I just learned something, and I thought I might pass it along to y'all. Three months ago, I went out for a night with "the boys". One thing led to another, and I ended up "losing" my bike.

More precisely: this was an unplanned night out with the boys; we ran into each other at a show, and, yeah, I didn't realize that the boys would then end up staying out til 4am, so before we went a-carousing, I casually parked my bike somewhere not especially safe: leaned against a wall near the Melkweg, locked, but not locked to anything.

This not-locked-to-anything business is pretty much a no-no already, but the real kiss of death for your bike is to leave it in this unsafe state all night. Which is what happened, b/c by 4am the boys had drifted a bit from our original location, and I had forgotten that my bike was in this not-so-safe place, and I ended up walking home without it, thinking I'd get it the next day.

Well, I probably don't need to tell you that the next day when Mara asked me if I rode home last night my eyes got very big and I realized that my bike was almost certainly gone forever. I mopily looked at the ground for a while, then pulled my hangover and myself together and we trudged painfully back to the Melkweg to confirm that yes my bike was gone forever. On the wall where it had been was a sign that said "Bikes parked here will be removed", which I hadn't been able to see the night before because ha ha it was obscured by the i'm not kidding 30 or 40 other bikes parked there.


Fast forward a couple of months, we're talking to Hilly the Poes about my bike and its disappearance, and she said it sounds like the city took it, you should check the Fietsdepot. I of course said what's the Fietsdepot, and she told me it's this amazing place, far far away, where the city takes your bike if you park it somewhere super stupid and they have to remove it. They keep it for three months and then they cut it in half and ship it to Africa (or something), seriously.

What happens is: you call the Fietsdepot and tell them what day your bike disappeared, and where from, and what make/model/color it was, and they tell you if they think they have it (what are their data entry standards???). Pause to appreciate the ridiculous awesomeness of that: they have probably 10,000 bikes there at any given time.

If they do have your bike, you have to go get it (they also deliver, but you have to plan pretty far ahead for this), and it's five miles from Amsterdam in the middle of nowhere. Really, you have to take a bus thirty minutes to the middle of nowhere and then walk ten minutes further into nowhere.

And then: you get to bike back to civilization.

Now in the summer this would make for a totally nice bike ride. But what if, ahem, you'd waited until the last possible minute to go get your bike....say, it's gotten to where tomorrow they're going to cut your bike in half and send it to Africa, and it just so happens that the forecast for today, the day you have to go get it, is "29°F and snowy"?

Well, I guess you'd probably end up with pictures like these.


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