

    Friends together again…perfect! x

    July 21st, 2010 | #

  39. Neide Felix says

    I LOVED what you wrote about your bike.The universe conspired perfect.

    July 21st, 2010 | #

  40. kj says

    Thank you! I have always considered my bike among my best of friends – which is to say, I love who I am when I spend time with my bike. This was is a beautiful piece and delighted to hear it made its way back into your life.

    July 21st, 2010 | #

  41. la ninja says

    nice one you got it back. hooray for mini wonders.
    I’m also rather attached to mine but your post made me think of the opening scene in “happy go lucky”, when hers is gone and she just accepts it “happily-go-luckily”, in the best poppy manner.
    I just want to be poppy sometimes 🙂

    July 23rd, 2010 | #

  42. parisbreakfast says

    Hooray for that!
    Someone somewhere is enjoying my last iPod care of a polite pickpocket who opened the door for me at the post office.
    Still I love my new iPod even more and am avoiding the post office at all costs!
    Frenchboy is a saviour

    August 3rd, 2010 | #

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