In one way I feel kind of funny using his bike, but then again maybe I should view it as an honor. Kind of like I am carrying on his spirit, although he passed away more than a year ago.
This was his so-called "new" bike which was more than forty-five years old, and while he was alive he took great care in keeping it shiny and in shape.
Now that my bike was stolen last week and I need some form of transportation to get me to the train station and back, his bike becomes a symbolic time saver exactly at the right moment you might say.
Those carry bags on the back of the bike were faded and bleached by decennia of sunlight, and when I first loosened the metal latches and opened them up, it smelled like world war two. As if I had discovered an ancient sarcophagus, opened the lid and got a whiff of two thousand year old air and dust.
So come Monday I will proudly use his bike, carry his spirit with me, knowing that his life was good for more things than one at first realizes.
[Note: "Opa" and "fiets" are Dutch, meaning respectively "Grandpa" and "bike", in case you were wondering.]