Category Archives: GERMANY

VIENNA, BERLIN by BIKE  AND DITCH PARIS

I’m on a 5 week tour around Europe, by train, plane, automobile and eventually by bike.  I’m visiting fellow bike touring friends I’ve meet on my journeys.  I’ll be biking with them mostly, but some walking too (my favorite).

Direct  flights from Ljubljana tend to be neither direct nor cheap.  So I’m taking the bus from Ljubljana to Vienna and staying at the “SUPER CLEAN”  VIENNA CITY HOSTEL.  They had bed and breakfast for $20 and $10 a day bicycles.  So my $61 Germanwings airline ticket to  Berlin, wasn’t until 7:30 at night.   So I  rented a bike and rode around Vienna, I’ve been here before.  I don’t know what I was thinking? Vienna in a Day!?   No Way, it’s a big city.   The City Center was designated a UNESCO World heritage site in 2001.  In 2014 Vienna was recognized as the most liveable city in the world.  There’s almost 2 million peple living here.

I did some homework on Vienna and discovered they had an island on the river, like Prauge.

 So I rented my bike and headed in that direction.

I knew when I saw this sign it was a good city.  Eating meat has a high C02 emmissions footprint they say 51% of C02 is from raising animals to eat.

 

I love taking sign photos, more than taking nature pictures

                                                     ENJOY YOUR LIFE IT’S AWESOME 

 I rode by a huge theme park, they must have 4 big roller coasters.  I finally found the island, no commercial buildings, just one wind turbine.  Traveling in the off season has it’s benefits, it was almost my own island.

 

  I LOVE ALL THE HISTORY  & BUILDINGS OF EUROPE

                                                                                                    THIS IS A METRO TRAIN BRIDGE, NO CARS 

 I still think in balance, the bicycle takes you more places than walking could

I THINK I FOUND THE HEADSTONE FOR MY GRAVE.  AS I WAS TAKING THE PICTURE THE SALESMAN CAME RUNNING OUT TO “”HELP” ME..   I TOLD HIM I WASNT READY YET. 

 I refused to use my Iphone data, to find my way back to the hostel..  I knew I was close, but I’ve been riding a lot and I was beat..  I finally gave in and turned on the data roaming ($), I was only 1kkm from the hostel, close.  Back at the hostel I get a message from Mark,,  has to leave Berlin,  but can leave his apartment keys with a nieghbor.

  I figure out how to get to his apt.  His widows are dirty, so I clean them all insde and out.  All good travellers should show their appreciation for being hosted.

I make plans to visit the Tourism Trade Show that’s happening in Berlin.. I really wanted  to go so it worked good, I had something fun to do.

                  THE BEAURIFUL WOMEN OF SRI LANKA 

 The tourism show had  representatives from every country: Iran, Cuba, Russia & America  (set up next to each other).   I sstopped by the New Zealand booth and told them I’ve visited there country and loved it.  II told her she had an easy job “”trying”  to sell New Zealand.  Then I walked a little further and there was the Pakistan booth.  He  was trying to tell my that I should visit Pakistan.  I could hardly  keep a straight face,, OK tell me.  We have K2, 3 glaciers, ahh? NO.  First that sounds cold and second? I disapprove of the way they treat women and restrict girls education.   He said his village had a 94% literacy rate,, but he agreed with my general analysis of the situation in Pakistan.  I won’t be going to Pakistan any time soon..                      THE BEAUTIFUL WOMEN OF THE MALDIVES

        AFTER TODAY I FEEL LIKE THE KING (of travel) I went to nearly every country ((booth) around the world.

 Marc was still out of town so I get his bike and ride around Berlin.. It has a great network of bike lanes, except in the core of the tourist destinations.

  IF YOU USE A BIKE TO HOLD YOUR SIGN IS IT FREE? 

 In Portland they have a pedal beer tour, you drink while you pedal.  But I saw these in Berlin and had never seen them anywhere before.

