In Karlsruhe, the baron’s birthplace, local bike shop owner Martin Hauge rides around town on a rebuilt draisine in full period costume: tails, high collar and top hat.Not to be outdone, Mannheim has put together a programme of exhibitions and events to mark the anniversary, from bike dressage shows to a mobile bike cinema (with electricity provided by bicycles).Holiday destinations and road trip routes are chosen based on proximity to the nearest bike park or trail centre.
We also need to be at the airport extra early to check in the bike and call the airline at least once before the travel date to confirm the bike luggage and car seat have both been registered in the system correctly and have a spot on the flight.
Quite the opposite: from Ireland’s successful city bikes to the ebikes that have taken Tel Aviv by storm, the bike revolution continues. “But we have no personal notes or diaries from him or questions of his character, that’s all speculation.” We know that Karl Drais was born into an aristocratic family on April 29th, 1785, in Karlsruhe.
Though his father wanted him to be a forester, Drais found his way into the inventing world in what, then as now, was the most innovative corner of Germany.
“All big German cities had bike stations like this but they vanished in the late 1950s and early 1960s,” said Prof Heiner Monheim, a German traffic expert, to SWR television.
“Now, 50 years later, we all realise we need to offer some service and, with great effort, we’re rebuilding these stations again.” Mannheim’s palpable bike renaissance is reflected all over Germany, home to an estimated 73 million bikes.