Yesterday The Province’s Ian Austin told the story of Kits resident Patricia Holland and her lost vintage Raleigh bicycle that she has been riding for 33 years.
“I feel like part of my identity has been taken away,” said the Kitsilano resident, who works at Vancouver Community College assisting a visually impaired student. “I’ve been riding it over half my life – no wonder the heartache.
“Everything is riding on me getting it back.”
Her graceful 1933-vintage cycle has its quirks and its eccentricities, but for Holland her bike is an essential part of her life.
“It has a bell that does not work very well and a broken red reflector on the back fender,” she says with a wistful lilt. “The fenders are rusty and one has a metal clasp on it to stop it from rattling. In all its defects lies its true beauty.”
One of its defects is a U-lock that doesn’t work very well, so when she ducked into a shop for five minutes she left it unlocked – and heartbreakingly when she came back her cherished cycle was gone.
“When you’re together for so long, it becomes a part of you,” she said. “Even the bike couriers love it.
“People call me â€˜The Bike Lady.'”
So if you’re out there, and you have the bike lady’s bike, think about giving it back.
“It has huge sentimental value,” said Holland, 63. “I would be over the moon if I got it back.”
Photograph by: Stuart Davis, PNG
Last modified: September 27, 2010