Equipped with Bikes, Trikes, and Alikes
A new bike around the time of the twelfth birthday is not only a tradition, it is simply "a must" among the young folk. It is no more and no less than a celebration on the occasion of reaching an age, when one is allowed to sit on the front passenger seat in the car, included in the circle of those watching more interesting films at the movie theater and especially permitted to ride a bicycle on his or her own out in the streets. A long awaited age limit for being let loose in the urban jungle, which can be quite dangerous though. A milestone in growing up, only matched by the age of 16, when the first spritzer (wine mixed with sparkling water) may officially run down one's throat. But that is a different story...
Having all the other family members equipped with two wheels, it was time for me to dig out my old bike, which I had so proudly received as a present for my own twelfth birthday, brush off the spiders and pump up these old tires, see whether they wouldn't explode under my weight. But guess what, the old bicycle was too small for me, my knees started to hurt from riding it after a while and so time came to say good-bye to another part of childhood memories and look for a new iron-donkey. (Or how would you translate the German word "Drahtesel"?)
Over the years we have collected lots of miles & kilometers on bikes. We have gone places by bike, in and outside of town, even rode it through a McDrive. Unexpectedly seeing us on bicycles, not in a car, the employees at the McDonald's drive-thru were laughing and so were we. Another example of thinking out of the box, I suppose.
In some of the nearby pictures you can see us preparing for a typical biker tour. We were just getting ready for another rapid cycling trip in Austria: Half an hour pedaling through the green prairie, one hour sitting at a tavern, while it would be raining. And then back again with black pudding power and (miniature-)cream cake strength... Or as one would say in German: "Und dann mit Blunzn-Power und (Mini)Cremeschnitten-Kraft retour."