Name: Chang Min Lee (TPM)
Price: 55 euros
Striking feature: The nicest bike of all
Chang Min Lee (20), from South Korea, stood in front of his spacebox house on the Leeghwaterstraat, fiddling with his bike lock, when he noticed the photographer. Still getting used to the Dutch cultural artefacts, he said, laughing. It’s not that he never biked before at home, but rather he’d just bought his bike the day before and in South Korea it isn’t necessary to lock your bike. Very little crime. Moreover, stolen bike weren’t an issue, because, like most people, he usually rented bikes. “You can rent bikes in most parks in South Korea.”
For his Batavus – “Is that the brand? That’s the name on the bike” – he paid just 55 euros, buying the bike from an ‘international friend’ in Delft. It’s a great bike, Chang Min says. “During our introduction week, the mentors brought us to various bike shops, but the bikes for sale weren’t as nice as this one.” A Korean feel for quality.
Honestly, he finds the Dutch biking culture a bit strange. “Everyone has two or three bikes and you see bikes everywhere.” But he likes cycling - good for preventing air pollution and traffic jams. He’d like to see more people biking in his hometown of Busan. And bikes are also handy, as he realises now. “Great for quickly going to the supermarket or riding to another building.” In fact, he says, he’ll buy a bike when he returns to South Korea. “I love mountain climbing. Would be fantastic to do it on a bike.” But no, he can’t train for that here, as there are no mountains, and anyway, people rarely bike in the mountains in South Korea. But his bike is still the best.