Bicycles and Pool Noodles
In the times of Corona bicycles are becoming more popular as a means of transportation and there are calls for better bicycle infrastructure. For example, the mayor of Paris has announced plans to make the streets of Paris 100 per cent cycle friendly by 2024. Rome is following Paris's example, promising 150 km of streets safe for cyclists. But not just the metropoles are initiating changes. Cyclists in mall towns like Gauting want more space and safety.
Last Sunday in Gauting, local environmental organizations and bicycle clubs joined to make their cause known. I'm not sure how many participated, perhaps 50 or 60. To call attention to the need for more room on the road for bikes, the participants attached a pool noodle to their bike rack. The pool noodle extended about 1.5 meters, the distance motorized traffic should allow when passing a cyclist.
Unfortunately, I don't have any photos of the procession as we got underway. It was an impressive sight with all those colorful pool noodles.
However, many were not impressed at all. This is what happened to what I thought would be a good way to raise awareness to the needs of cyclists. Drivers in cars didn't know what in the hell we were doing, we were in their way which made them aggressive and probably increased their antagonism. Those who understood and were tolerant, didn't need to be reminded to keep a safe distance. Although the demonstration was registered, unfortunately we weren't given a police escort - it would have helped us to look more legitimate. To make matters worse, some of the participants, riding two abreast, weren't adhering to traffic regulations. Eventually, the police did come because there were complaints. But by that time I had left the group and gone my own way.
I appreciate the good intentions of those demonstrating and am 100% for better bicycle infrastructure, but I am very skeptical as to the effectiveness of Gauting's pool noodle parade.
Back in the Saddle
I was surprised to get a call from the bike shop on Monday, exactly one week after I brought them my bike for repairs, telling me I could pick up my trusty steed, it was ready. Wow, I had already resigned myself to a longer wait and more walking.
Now that I am again mobile on two wheels, I don't know how consistent I will be about getting enough walking exercise. So far I haven't found the time - excuses, excuses. But I did sign up at the gym and will work out twice weekly.
Missing seven days on my bike, I won't meet my July goal of 800 km for my 80th birthday. I have been out on my bike daily since I got it back but I doubt if I will even match last month's total. My most modest goal is 3,000 km on the new bike, the second modest goal is 700 km for the month.
Happy to be out on my bike with Janos.
Day 3 - Walking
I almost always prefer riding a bike to walking because, well, it's easier and faster. But now that I am temporarily without a bike I am walking for exercise and to get my errands done. This has made me very aware that all forms of exercise use different groups of muscles and how important cross-training is. Am I ever stiff from our short hikes the past three days! I guess that is the silver lining to the dark cloud of not having my bike for a while - I see that I must diversify. I might even try to find a gym again. As long as we lived in Munich I worked out regularly.
Janos and I wander to the Würm, to Park Schlossberg, in the woods, and always with our cameras. Since the beginning of lockdown we see many brightly painted stones with positive messages lining the paths in the parks, something to put a smile on your face. It seems this international trend has to come to Gauting and Park Schloss Fussberg.
Day 5 - Without a bike
I didn't write about days 1, 2, 3 and 4 - I was sure I would have my bike back by today. Nope, the bike hasn't been repaired yet.
My e-bike is a nice bike when it is working properly. Unfortunately, it has been giving me trouble. The e-support often, but not always, quit on hills. That is when it was noticeable anyway. The last time I rode, on my 80th birthday, it quit altogether. I was able to ride home but I was glad I didn't have any hills to pedal on the heavy bike with no real granny gears. Today is Friday and the bike shop has had my bicycle since Monday and they haven't been able to promise that they will get around to it soon.
So instead of cycling, Janos and I have been walking. We're not used to that. But I suppose it is good to be reminded that walking is exercise and we are one-sided only riding our bikes. Obviously, I have no more daily bike pictures. But I do have pictures from our walks.
Here are some pictures from our walk along the Würm.
... is up and running again. It is a space for notes on my daily doings - walks, bike rides, photo outings, travel. Thanks for reading.