One-Way from Central Europe to Sweden by Bike
When Julian (27) is not doing a bike tour through Europe, he devotes himself to the study of telematics - unless of course one of his mates invites him to go mounting biking or road cycling. For the self-declared eco-freak, cycling contributes to the quality of life of all of us
What do you like most about cycling and how many bikes do you have?
I think it’s the fastest way to build up your physical strength and that’s what is very cool about cycling. I’ve got four bikes: a city bike, a touring bike, a racing bike and a mountain bike, but a friend’s got the city bike at the moment.
How often do you go cycling and how many kilometres do you cover on average?
That depends on the season. In the city, it’s about five kilometres a day but if the weather’s warm, then I ride at least 200-300 km a week – that’s when my racing bike gets used. I also go out on the mountain bike, but that’s only for short distances.
What was the longest bike tour you did?
During my stay abroad, I rode 1,700 km with three Swedish friends, from Graz to Sweden. We were on touring bikes and stayed overnight at camp sites during the trip.
What’s the bike infrastructure like in Graz?
Middling. Cyclists are taken into consideration, but I don’t find the infrastructure particularly good. I’ve been spoiled by Scandinavia. There, the bike paths are twice as wide and you have the feeling as a road user that you’re given more consideration and respect. In Graz, you always have the feeling that there’s a chasm between those who only cycle and those who only take the car. Those who do both and see the situation from both sides are perhaps a little more understanding.
Your message for other cyclists and car drivers?
You have to lower the temperature a bit between car drivers and cyclists. Things often get very heated down here. And it is a fact that cyclists contribute to a better quality of life: the more cyclists there are on the roads, the lower the gas emissions and the healthier you become indirectly because you get more physical exercise. Car driving is also justified if you have things to transport.
What does the city of the future look like?
Lots of cars driving around without drivers. And lots more bike riders. Maybe the cars can also carry bikes. It’s getting warmer, meaning you can go by bike more time during the year, and people are coming to realise that cycling is simply more convenient. You do notice that cyclist numbers are on the increase.
What useful invention do you think is still missing for bikes?
The puncture-less tyre that really doesn’t go flat!