IT’S GREAT SEEING PEOPLE TRY ALTERNATIVE TYPES OF TOURING 

Marc  and I bike toured together  20 years ago in  New Zealand..  I have visited him and his parents in  the former East Germany several times over the years.   Marc is back Sunday night,, so on Monday we decide to bike the “WALL TOUR”   

 

 

  THE FAMOUS CHECK POINT CHARLIE THAT SEPARATED EAST AND WEST GERMANY

 

 THE UNTOUCHED WALL 

                      WE PUT TOGETHER  MARCS FIRST TV,, EVER!!  LET’S JUST SAY IT’S BIG!

Back at the Berlin airport and your phone is low.

THESE ARE SELF-CHARGING PHONE  STATIONS, KEEP PEDALING IF YOU WANT TO SURF!?

When travelling I ssometimes look for music and art events that are going on.  Paris had David Bowies touring collection off outfits and other memorablia.  I saw David Bowie in 1973 and really wanted to go. So I bought a ticket oonline and thought I would go since I was in Paris early.  The train ticket to the exhibit was nearly $50 roundtrip, I threw the David Bowie ticket away.

I spent 2 weeks in France, that is why there hasn’t been a blog post in awhile.  FRANCES’S INTERNET IS THE WORST IN THE WORLD!! EVEN BURMA’S WAS BETTER.

I’m in Lisbon now, picking up Natasa Saturday, at the airport.  I visited 3 friends in France  and biked and hiked a lot.

THANKS FOR READING

JEFF

NEXT? A REAL FRENCH COUNNTRYSIDE VILLAGE, WITH BARELY A CAR IN SIGHT.

   

   

EUROBIKE 2014 FRIEDRICHSHAFEN, GERMANY PART II

BIKING TO THE EUROBIKE SHOW

                   YOU NEVER RIDE ALONE WHEN THERE’S A BIKE SHOW IN TOWN

EUROBIKE was a super event, for everything bike.  Even how to clean them.

AUTOMATIC BIKE WASHER  15,000 EURO ($19,685.00)

AUTOMATIC BIKE WASHER 15,000 EURO ($19,685.00)

i want to buy an electric tandem bike for touring with Natasa.  I think we could really cover some territory , with a little help.

I WANT A TANDEM AND WHAT A GREAT WAY TO TRY IT OUT!

I WANT AN ELECTRIC TANDEM AND WHAT A GREAT WAY TO TRY IT OUT! Thanks Meghan.

EuroBike is packed full of bike enthusiast.    NUTCASE HELMETS, had a couple of their helmet artist paint full size “ART” near their booth.  They were going auction off the paintings to raise money for WORLD BICYCLE RELIEF, you too can make a donation today!

NUTCASE HELMETS ARTIST WALL

ARTIST SANDRA RAMIREZ WITH MEGHAN, (notice Meghan is wearing a helmet with Sandra’s design)

BAMBOO BIKE

BAMBOO BIKE, (parked out front)

SIDEWAYS PEDAL BIKE

SIDEWAYS PEDAL BIKE

I sent Natasa post cards (everyday), so I had to ride to town to the post office.  The bike is the best for “discovering” what’s going on.  I came across the farmers market, I bought a salmon sandwich, figs, fruit cobbler and blueberries, brought my lunch to Eurobike.

I LOVE FARMERS MARKETS AND STRAWBERRIES

I LOVE FARMERS MARKETS AND STRAWBERRIES

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                 MARKET SQUARE ART SCULPTURES

LOVE THE GERMAN BREAD

                                                       SEEDED GERMAN BREADS

ACROSS FROM ZEPPLIN MUSEUM

ZEPPELIN PLAY GROUND ART, ACROSS FROM ZEPPELIN MUSEUM         

If pedaling wasn’t enough?  You can now use hand cranks and your arm power too.

TANDEM ARM POWER

THEY MAKE A SINGLE TOO, I SAW SOMEONE OUT TEST “DRIVING” ONE.

ELECTRIC CAR RACE BY PEDALING

ELECTRIC CAR RACE BY PEDALING (she won)

I came to look at electric bikes, so here’s a few of them:

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THIS IS THE DIAVELO ELECTRIC BIKE (video) CALLED, AFTER 5.  COMING TO AMERICA IN 2014.     IMG_1083                           WHAT A GREAT WAY TO ENJOY THE GOLDEN AGE OF RETIREMENT.  

