Monday, June 27, 2016

Bike Hire in Wismar

The following companies offer bike hire in Wismar:

Buddha Bike´s
Owner: Martina Fritz
Dankwartstraße 49
23966 Wismar

E-Mail: >>>

Telephone: +49 (0) 3841 – 4 73 62 02

Fahrrad Wulf
ABC-Straße 13
23966 Wismar
T:+49 (0) 3841 282787
Fax: +49 (0) 3841 213448

Both websites are in German. The word for Bike Hire is Fahrradverleih.

Friday, June 24, 2016

How you celebrate the invention of the bicycle?

As we mentioned a couple of weeks ago, Mannheim will celebrate 200 years of cycling next year. One of the suggestions made to celebrate this is that downtown Mannheim should be car free for the weekend of 11 and 12 June. This idea was suggested by the Green Party and is backed by the SPD, the German centre-left party. The reaction of the local shopkeepers could be summed up in the phrase, "Are you off your trolley?". The centre-right CDU suggested a car free Sunday. The Greens want a car free weekend and the shopkeepers pointed out with some force that 60 or so % of their turnover for the week is on Saturdays. Eighty % of the customers come from the Umland, from the region. Most of these come by car. Some shop keepers have responded by threatening to close their shops on the Saturday. One suggestion is that the roads leading to the multistorey carparks should be kept open, which does not find favour with the Greens. I personally am not that worried about a car free day, especially as trams and buses would be running normally. I do wonder what all the fuss is about. I don't think a car free day will encourage people to cycle thirty or so km into Mannheim.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Cycling the Camino's Aragon Route Part I

We have recently walked the Aragon Route of the Way of St James: Somport Pass - Jaca - Sangüesa - Puente la Reina. I had been asked by a friend for information on the possibilities of following the trail on a mountain bike, so we kept our eyes open. 
The Aragon arm of the Camino is not the main route. It is much quieter. We saw ten other pilgrims/walkers and four cyclists in the ten days we were walking the Aragon Route. We joined the main trail for a few km on our last day. We saw about 40 pilgrims and 2 cyclists in the hour we walked down into Puenta la Reina. I suspect the Aragon Route is a lot wilder and more mountainous than the main trail. There is little information about cycling available from Tourist Offices. I enquired whenever I had chance. 
The “Camino de Santiago en bicicleta” is a club dedicated to cycling the Camino. Most of its info is in Spanish, including maps. People do cycle the route. There is a guide in Spanish available from the “Camino de Santiago en bicicleta”. The Kompass 1:100 000 walkers’ map struck us as being useless for cyclists from what we could see. 

Sunday, May 08, 2016

Bicycles in German TV Police Thrillers

Judith and I are great fans of "Tatort" (Crime Scene) fresh episodes of which are shown on German TV three Sunday evenings out of four. The programme features a police team from a number of different German cities and regions. One of the most popular features a Kommissar (Inspector) and a pathologist in Münster, the cycling capitol of Germany. The inspector cycles a lot in the city centre. What I find unbelievable is that he arrives at a crime scene or a block of flats, he leaps off his bike, throws it to one side and runs into the building, leaving the bike unlocked. His bike is almost always never stolen! In one of the earlier episodes he lost his new MTB and there was a running gag of the inspector seeing his bike and running off to retrieve the bike. With this experience he still leaves his bike unlocked. Weird!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Spezi Germersheim 2016 Initial Impressions

Our first feeling was that there were too many people attending the 21st Spezi Special Bikes Show in Germersheim this year. It was very difficult to take photographs in the halls. It could have had something to do with the weather. It was brass monkey weather and wet with it, at least on Saturday, so the outdoor exhibitors definitely had to stamp their feet to keep them warm. We spent some time wandering around the three halls but I have never run round the outdoor stands as quickly.

My second feeling was why  the Germersheim Stadthalle administration cannot organise fitting fresh roller towels in the male WCs. There are four machines but in my experience over the years only one will have a wet wrinkled tail of towel hanging from it.

SPEZI is the world's largest show for recumbents, recumbent tricycles, quadracycles, folding cycles, tandems, family cycles, velomobiles, transporters, electrical bikes, special needs bikes, adult kick scooters, child and load trailers, customised designs and accessories. Our feeling was that it is still a show for the type of bike or trike that causes onlookers to ask questions. The show has got a bit slicker over the years, but it is still down to earth and you can easily spend half an hour or so chatting to chief engineer of a bike or trike company. There aren't many salesmen or -women in suits knowing little about the products only how to sell on the stands. My feeling is that we visitors are all trike/folder/cargo bike fans/freaks/nerds together with family and friends looking at vehicles for disabled or vertically challenged members or mates. The market for disabled folk plays a major role. I was surprised but I read today that Transport for London has found that around 15% of disabled people in London actively cycled for transport in 2014, compared to 18% of non-disabled people.The other trend I felt was important was city centre logistics and transport for craftsmen using cargo bikes and e-bikes. There were even four British bike or trike manufacturers represented.
Over the next few days we will write about the exhibition, but here is a photograph of the Schwalbe stand. I wanted to ask whether one could buy a 16" JUMBO JIM tyre (on the right below) for a Brompton but my nerve failed me at the last minute.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Henty Wingman

If you need to take a suit to work and you want run or ride there by bike or motorbike to arrive at work with a suit that looks presed and not like you have slept in it, then check out the Wingman from Henty: It's a suit bag that wraps round an inner bag which you can wear as messenger bag or strap it on the bike. I have not seen the gear and the nearest stockist is in Frankfurt. Anyway I am a pensioner and have stopped going to work. From the YouTube film I've seen it looks well made and is an excellent idea, albeit very speciaised for a limited range of uses. It will take the stuff for the office like the suit, shirt, tie, shoes and socks. It will take a tablet. If you want to use anything else, like a laptop I think you will need to buy the Wingman Backpack which resembles a tubular rucsac.  

Monday, April 11, 2016

Do you need an excuse to avoid the London Marathon?

In case you wish avoid taking part in or watching the London Marathon on 24 April 2016, then consider going to the Special Bike Show in Germersheim, Germany on 23 and 24 April 2016. More interesting I suspect as well and the beer is cheaper. See you there.

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