Monday 1 September 2008

Bikes and baskets

Bicycles have had baskets for as long as there have been bicycles.

I've just returned from a fabulous weekend at the Nationaal Vlechtmuseum in Noordwolde. This is the national basketry museum of the Netherlands on a site which used to be the basket-making school and this was a special weekend, the Nationale Vlechtdagen.

The first photo shows a sign on a minor road heading into the village. The village has the usual blanket 30 km/h (18 mph) speed limit, and the sign says "Welcome to the basket-making village of the Netherlands".

It was a fabulous event. As well as a chance to sell a few of my baskets, This was a chance to meet 25 other basketmakers and see other people's work, as well as have a look around the museum.

Of course, there is a special bicycle in the museum, as shown in the photograph on the right.

Noordwolde is 40 km away, I cycled down on Saturday morning and returned on Sunday evening with my Xtracycle cargo bike pulling a trailer with baskets and a tent. It's a cumbersome thing to ride when loaded up to that extent, but the cycle paths here don't have any obstructions on them, so once the bike got up to speed I could keep going quite steadily and the journey took under 2 hours.

This video shows some of the people at the Vlechtdagen. It was a very enjoyable event.

The Nationaal Vlechtmuseum has interesting exhibits, a restaurant, and is a very pleasant place to cycle to. It will be a destination on our cycling holidays next year.

I specialise in making bicycle baskets. You can see them on the bicycle basket page on my website.

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