Freitag, 23. März 2012

On the road again

I grew up in a small city called Oldenburg in the north of Germany, not far from the border to Holland. The people in Oldenburg love their bikes, just like the dutch people and they have the same bike style: old fashioned, solid, very beautiful "dutch bikes" Riding a bike in Oldenburg is not for fitness, its a mean of transportation. Its the second thing kids learn after walking. During my childhood I rode my bike everyday to school, 6 km in the morning, 6 km in the afternoon and some more to go shopping or visit friends. It made me very independed even before I had a driver's licence. 

When I moved to Cologne for my studies I didn't give up cycling, despite the greater distances and the big traffic. 
Until I got pregnant... At one point I just didn't feel safe on my bike anymore with that belly and later, with the baby, there was never the right time to start it again and my bike was broken, then stolen.
But, last year my grandfather gave up his bike and he past it on to me. Since then it has patiently waited in the basement, unfortunatly with flat tires.
The last days I felt it coming. I promised myself no more springs without cycling. Boldness hit me though and I wanted to fix those tires myself. I spend all morning (like 5 hours!) with that bike. And a solid bike it is, very strong! I had a hard time and in the end my boyfriend did have to help a little but I did it, and was very, very proud to cycle to work in the afternoon. 

Aaron thought I had put up a new toy for him... He loves his own small bike (with four wheels) so much already, I think he's got that "oldenburg-blood" in him :-)

I took some pictures before I acctually started to unscrew the whole thing so that I would get it all back together again in the end...

... only to find out the chain was too short when all screws were back in place, so, like with some bad knitting, I had to do some "frogging".

In the end my hands looked like this and they still do (under the nails, if you have any idea how to remove that crazy stuff from under my nails please let me know!)

I put Aaron in that basket just for fun, not for riding. I have a kids seat for the carrier acctually but I am not sure if I will fix it because I have no idea how I will get off that mens bike if there is a kids seat at the back. I hardly get on that bike on my own...

So, in the afternoon on my way to work, I celebrated my first bike ride in almost two years, with some flowers. Have you seen a flower vase for a bike before? A friend of mine gave it to me but I had never really used it before, now it was the right time! I just love that vase, such a great feeling to have some flowers whereever you go. There is a crazy potter in the north of Germany who came up with that idea. He likes "bike vases, the arctic, pottery and pencils", sounds like a great chap, right?! You can get the vases here. (German site) And there are some wonderful pictures of bike vases on his site as well.

Have a wild weekend!!!


  1. That's so funny - I moved from a small village near Wuppertal to Oldenburg a couple of years ago and only here I really got into this biking-thing (because nearly nobody is into biking as an adult in the Bergisches Land due to it's, well, undulating landscape - to put it mildly.). If I were to move back I think I would really miss it. Every time I visit my mother it just feels wrong to go by car for distances I'd normally cover by bike.
    Unfortunately I don't have much advice to offer on how to remove the black grease from under your nails. Playing around with sticky stuff such as modelling clay might help but I haven't really tried it yet. If it doesn't come of, wear it with pride. Hey, it might actually be a good conversation starter and you get the chance to brag about repairing that bike (almost) on your own.
    Love that vase! Here in Oldenburg flowers on the handlebars are just the thing - mainly artificial ones. But I like the idea of real flowers a lot better.

    My apologies for writing such a novel, I guess I got a bit carried away...
    ... and switching to English... well, as they say:'If you don't use it, you'll loose it', right? =)

  2. Stupid me! I forgot to add that I've seen some guys around here on a man's bike with a kids seat attached to the handlebar. I have no idea how safe that might be, but it sure is a lot easier to get off the bike without knotting your legs or get bruises in most unpleasant places.

    1. Hey Svenja, that is very funny indeed. You are living in Oldenburg now? So we kind of swaped placed, right :-)
      I am happy to hear that the Oldenburg-Bike-Fever has caught you also. And thanks for the tip with the clay for the nails. I think that should acctually work! So far I have worn it with pride ;-)
      I was thinking about the handlebar too but the bikesellers I have talked to all tried to talk me out of that idea because the kid would actually be your airbag... I don't know. Maybe I jsut have to get another ladys bike also...

  3. Oh, von so einem Fahrrad träume ich schon ewig... nur, hier oben, ist ein Fahrrad einfach... sinnfrei :(
    Aber wer weiß, vielleicht leg ich mir trotzdem eins zu. Ich kann es ja auch bergauf schieben ;)
    Alles Liebe. maria
    P.S. Hast du Möglichkeit an Huflattichblüten zu kommen? Wenn nicht, dann schick mir doch deine Adresse - in ca. 6 Wochen könnt ich dir ein Fläschchen der Tinktur schicken, wenn du magst!

    1. Im Ernst Maria? Das ist sooo toll!!! Ich freu mich riesig und schreib dir gleich :-)

  4. oh my gesche what an awesome post! its good i waited to read all the way through, because when i saw that first photo with the bike vase i was going straight to email you! i love it and as soon as i say goodbye to you here i'm off to explore those links. thank you.

    how special to have your grandfathers bike, i love the dutch bikes so much. in fact as soon as i returned from holland a few years ago i looked everywhere here for a similar model. i love that you tried to repair it yourself, i couldn't have done any of what you did, so yes! be proud. maybe try a little lemon juice to remove the grease. and if you lived at the beach i would tell you to run your hands through the sand, that can be effective.

    hooray that your riding again (carefully, those mens bars can be a bit tricky)
    and aaron is SO cute!
    xxx lori

  5. I loooove your bike vase. So clever, and so beautiful.

    Hier in England sind Fahrradwege ein Fremdwort leider, aber ich habe ein paar gute Wege gefunden, wo ich mit Kaya radeln kann. Wir haben einen Kindersitz der auf der Stange sitzt (bzw bei meinem Rad auf einer extra angebrachten Stange zwischen Sattel und Lenker.
    K ist super happy damit, weil er sehen kann was so los ist.

    Happy cycling!

    1. Genau, das werde ich auch versuchen, man kann sie Sitze für vorne nur leider kaum noch finden, aber bei Ebay gibt es sie noch...
      :-) Happy cycling you too!

  6. Oh wundervoll, das macht gute Laune:) und erinnert mich immer an Münster..ja Münster die Fahrradstadt, wie lieb ich sie:)
    Danke für deine lieben lieben Worte!!

    1. Ohja, Münster ist noch mal ne andere Liga. Nathan und ich machen uns immer den Spaß, wenn wir von Oldenburg nach Köln fahren, mit dem Wochenendticket, und in Münster umsteigen, einmal vor dem Bahnhof die endlosen Schwärme von Rädern zu bewundern :-)

  7. Hier in Holland heißen die Hollandfahrräder überigens 'Omafietsen' :)

    Schön, dass du wieder zu den Radfahrern gehörst, da macht der Frühling doch gleich doppelt so viel Spaß, oder?