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Old 09-07-06, 01:33 PM   #1
centexwoody
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Pie in the Sky: the Euroview

Okay, so now that I'm here in Bonn, following the advice of BFers:

I looked around at 4 different bike shops & actually bought myself a new bike:
It is a Cube brand built in Munich (or thereabouts), aluminum frame cross-bike with 3-rings upfront, 9 on RD, 26x125 tires, straight bars, Shimano Deore gears. Weighs less than 25 lbs (maybe?)

Had to do some adjustments to the 62 cm available on sale for 399 euros. This is the MOST I've ever paid for a bike and my most expensive purchase for something personal since I turned 50. But it is a handsome steed. Added barends, plastic MTB fenders, salvaged a rusty rack off the pile of old bikes rusting outside my bldg & owned by our program sponsors. Worry about getting flats and now having my wife to call on the cellphone for pickup (yes, that's a weenie attitude from the safety of home, I know). The bike at first rode funny with the front tire feeling out of round. Upon examination, the tire had not been seated properly in the rim with too much caught down inside the rim edge. Deflating it, massaging the tire, re-inflating got most of it then I rode it gingerly back to the bike shop where they finally fixed it.

Have been relying on a bike trail map published by the Northrhein-Westphalia 'Landesvermessungsamt' or state survey commission for the Rhein-Sieg-Kreis. Metric scale 1:50,000 'Blaue Reihe'. Taken a number of rides and also use an on-line route & distance calculator from the state's bike website:

http://www.radroutenplaner.nrw.de/RRP_karte_02.html

which shows anywhere in NRW, particularly in the Freistadte Bonn, a windowing program, a way to calculate the distance of any ride (with up to 9 waypoints) and gives the climbing profile of any proposed ride. Very cool website once you get used to it. Not available in English, sorry, but if anyone needs translations, will be pleased to provide them in this thread or via PM.

Last weekend rode around 30 miles through the local Kottenforst which has miles & miles of 8' wide asphalt paths as well as gravel paths through a beautiful managed forest. This weekend I'm going to venture onto the train with my bike to visit Aachen and maybe ride across Limburg into Belgium to visit a garden at Alden Biesen (http://www.alden-biesen.be/enpaginas/index.php)

Buying a German bike has made me 'invisible' as a tourist and there are a surprising number of cyclists who are now wearing helmets (contrary to previous intimations that this would mark one as a foreignere). At least most of those dressed for speed and exercise are wearing them. 90% of course are cruising along on their commuter cycles in working clothes.

When I figure out how to post some photos (mine all seem to be too large for BF to accept) then will share with this group. My new bike is fine, fine, fine & I don't know why I waited so long to treat myself to a new bike. The ol' Giant steel-framed MTB back in Tx seems clunky by comparison. Riding 30 miles on the aluminum frame was so much easier!

Have tried getting my students interested in riding. Severeal have borrowed bikes from their host families & ride them to their respective trainstops to commute in for class. They've not done any longer rides yet but perhaps this weeekend. Ride for Pie has, so far, appeared to be a 'foreign concept'. 1st they thought someone would give them a pie if they rode 15 miles (I had to offer to buy them pie). Then they wanted to know just WHO made up this Ride for Pie day & I had to confess that a bunch of ol' f*rts scattered across the globe who mostly only knew each other on line (they at least understood it like some kind of weird cycling 'World of Warcraft' group). Then they wanted to know how long this tradition had been going & I once again explained that this was the inaugural year. Relatively unimpressed, they were...the attractions of Paris, Friburg, Cologne, Amsterdam on weekends seem to draw them more strongly but then one can never understand the motivations of youth these days .

Tom
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Old 09-07-06, 06:58 PM   #2
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I am envious. I was born in Wuppertal, NW and lived there until age 23. My wife was born in Oberhausen, NW. We have been back there a number of times but never enough. Please post pictures. Denver Fox may assist you with the posting if you ask him nicely.
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Old 09-07-06, 07:51 PM   #3
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OK, what is this? Das Deutsche Uber Funfzig Gericht???
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Old 09-07-06, 08:05 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by centexwoody
Okay, so now that I'm here in Bonn, following the advice of BFers:


Buying a German bike has made me 'invisible' as a tourist and there are a surprising number of cyclists who are now wearing helmets (contrary to previous intimations that this would mark one as a foreignere). At least most of those dressed for speed and exercise are wearing them. 90% of course are cruising along on their commuter cycles in working clothes.
Never thought of a domestic bike as a good disguise. That would mean I'd have to get an Italian bike in Italy, a British bike in Great Britian, etc. I'm suddenly seeing the advantage of extensive travel.

On another note. Wouldn't it be grand if there were that many folks in the US who were riding on a daily basis?

Sounds like you're having a great visit. And, Yes, pictures as soon as you can!
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Old 09-07-06, 08:15 PM   #5
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Here is how you post a photo.
Sign on to Photobucket.com
upload a photo
copy link to thread
"IMG"http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v641/flufey_is_cute/volpe2.jpg"/IMG"
This is the link to the photo below change quotes to []
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Old 09-07-06, 08:48 PM   #6
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Hey, this works great. We can just keep posting this photo from now on!
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Old 09-07-06, 09:06 PM   #7
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Now you have got the idea.
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Old 09-07-06, 09:15 PM   #8
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Now you have got the idea.
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Old 09-08-06, 03:18 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NOS88
Never thought of a domestic bike as a good disguise. That would mean I'd have to get an Italian bike in Italy, a British bike in Great Britian, etc. I'm suddenly seeing the advantage of extensive travel.

On another note. Wouldn't it be grand if there were that many folks in the US who were riding on a daily basis?

