Tuesday, March 09, 2010


Obviously when one mixes in with traffic cycling round the town, it is prudent to keep one's eye open for the motorist who, without looking, opens their door as you cycle up on the left side of the car allowing you to collide gracefully with it. The cure to this problem is to give yourself plenty of room, keep your eyes open and be ready to scream "TÜR!" if you see the slit by the door opening. This problem is complicated in Germany by cycleways that have park slots to their right. If the cycleways are wide enough, it is no real problem, but there is a variation that complicates matters. For some reason unknown a lot of German parents prefer to mount a child seat directly behind the driver meaning that mother, father and the child all need to get into and out of the car on the left, on the traffic side. The parent concerned is then occupied getting the child's rucksack, teddy bear or plate of Saumagen and sauerkraut off the back seat. Little Hans-Dieter can then wander off into your path or even in to the track of the juggernauts roaring past your left side. Why this is done we can never understand. Why not mount the child's seat on the right hand side of car, on the side that is usually traffic free? It is a mystery to us both.

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