No Bike? No Way!
Student and tutor Marlene (23) on her impressions and ideas as a cyclist.
Marlene, you prefer a bike as your means of transport. Why?
A bike is a fast and inexpensive way of getting around. And it does me good to get a bit of exercise after uni, for example. I save on going to the gym and it’s fun.
What do you like most about cycling?
What I like best about cycling in the city is getting from A to B quickly. There’s no waiting, unlike with public transport. With the bike, I don’t have to worry how many minutes I have to wait for the tram. I just ride off. And when I go cycling at home (I’m actually from the countryside), it’s a great contrast. Especially in summer, when I want to ride to the lake or along the river.
And if you had a choice, which city would be your favourite for cycling?
Hmm … maybe somewhere in Iceland. I think Iceland’s great. Where I wouldn’t feel safe as a cyclist would be in Los Angeles or Barcelona. LA isn’t for cyclists who want to get to their destination in less than three hours. The promenade along the beach in Santa Monica would be the only place I’d choose to ride a bike there (laughs).
Talking about pleasure … hot bodies on even hotter bikes – which one do you look at?
Now that’s a question! Oh well. In that case, I’d be looking at the people more than the bike. My own bike is purely functional, an old hack. I don’t care what it looks like, so long as it works. You can see that in the photo. Me and my shocking pink rust bucket (laughs). It may not be the latest and greatest model, but it’s been checked and tested and rides perfectly.
If I didn’t have a bike, then …?
… then I’d have to get one double quick! Without a bike, I’d be stuck, especially over long distances or in out-of-the-way places.
What do you think: what incentives need to be provided for cyclists?
I find the situation quite good in Graz. There are bicycle lanes and safe bike paths. That could all be expanded, of course.
And what would be really great would be the possibility for students to get a free service somewhere once or twice a year. That would definitely encourage more people to cycle in future.
Speaking of the future: what useful invention do you think is still missing for bikes?
The bicycle is actually the perfect means of transport. But what would be really cool in the distant future would be a roof integrated into the handlebars. If it rained, you could press a button and the roof would pop out. Like in a convertible. Anyone like me who’s lived for any time in Ireland knows: first you have to ride or drive of the left and second you can never be sure it won’t rain. There’d be a gap in the market In Austria, too. And I think it would be super if you could get self-pumping bicycle tyres. Bikes that do it themselves.