Wednesday, June 06, 2012

A motor club gets in on the act.

British and US cyclists have probably heard of the ADFC, the Allgemeiner Deutscher Fahrrad-Club. A word for word translation of the name would be the General German Bicycle Club. The British equivalent organisation is the CTC, the Cyclists' Touring Club to give its old name or as the organisation prefers to call itself,  The UK's national cyclists' organisation. Some of us prefer the old name which we think is clear, but both names describe the function of the club, whereas the "General" in the German club's name is superfluous. Why did the German club give itself a rather odd name when it was founded as part of the Green movement twenty-five years ago? It was intended to cock a snoot at the older well established German motoring club, the ADAC, Allgemeiner Deutscher Automobil-Club. This organisation which as a supporter of motoring was a bête noir of the Green movement in Germany at that time. The ADFC has had a successful time since then and plays an important role in cycle touring in Germany for cyclists and those in the know.
The ADAC still acts as though there is an unlimited supply of oil in the world, but at the same time it has recognised that bicycles, especially e-bikes have an important role in short distance mobility. The organisation has taken over the role of its younger competitor in this area and its speakers are often called upon to present short features on on e-bikes on German TV. Its magazine "Motorwelt" has just devoted four pages to e-bike tours.
In addition the ADAC has brought out an app called Fahrrad Tourenplanner Deutschland 2012 - Bicycle Touring Planning Germany 2012 with 1500 bicycle tour suggestions. The ADFC had better not rest on its laurels.

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