Bakfiets and ‘ballen’

They squeak and howl down back-alleys, hog entire bike lanes, cause tremendous traffic jams, and are virtually impossible to get your hands on. What the Fuckuoka are they?

Bakfiets. No, it doesn’t mean ‘backwards feet’. No, not ‘fuck beats!’ Nor is it the Dutch version of Buck’s Fizz, unfortunately. It literally means ‘boxcycle’ in English, or (unofficially) ‘workcycle,’ and (officially) remains the best way for internationals to get from A to B…with a sofa. Yes, you read correctly. The Dutch insist on moving big stuff in bicycle baskets…

Bak-Fiets offer the ideal solution to all your house-moving problems: surely a help to new internationals looking to kit out their cribs and don’t mind losing limbs along the way. Bakfiets are available to rent from Mamamini, Ikea, and a tree outside IBB.

You can also buy one from €1000 upwards, perhaps to achieve your life-long dream of running your own late-night taxi rank, early-morning beer courier service, or for driving around in what could easily become your own coffin. The possibilities are endless with what is more commonly known among internationals as a ‘Bucket Bike’.

Dan moving house

Dan moving house

I used one just the other day to move a fridge, freezer, and oven across town with my housemates. When we arrived home, I collapsed from fatigue, housemate#1 climbed inside the fridge to cool off, and housemate#2 had his testicles in a bowl of ice. Turns out, bakfiets don’t offer much in the way of protection in crashes, particularly when the brake is positioned between the riders’ ‘ballen.’

So, next time you need to transport sofas, chairs, elephant statues, drunken friends, broken bikes, shopping, or the ridiculous amount of free green-tea bags you’ve taken but will never use from Ikea, you know what to get, and who to call.