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Old 04-10-12, 03:37 AM   #1
Italuminium
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Indonesia - the next big thing in C&V?


The noted Dutch journalist Adriaan van Dis is running a series on the old colony of Nederlands-IndiŽ now, and one of the episodes is about the remnants of the colonial language in daily life in Jakarta. On of the main areas of influence is the bicycle world - a lot of Dutch words are still in use or lie at the base of the vernacular derivate, such as selot (from slot, lock), sadel, (zadel in dutch, or saddle), rem (brake) and stuur (handlebar). The word for bicycle is sepeda, coming from velocipede.

During the colonial era millions of bicycles were imported, with the most famous brands being Batavus and Gazelle and Fongers as the absolute range-topper and preferred supplier to the government and KNIL (the colonial army).

After the Japanese occupation and the Bersiap-period that followed in which a bloody struggle erupted between freedom fighters of the recently proclaimed Republika Indonesia and the colonial forces the trade in bicycles resumed. Bikes remained indespensable for the recovering country, but were imported without branding.

As it turns out, these classic Dutch bicycles have a huge following. One of the members of the club Van Dis visited estimated that there are 520 clubs for old bikes, catering to a staggering 100.000 members. In the show, a few riders were shown with bags, caps and t-shirts gifted by the Oude Fiets, the classic bike club here in The Netherlands. Every Sunday it's biking day: millions of people turn out to ride on their steel steeds. With it, there's a specialized market for old parts to cater to the growing market of restorers of these fine, solid machines.

On a related note, the blogosphere has been awash with all kinds of cool restored road bikes and fixies coming from some high-end Indonesian bike shops.

So, this all begs the question - Indonesia, the next big thing in C&V?

Let's end this post with the words of the writer Pamadu Amandatur, he describes the bicycle as a "vehicle of the wind, that runs like a horse - without grass, stables or s hit."


Here's an old silent ad for fongers, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r4RzqKAmQqc

The episode (with some things in English) is here, the biking sunday report starts at 13.54. http://www.uitzendinggemist.nl/afleveringen/1247929

Here are two sites on classic bikes, there are probably more of them out there. http://www.sepedaonthel.com/ http://sepeda.wordpress.com/

I'm currently doing a research project on pre-war Indonesian magazines and other publications, I'll scan in some adds for Gazelle, Fongers etc. so watch this space!

Last edited by Italuminium; 04-10-12 at 03:47 AM. Reason: fixed the bowdlerization and added image.
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Old 04-10-12, 09:56 AM   #2
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Yes, looks like the old (Dutch) bikes have quite some following in Indonesia. My Fongers Professional (actually a Batavus) classified triggered quite some traffic from Indonesia(!) ...but that was after I has decided to preserve it for my own collection, after a year of advertising. With BF-regulars it didn't evoke much. For them not familiar with Fongers: original Fongers is the Mario Confente of Dutch bikes.

My Fongers Professional meanwhile got a full overhaul using solely original equipment >>>



I am really looking forward to you keeping us up to date on your research project and scans, Italuminum.
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Old 04-11-12, 03:59 AM   #3
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I'm off to the library with my camera to shoot some pics.

By the way, that Fongers is such a stunner - shame I was too broke when it was up for sale! I love the way it looks now.
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Old 04-11-12, 02:59 PM   #4
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Bakfiets en meer had a bit on these Indonesian bikes, particularly Simplex:

http://www.bakfiets-en-meer.nl/2008/...-in-indonesia/

http://simplexforum.wordpress.com/
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Old 04-12-12, 01:48 AM   #5
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Thanks for the pointer, jrecoi.
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Old 06-19-12, 04:19 PM   #6
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Rapha scouted ahead... http://vimeo.com/43528208
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Old 06-19-12, 05:38 PM   #7
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Interesting that cycling is big in such hot and humid countries like Indonesia. Being I always prefered to ride in cooler weather, Wisconsin summers was bad enough for me when I lived there in the 80's, I just can't imagine doing so for any substantial amount in such tropical climates. I'd get heatstroke afer a few miles for sure.

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Old 06-20-12, 03:36 AM   #8
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Interesting that cycling is big in such hot and humid countries like Indonesia. Being I always prefered to ride in cooler weather, Wisconsin summers was bad enough for me when I lived there in the 80's, I just can't imagine doing so for any substantial amount in such tropical climates. I'd get heatstroke afer a few miles for sure.

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Part of it is being used to it, I guess... Those Rapha Brits really had a tough time out there! I'm not too fussy about temperature, but humidity is an entire story altogether.
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Old 06-20-12, 04:54 AM   #9
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Check out photos from this meeting: http://www.flickr.com/photos/3362767...th/4156139784/


sunday morning riding 02 by dian_vasthu00, on Flickr


sunday morning riding 04 by dian_vasthu00, on Flickr


sunday morning riding 12 by dian_vasthu00, on Flickr

Really interesting to see people in period costumes, and bikes all look like jewels.
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Old 06-20-12, 05:12 AM   #10
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Thank you for sharing! That back to back tandem is waaaaay too awesome.
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Old 06-20-12, 11:17 AM   #11
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Are those soldiers or police in the KD. Or is that the tropical equivalent of a Tweed Ride.
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Old 06-20-12, 11:25 AM   #12
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Are those soldiers or police in the KD. Or is that the tropical equivalent of a Tweed Ride.
They ride the bikes of the KNIL, the Koninklijk Nederlands Indisch Leger. The Dutch army during colonial times. A motley collection of Dutch career officers, european adventurers and indigenous soldiers that was the strong arm of the governments in The Hague and Buitenzorg. These bikes, many made by Fongers, formed one of their main ways of transport and still have an excellent reputation for durability.
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Old 06-20-12, 11:54 AM   #13
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The backwards facing "stroker" on the tandem in the pics looks cool. They must have designed the bike to have the stroker literally watch the tandem captain's back when they rode through town in case they get attacked from behind by the "natives" in the colony.

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Old 06-20-12, 12:22 PM   #14
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The backwards facing "stroker" on the tandem in the pics looks cool. They must have designed the bike to have the stroker literally watch the tandem captain's back when they rode through town in case they get attacked from behind by the "natives" in the colony.

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Nice theory, I wonder if that's the entire story. Worth a research project!
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Old 06-20-12, 04:36 PM   #15
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For some reason I thought the dos-a-dos seating was to allow the stoker to communicate with those following the bike. Although I can't remember where I got that idea from.
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