Sounds like you're having a great visit. And, Yes, pictures as soon as you can!
British bike in Britain? They are too damned expensive- or at the other end- as Cheap as chips.(And just as nasty). In fact - I have just heard that there is no European mass producer of Frames now. There are still the smaller manufacturers of course, but most frames are now made in Taiwan. Apparantly- the last volume european producer of frames sold all of their manufacturing equipment to the eastern block or somewhere just as daft.

399 Euros for a bike? That is European economy for you. The cube bikes are not a brand I know, but it is german, and the engineering of that country is normally superb. Apparantly they do make some good MTB's. So you have a bike that none of us know- in a country that not many of us visit and still no pictures. Never mind- You can learn how to do that on your nights off.

It may be quicker to send the pics as an attachment, and I do that within Windows XP. If you save the pictures into a folder on your computer, and in my computer- open up the file and just click on the picture- On the LH side of the screen you can E-Mail the file you have clicked on. Click on E-Mail this file and it will come up with a screen in which you can make the pictures smaller. "OK" That and it will come up with an E-mail with the picture as an attachment and hopefully it will be below 100kbs so you can send it as an attachment to 50+. Open the picture in your photo viewer and save the file - say on your desktop. you can then access it to send in the attach files section of your reply.

If you still find difficulty in doing that- Then send DG a PM and get him to explain to you how to do it. If that does not confuse you- then Get him to make up a powerpoint presentation for you. If you still have problems- Get one of your 12 year old students to do it for you. Computers and programming the micro wave seem to be their speciality.
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Old 09-08-06, 03:28 PM   #10
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search for irfanview.com (free and very useful in other ways) which allows you to resize to any size you would like, and then to save the picture to any degree of compression needed.

I use irfanview.com to resize all of the pictures in the Rogue's Gallery - some of them come to me in huge multi megabyte files about 15 inches across! I resize to 450 pixels wide and about 40-50 kilobytes.

Or, send them to me, and I will post for you, or use the suggested links to photobucket or some other web page.

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Old 09-08-06, 04:05 PM   #11
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If you still find difficulty in doing that- Then send DG a PM and get him to explain to you how to do it. If that does not confuse you- then Get him to make up a powerpoint presentation for you.
Hey!
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Old 09-08-06, 07:16 PM   #12
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This is a good thread. I get to Germany from time to time, and the most I've ever done is gone skiing - silly me! Maybe I can find a nice carbon Isaac (well Brit/German) in the Munich area. I've had no trouble finding beer in the Munich area, so bikes should be easy as well. German beer in Germany - good, Brit beer in Britland, good, American beer in the US, good, Australian beer in the Great Oz - ptooie! Maybe their bikes are better...I did get a good cycling jersey from Jones Cycles in Brisbane though!
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Old 09-08-06, 07:16 PM   #13
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While waiting for my real job to start, I've been working as a wrench and sales guy at a local bike shop during the summer. The guy that manages the shop has been in the business for about 30 years. We recently sold a couple of bikes to a British couple. They flew in, picked up the bikes, and left to do some touring around BC and the Pacific Northwest, then fly home with the bikes. My friend the bike shop manager says that they'll probably sell the bikes in England. Evidently, bikes are way cheaper in North America (for equivalent quality) than in Europe.

In fact, the manager (who often travels to Europe, as he's originally from Denmark), will often take a new bike with him to Europe, ride around on it during his stay, and sell it before he leaves, often paying for his trip this way. He has no problem selling the bike, either. He just mentions to his friends that he's interested in selling the bike, and they just say, "fine, let me know when you're leaving, I'll buy it." (Of course, these are generally bikes built in Canada, probably in the $1200-1500 range.)

- L.
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Old 09-09-06, 12:18 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by lhbernhardt
While waiting for my real job to start, I've been working as a wrench and sales guy at a local bike shop during the summer. The guy that manages the shop has been in the business for about 30 years. We recently sold a couple of bikes to a British couple. They flew in, picked up the bikes, and left to do some touring around BC and the Pacific Northwest, then fly home with the bikes. My friend the bike shop manager says that they'll probably sell the bikes in England. Evidently, bikes are way cheaper in North America (for equivalent quality) than in Europe.

In fact, the manager (who often travels to Europe, as he's originally from Denmark), will often take a new bike with him to Europe, ride around on it during his stay, and sell it before he leaves, often paying for his trip this way. He has no problem selling the bike, either. He just mentions to his friends that he's interested in selling the bike, and they just say, "fine, let me know when you're leaving, I'll buy it." (Of course, these are generally bikes built in Canada, probably in the $1200-1500 range.)

- L.

I know there is transport to pay for, and we also have an import duty, but a $2,000 bike in the U.S will sell for 2,000 in the UK. As the Exchange rate is around 1.85- that puts the UK price at around $3,700. That is a heck of a lot of profit for someone, and a con for the buyers. It is not only on the bikes- The anciliaries like lights are the same ratio. I have just aquired a good set of lights- or will have today when I pick them up, and it is a British manufacturer. With the exchange rates going the wrong way for you- I cannot see many of you paying 300 for a top rate front light- when that equates to $550 for a product you do not know. I have the problem in that the top US lights Will cost around $1,000 for one that you will pay $500. Then there is the problem of warranty- With a big company like Cannondale- the company will honour the Warranty worldwide- but you try to find a UK shop that will do the warranty on a product that they did not sell. "Sorry mate- take it back to the shop where you bought it"
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Old 09-09-06, 03:10 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NOS88
... get an Italian bike in Italy, a British bike in Great Britian, etc. ...
Hmm ... I hear there is a nice bike path through Austria, along the Danube.
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Old 09-09-06, 03:20 PM   #16
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