Sunday, April 29, 2012


The expression "SMIDSY" is often heard in England as an abbreviation of "Sorry mate, I didn't see you", normally heard when a motorist cuts a cyclist up or turns without warning, causing the poor innocent cyclist to make one of those rolling dives across the bonnet of the car, beloved of American detective film chase scenes. I have long thought that motorists subconsciously just don't take cyclists into account. I tend to cycle accordingly and had the impression that other urban cyclists would do the same, at least the ones that are still alive.
Yesterday I realised that this is not the case. We wanted to meet friends at the SPEZI Special Bicycle Exhibition in Gemersheim and to be sure that we caught the 0904 train from Mannheim, decided to cycle to the station there. At about 0800 we left home and cycled along the cycleway adjacent to Viernheim's western bypass. The cycleway crosses another cycle route leading from the town to a sports area, a popular spot for Nordic Walking. As we approached this crossing, Judith was about a hundred metres in the lead. As she passed the crossing, a large lady on a sit up and beg conventional lady's bike approached from the left, i.e. my right of way and blithely ignored my presence  causing me to break hard and swerve round the rear of her bike. At which she said "'schuldige, ich hab Sie nich gesehe" - SMIDSY in Viernheim dialect.
We made it to the 09:04 train and enjoyed a jolly day at SPEZI. Electrobikes are definitely the trendsetters though other trends we noticed were the gradual reduction in the price of trikes as production moves away from one-off  and the realisation by trike manufacturers that some degree of folding eases transport of these cycles by train or car. The Weber trailer company showed a towable caravan that unfortunately was too small even for the likes of us.

This year as well we watched the Trike Racing for the first time and were impressed by how tough these races are on cyclists, trikes and the straw bales used to mark the course.

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