Tuesday, February 3, 2009

They Strike, I Bike (or "The Tragic Tale of Floyd the Fahrrad")

Today, the union of public transit workers incited a "Warnstreik" all across Bayern. It made me realize just how dependent we are on public transit—I literally had no idea how I was going to get to work. All the ubahn and trams were out of service—the busses were running on a limited schedule.

In the end, after much consideration of my options (taxi, walking for 1.5 hours, limited and unreliable bus service…) I decided to shake the ice off of good old Floyd, my neon pink (and nearly rusted through) bike.

Floyd is a relic from my very first weeks in Germany and represents my first successful German language purchase (which consisted of pantomiming "brakes", "gears" and "lights".) He is, as his name would suggest, pink. You may recall from this post.

But Floyd's adventures have taken a toll. The gears are broken, the handbrake cable snapped and hangs dangerously frayed (and has cut me numerous times) which leaves me only with my kickback brakes, and the luggage carrier which supports my basket has lost a bolt and so it clangs around dangerously on the left side.

But he served his purpose this morning and got me all the way down Lindwurmstraße past various fruit vendors, including one selling oranges for 49 cents a kilo out of a stolen shopping cart, through Sendlinger Tor Platz, down the hill whizzing past the new Jewish Museum and past the Neue Rathhaus and the Opera, through Odeonsplatz at the foot of the Theatinerkirche and up Leopoldstraße all the way to my office building directly at the Siegestor.

And it was like tugging me out of my Winterschlaf. Munich! Outside! At its most beautiful and lively! Luckily, the weather was (slightly) warmer than usual and the roads were dry. I really enjoyed it and felt part of Munich's urban outdoors once again.

My next goal: buy a new bike (sorry, Floyd..)

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