Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Bicycles of Leuven

I am blogging from the Condo Gardens Leuven over their "free" wifi. It is incredibly slow. I could shell out five euros and get a connection that is "8 times faster", but I think that would only take me to very slow and I'd be feeling annoyed about paying the money.

Leuven is a charming Medieval town in Belgium. I've been here for about 36 hours, but most of that has been spent sleeping. Still, I've taken 139 photos. Many of bicycles.

This is because there are a lot of them and they're different from what I see in Ottawa.

Almost all of the Leuven bicylces:

  • are both old and old-fashioned;
  • are 1-speed or 3-speed; and
  • have dynamo-powered headlights and lots of reflectors.

Many have charming paint jobs.


Anonymous said...

Hi David, I loved reading your entry about Leuven. I actually work for Tourism Flanders and Leuven is one of the beautiful cities I have the pleasure of promoting. If you want, you can leave your comments of Leuven on the My Flanders section of our website
All the best, Chloe

David Scrimshaw said...

Hi Chloe,

Thanks for stopping by. I probably won't be leaving my comments on your "My Flanders" section, because it's hard enough just updating my blog from here in Leuven.

By the way, if you want your site to be more useful to people, you might make it easier to find:

- places that rent wheelchairs;
- places that rent bicycles;
- instructions on how to use the local buses; and
- links to independent reviews for restaurants and hotels that cover more than the few you cover and are allowed to say negative things about the places.

raino said...

what!? not one banana seat?

David Scrimshaw said...

Raino: It's true! I don't think I've seen a single banana seat here. There's a lot of talk about the high bicycle theft rate.

A basic strategy to avoid theft seems to be to have a crappy looking bike.

This may explain the lack of cycles with banana seats and monkey bars.

Dries said...

Leuven is a city full of students and between those students it's very common to steal bikes. That's why it's more useful to buy an expensive lock instead of an expensive bike.

Headlights and reflectors are mandatory. The police checks this and you get a fine if your bike does not have a light and reflectors.

David Scrimshaw said...

Thanks again, Dries.

I have also heard the police have been known to impound bikes left locked in the same place too long.