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PROTANIUM BIKES WERE QUITE EYE CATCHING. I LIKE THE LOOKS, BUT IF YOU HAVE A “FAST” E-BIKE, SOME FRONT OR FULL SHOCKS CAN REALLY SMOOTH OUT THE RIDE, ESPECIALLY OVER SPEED BUMPS!  THEY HAVE A SHAFT DRIVE VERSION (video) TOO

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I’M GETTING OLDER AND THE STEP THROUGH DESIGN IS VERY APPEALING.  ESPECIALLY IF YOUR RUNNING A LOT OF ERRANDS AND ARE GETTING OFF AND ON A LOT.(or wearing a dress).

LEARN MORE ABOUT E-BIKES WITH THESE LINKS:

ELECTRICBIKE.COM TOP 10 THINGS ABOUT E-BIKES: KITS, MID-DRIVES, LIGHTEST, MOST EXPESNSIVE, UTILITARIAN, FASTEST, HOME GARAGE AND ILLEGAL

PETE’S ELECTRICBIKEREPORT.COM REVIEWS THE LATEST IN E-BIKE TECHNOLOGY AND YOU CAN SIGN UP FOR HIS NEWSLETTER.

ELECTRIC-BIKES.COM HOW TO BUY AN E-BIKE AND OTHER USEFUL INFORMATION

FLYKYL SMART WHEEL STAND ALONE E-WHEEL KIT, WORKS WITH SMART PHONE

 PETE’S ELECTRICBIKEREPORT.COM E-BIKE PHOTO GALLERY FROM EUROBIKE 2014

I went to some travel seminars and they are making tours that include E-Bike charging stations along the way, to keep you coming back!

ELECTRIC BIKE CHARGING STATION

E BIKE CHARGING STATION IN FRIEDRICHSHAIN

They had bins and bins of bike related publications.

ALL THE ELECTRIC BIKE MAGAZINES ARE GONE

THE E-BIKE MAGAZINES WERE POPULAR, THE BINS WERE EMPTY!

BACK TO EUROBIKE

WOODEN BIKE

 EVERYONE WHO HAS A BIKE THEY WANT PEOPLE TO SEE, THEY BRING IT TO EUROBIKE.

I reached the saturation point, I couldn’t look at anymore bike stuff, interesting or not. I was done.  I rode my bike to EuroBike and sold my last day ticket.  It was the public day and it was PACKED, glad I wasn’t going in.  I rIde next door to the Zeppelin Airport.

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I PAID 3 EURO ($4) FOR A CUP OF COFFEE SO I COULD SIT AND WATCH THE ZEPPELIN LAND AND TAKE OFF, RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME.  OF COURSE THEY DIDN’T HAVE ANY WIFI (free or paid)?

I had been planning another adventure to Crete, Greece.  I was going to visit Vincent, the French cyclist I rode with in Greece.  He’s working on a farm.  But after nearly 17 months and 19 countries, I’m done.  EuroBike, Germany is my last country for awhile.  I keep thinking the blog will end, but no.  I’ve got more stories about our adventures in Skofja Loka and were going to Croatia next month, it’s only a 2 1/2 hour drive, we set a 3 hour limit to how far were willing to drive for a little vacation.

EUROBIKE PHOTOS ARE HERE

 

Thanks for Reading and Commenting (for those that have something to say)

JEFF

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EUROBIKE 2014 FRIEDRICHSHAFEN, GERMANY PART I

Europe is E-Bike crazy right now, so I decided that EuroBike would be a good place to see the latest in E-Bike technology.   I tried to find a local ride by asking around the bike shops, no luck.  The train was all day but the bus for $27 to Munich then $15 to Friedrichshafen, seemed like the best option.

WHY AM I SO CRAZY ABOUT ELECTRIC BIKES?

A recent study on the environment impact of e-bikes vs other forms of transportation found that e-bikes are about:

  • 18 times more energy efficient than an SUV
  • 13 times more energy efficient than a sedan
  • 6 times more energy efficient than rail transit
  • and, of about equal impact to the environment as a conventional bicycle.

