Thursday, July 29, 2010

The bicycle, a status symbol?

We all know that cars are status symbols. But what about bicycles? I think they are too. It's not so much about expensive bicycles though, more about style.

Still, over-priced bicycles are on their way. I finally got the message when I strolled through the posh center of Vienna last night. A bicycle in a shop window at the Graben.


Sunday, July 25, 2010

Mystery of the abandoned bicycle

This is just a little peculiar story that took place last Friday in Turku, Finland, and that was covered by several national newspapers and tabloids. Here's a loose translation of the version in Turun Sanomat.

The abandoned bike. Image published in Turun Sanomat.

Friday, July 23, 2010

About fairness

A few days back I got this fairness flyer on the Donaukanal bike path:

flyer - fairness zone donaukanal (front)
"fair cyclists" flyer -- to read the back click here (in German)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Self-made Sunday: trailers

Always wanted to own a bicycle trailer but never had the money to buy one? Here are some ideas to get you started on building one yourself. If you have succeeded, let us know!

The first time I thought about a post about self-made trailers when I came across this beauty on the WNBR in June. It's simply a lowered shopping cart with a welded on frame that connects it to the wheels and the bicycle. Smart idea!

self-made trailer

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Cycling in a heat wave -- it's not about shorts, it's about ventilation!

Heat waves in Austria are not something pleasant. The houses are built for cold temperatures, not warm. Currently I experience:
  • outside: 37°C (= 99 F) in a city full of concrete, few trees
  • asphalt: 50°C (= 122 F) according to some measurements by Asfinag
  • office: certainly > 30°C (= 86 F), estimated 32°C (= 90 F) during the day in a metal-glass-house with no air conditioning whatsoever
  • home: 28°C (= 82 F) and no air conditioning, almost no cooling at night
Anybody out there with more?

sun protection
Cyclist in Jaipur, India -- around 43°C (= 109 F)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Cycling between the fronts

Do you know people who cycle daily because cycling is their job? Who comes to your mind? I naturally always think about bike messengers, mailmen, rickshaw whallas and bicycle taxi drivers, newspaper deliverers, ice-cream sellers and that kind. Recently I also came across cycling policemen in Vienna.

But what about people in very rural areas? There are generally little paved streets and it's tough going. Countrymen use tractors and robust four-wheel drive. Sometimes, however, such vehicles are too big. The military, for example, uses bicycles to patrol at the Austrian border in Burgenland:

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Discover your town!

Whenever I think about city-cycling I think about the German campaign Radlust which deals with the promotion of federal cycling traffic. The term "Radlust" could be translated to "the joy of cycling". The aim of the campaign was to -- literally speaking -- mobilize the unused potential of the bicycle in cities (nearly all households in Europe own at least one bicycle) by remembering their owners about the pleasure of movement:
>> If you want to build a ship, don't drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea. << (Antoine de Saint-Exupéry)

Whenever I cycle on the weekend myself, try new bike routes or generally explore areas that I have never been to before by bicycle, I too feel this enthusiasm and pure joy of cycling. Last weekend was one of these occasions...

I put on my new stripy jersey dress, carried Paula up from the basement and set off for the unexpected. Also with me, a map printed from (useful Viennese-area route planner), sunglasses, a hat and some of my cameras.

panda with new dress

Saturday, July 3, 2010

The four of us out of town

A few days back Velouria (from Lovely Bicycle!), Jaqueline, Paula and me (anna) headed off for a day trip along the Danube. For not-so-regular readers of our blogs let me note that Jackie and Paula are not real human beings, but our dearest city bikes. Although lifeless they acquired the status of a good companion, and henceforth they shall be treated as such.

Initially we had only planned to cycle as far as Klosterneuburg, but continued along the Danube on the EuroVelo 6 route till Greifenstein. So all in all we cycled about 45 km (that is 28 miles).

Map of the tour [plotted using]