This winter, I only met a few bikers and felt rather deserted on the cyclist’s paths. The snow on the roads was often untouched, or else there was just one solitary track in front of me. As opposed to this, the cars often stood waiting in the traffic jams on the streets along the cyclist’s path, polluting the air.
In a way, this seems strange to me. To be sure, it is more strenuous to go by bike in winter. Once in a while, it gets really cold. But mostly you arrive at your destination after a reasonably short time, and then you can warm up nicely. When skiing, people remain in the cold all day long and think it is just wonderful.
Going by bike in winter is truly enjoyable. The reason might be the white landscape or the delight in one’s own dexterity or the fact that you feel all this frozen nature around you. Or maybe it is a combination of all those factors.
Consequently, I am on vacation at least twice a day in winter time (once on the way to work, and then back again). The extra time spent on the way is surprisingly little, because going by bike, even slightly longer distances (10 to 15 kilometres) takes hardly longer than with other means of transportation.
And I can take really good advantage of this time, too. Neither public transportation, nor driving a car would make it possible for me to prepare in such an excellent way for my discussions (after all, they are an essential part of my work). What are my conversational partners’ interests? What are their expectations and their needs? What is it they especially appreciate and is there, perhaps, something they do not like about me? How can I convince them that what I have to offer them is something they need? Which of my arguments will they take up? How can I break the ice (if there is ice to break)? What exactly do I want?
And there is no better way for thinking about all those things than while leisurely riding a bike on a solitary cyclist’s path through snow and sunshine (or else fog and snow).
(Translated by EG)
P.S. Incidentally, there is a surprisingly huge number of really beautiful roads you discover over time as you ride through a busy city like Munich. Or is this because Munich, after all, is still a village?