FROM E-BIKES WIKIPEDIA

I took the night bus and arrived in Munich about 7am.  I didn’t have a map to my “SMART STAY HOSTEL”.  I asked the Kebab guy, (the only shop open) for the wifi password, NO!  Some of the buses had wifi, so as the buses arrived I would stand next to them, I finally got connected and my got directions to my hostel. It was only a 1.5 mile walk. I’ve never been to Munich (photo tour)  so I came a day early, to have a look around.  I needed to buy my ticket to Friedrichshafen where EuroBike is being hosted.  I spent nearly the whole day buying bus tickets and walking around, aimlessly.  I went to rent a bike, when I finally found the location, I was told they had gone out of business.  Maybe they should remove their advertisements from the hostel?

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LOCAL STREET ART

I had to visit 3 different ticket sellers at 2 different locations to get all the bus tickets I needed.  In some ways Germany is not very easy to navigate.  Something that was super cool were the luxury buses, (once you got a ticket), they were super nice.

LONG DISTANCE BUSES HAD BIKE RACKS

THE LONG DISTANCE BUSES WERE ALL ABLE TO CARRY BICYCLES TOO.

I didn’t have a room for the first night.  So the tourist office hooked me up an apartment at the campground.  I had emailed the campground the week before, but I never got a response.  The room (with bathroom down the hall) was $80 and I had to pay to use the WIFI.  The more I attempted to use the internet the more I realized there’s “a lock” on it in Germany.  I got free WIFI in nearly every country I visited.  Now I’m in Europe’s economic powerhouse-Germany and you must pay to play!

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READY TO ROLL OUT OF THE CAMPGROUND

This time I rented a bike at the bus station, when I arrived.  Missing basket, broken lights and a squeaky chain, Oh how I miss not having my own bike.

BIKE PATH AROUND FRIEDREICHSHAFEN

THE APPLE TREES LINED THE BIKE PATH TO EUROBIKEI

I finally get there and what do I see?

ZEPPLINS FLYING AROUND, 200 EURO FOR 1/2 HOUR RIDE ($265)

EUROBIKE IS NEXT TO THE ZEPPLIN “AIRPORT”

You can ride in a Zeppelin for 200 euro ($265) for 1/2 hour, You can save 5 euro it’s only 395 euro for an hour.  i actually thought about it for a minute? Whens the next time you’ll be able to ride in a Zeppelin,  I may have to come back and give it a try, maybe when I retire.

My friend, Meghan from Portland works for NUTCASE BIKE HELMETS and she got me a one-day pass, that also allowed me to buy 3 more days.

MEGHAN AND ME

THANKS MEGHAN

NOW FOR THE BIKE PHOTO SHOW AND THE AMAZING NEW STUFF FOR BIKES

ITALIAN ELECTRIC BIKE

ITALIAN DESIGNED ELECTRIC BIKE (I WANT IT)

CAMPING, ON THE MOON?

READY TO GO ANYWHERE

EUROBIKE FASHION SHOW The fashion show was amazing. Sample Videos: #1,   #2,   #3   I thought it was a top event at EuroBike.  The lead dancer in the 2nd video is great!

BIKE UMBRELLA

BIKE UMBRELLA

THERE WAS SOME BIKE HISTORY ON DISPLAYIN 1979  145 KMPH (90.1 MPH)

 

IMG_0997The test area for the electric bikes was packed.  No one was wearing a helmet (I was), we were “testing” electric bikes, watch out.  There was probably 50-75 bikes on the track at once.  The Stromer Electric Bike was the 2014 EuroBike Gold Medal Winner. I had to try it, super fast! and fun!

STROMMER 45kmph (27.9 mph) Range !50km 93 miles) 6000 EURO ($7874)

STROMMER 45kmph (27.9 mph) Range !50km 93 miles) 6000 EURO ($7874)

I went over and tried the Raleigh Electric Bike, nearly the same specs, but 1/2 the price.  I liked that it wasn’t all business, there was lots of activities going on.  There was a organization from Amsterdam, that recycles the frames from abandoned bicycles.

AMERSTERDAM ROETZ RE-FINISHED BIKE

THIS IS ONE THEIR RECYCLED BIKES MADE NEW (WITH BEER PACK)

I went to 3 days of EuroBike, it was alot.  I’ve got some more photos and stories. So yep, Part II is where I will wrap up the rest of EuroBike.  I will post the photo links in the next blog post.

UNTIL THEN

JEFF

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