kids tricycle

Car free living – Dad’s development

I grew up as the son of a driving instructor. Yes. What you’re thinking is right. I was indeed growing up with gas running through my veins. There were times when our household had 6 cars and 8 motocycles.
I got hooked in the age of five, when a Yamaha PW50 became my first (50ccm-) kids-motocycle. With eight years I took a step up to the 80ccm version and was riding it in gravel-pits with my dad on the weekends.
There was nothing more delicious to me than the smell of a two-stroke-engine. Wait. Maybe lasagne or chocolate cake.

So it went on, but even in the land of the autobahn, there is no driving under the age of 16. And then it -maximum- is a  125ccm Machine limited to 80km/h, until you’re 18 and cars come on the plan. Therefore I rode the bicycle for my everyday mobilty. I rode my bicycle everywhere. I enjoyed my bicycle.
To kids bicycles play a big role in personal freedom and independence: they are the first mode of transportation faster than feet, that doesn’t call for parents to operate them.

In the 90s cylces became my passion. I started working in a bike shop in my hometown when I was 14 (back then that was legal; nowadays minimum age in germany to work outside the parents’ business is 16). I was going through my teenage-time there, riding Mountainbike. CrossCountry at first, shortly later I took the transition to Dual Slalom(the discipline that was later replaced by 4Cross) and Downhill-riding.
No matter what happened: bikes sticked with me. If there was no Mountain closeby, I took the 26 or 24 inch bike to the local skatepark. If there was a girl more interesting: most of the time it was temporary. But the bicycle stayed in my live (no offense).

Then I turned 16 and got myself a some-years-old 125ccm Vespa scooter. 1.5mm deep-drawing sheet steel and: a two-stroke engine. I was hooked again, by the smell of my early days. It replaced the bike. But only on everday rides. Even the cars and the motocycle, that came later didn’t manage to get me away from riding the bicycle as a sport.

I went to Heidelberg for community service after I finished school. The (DH-)Mountainbike went with me and the three of us, the car, I and the bike had a awesome time riding all those nice single-tracks and early-day bikeparks in Europe. I had a blast time, rode my bike, worked as a bartender and partied hard. Too hard. I lost my drivers licence.

I sold the stationwagon I had, and got my self an oldtimer bicylce. A “Rekord” from 1944 became my everyday ride. I was back to where I startet. Back to what I forgot, how much I loved it. Still I worked as a bartender, partied hard, sometimes too hard, but now:
I had the bike back to a 100% percent in my live and soon I forgot, what I needed a car for: A bike and a backpack was enough.

That is 10 years ago, and with every day I remember less, what all that burning fossil fuel was good for. All those taxes to pay, all those insurance-bills, all the money spent on keeping the vehicle intact and the tank filled up. All those expenses you pay in order to make you dependend on that piece of car, that eats your earnings up and transfers them into fat on your hips and legs.

In the meantime I went to University, I started working, i founded a family. All that without a car, but with minimum two bikes. And a backpack.

2014 I also got rid of that last thing that takes your freedom: the backpack. I built myself a cargobike, which was soon to be replaced by another one. With the cargobike I am independed: I can take stuff and people with me at anytime, without having to get my car, or at least my backpack beforehands… Thanks to the bike, I’m now feeling free.
I do not have to work in order to provide for a car. I can use that money on nice and healthy food. And I dont have to think about my diet, because I am working out every day. AND everyday the bicycles put a smile into my face when commuting to work.


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