Why Three Bikes Are Sometimes Not Enough for Cycling
Dietmar, our CTO, has become a real cycle enthusiast since he joined our team last summer. As a convinced car driver and motorbike rider, he has taken responsibility for the technical issues at BikeCityGuide. “Riding my bike again reminds me of my childhood and how much fun it was!” he says.
Still, when I asked Dietmar to take his bike with him while visiting Munich and Zurich in 2012, he was quite surprised. “Taking your bike with you when travelling might be as normal for you as putting your toothbrush in your suitcase, but not for me,” he replied, shaking his head. “Of course I bring my toothbrush as well, but if you asked me to choose, I’d have to think hard,” was my only logical response. On our way from Graz to Munich, we discovered that it’s a question of habit as well as of imagination. If you don’t imagine the potential of something, it can be hard to consider all subsequent possibilities.
Munich was our first destination. Rumours were circulating that we might be a winner of the Galileo Award at this year’s European Satellite Navigation Competition, so we loaded our bikes into Dietmar’s car and arranged a lift for Mihai (our Lead Developer & Algorithmic Director) in Salzburg. When we picked him up, we had to rearrange our stuff. It was not until then that I noticed I’d left the front wheel of my bike in front of our office when we left Graz more than two hours before. Riding your bike on the back wheel is of course possible, but I prefer to ride mine on both wheels. What to do? I didn’t want to have it stolen, so what could I do? I called a friend from the Graz messenger collective PinkPedals (www.pinkpedals.at) and was really relieved when some minutes later he replied that it would cost me at least a six pack to collect my retrieved wheel from their office a few days later. Now everything was sorted out and we could start our trip.
The weather was perfect when we arrived in Munich – one last warm and sunny day at the end of October. So, let’s go for a ride and enjoy Munich on bike! I called Beni, a former colleague, and asked him if he could lend me a front wheel. Beni worked as a messenger for several years and now runs a bicycle store. He created urban cycling tours in Munich for our app. I borrowed Dietmar’s front wheel and rode along the river guided by BikeCityGuide on cycle lanes all the way down to Beni’s bike store. As I finished fitting my new wheel with tube and tyre, things were getting late. Again, a messenger was needed to save my bacon by getting the other front wheel back to Dietmar so we would both arrive at the ESNC convention on time.
And here’s the happy ending. We received an award as Austrian regional winner of the 2012 European Satellite Navigation Competition (worth €10,000) and soon after had a great weekend in Zurich.
Daniel “Niño” Kofler
Image © Bike Citizens
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