The Man with beautifully decorated bikes and a heart of gold!
Known fondly as the Flower Bike Man, Warren Gregory (50), originally from Florida, has created over 300 flamboyantly decorated bicycles. Many of the bicycles are chained around the city, adding a welcome pop of colour irresistible to photographers.
Warren has renamed this bike ‘Clockdown’ and has returned it to the streets to celebrate the end of the lockdown.
Warren and Michelle's Love Story
Warren’s bike-decorating began when his wife couldn’t find her bike at Amsterdam Central. Warren’s wife, Michelle (43), has had epilepsy for years and often struggles to remember details like where she parked her bike!
To help her out, Warren decorated Michelle’s bike in bright flowers so that it would be unmissable. He then decorated a bunch of abandoned bikes, which he left along the route home so that she would never get lost again. Isn't that the sweetest thing ever?
Sadly, Michelle rides her bike less and less. Drowsy from the disease, she spends much of the day asleep in the small cabin boat the couple share in Amsterdam Noord, something which Warren says "burns me up inside".
There is apparently another bike decorator in town... Mieke, known as The Fairy Bike is the other one. This lovely bike has been decorated by Mieke (32) who has been working with people with severe mental disabilities and who loves flowers, hence the creation of these bike decorations to bring some cheer everywhere...
The Pandemic in Amsterdam
The pandemic has infected over 1 in 10 Amsterdam residents, driven up unemployment to almost three times the national average, and driven out the tourists. But weaving through the capital’s muted streets and creating a welcome distraction from the gloom, is a bearded figure on a bike bedecked bumper-to-basket in synthetic flowers.
Warren's Positive Attitude
Other than being a creative artist, Warren is also a really nice guy! His Instagram posts are flooded with encouragements and words of love, and you can feel the time and love that he pours into every bike that he creates. We truly need more people like the Flower Bike Man!
Each bike has its own story. At the start of the pandemic, Warren planted seeds in some of their baskets as symbols of hope and collected food in another for the homeless.
In a country that loves bikes so much, it’s no wonder that Warren has become somewhat of a treasure in Amsterdam. People love Warren’s bicycles, and many insist on paying for his creations. He customizes bikes for individuals and has even worked with a perfume company in Amsterdam. So, if you’re thinking of getting a new bike, why not have it be-dazzled by the Flower Bike Man!
But money was never Warren’s main motivation. “For me, seeing the bike I created is enough”. Although he has come to be seen as an artist, known of course as the Flower Bike Man, Warren always refers back to the reason he started decorating bikes in the first place — his wife.
Warren’s motivation is simply to get his wife ‘healthy and secure’ − at which point, he says, the bikes will have served their purpose.
The flower bikes are indeed all about Warren’s wife Michelle, it is a love story!
As Warrens puts it: “Many people need love stories right now.”
Sources: DutchNews.nl, Dutchreview.com