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28 Apr 2010

My first Spezi

After a lot of travelling, on foot and woodie kickboard and by train, I arrive at the Spezi in Germersheim just after half past six. My colleagues have already done a lot of work on the booth, number 20a in hall 2. It's filled with ten bikes. Four will stay there all weekend and six will have to withstand 2 days at the test track. It's already very clear that this is German territory, and I like it. Everything is well organized. There appears to be a system and things are tidy.

Another thing I like about my big neighbour on the east is the price of food in a restaurant. You can have a very good meal for under €20. That's including a dessert and two drinks. Saturday evening was the highlight of this weekend when I'm talking about food. I had a delicious oven dish with a lot of veggies. I shared the table with people from different companies. Amongst them was a woman with the most charming French accent I've ever heard.

My hotel room was the latest of the latest the hotel had to offer. But it had a bed, a tv and a shower down the hall. It was clean and cheap, so you won't hear me complain. Not even the fact that it was nearly a hundred metre away from the actual hotel itself, could ruin my happiness that I had a proper place to sleep, for so little money.

Saturday came a little earlier than wanted, but a good breakfast solved the problem of feeling a little sleepy. I spend most of my day at the test track. Helping out people getting started and giving information about the Nazca recumbents. It was very sunny and I made the mistake not to bring suncream. Thanks to on of my colleagues I did had suncream on the next day. But it felt like I did something very useful. Seeing people running towards one of your bikes bring a smile to your face. And although my German isn't as good as it used to be, I was able to answer most questions and have a conversation with potential customers.

After all that work it was time to look around at the rest of the Spezi. Not before I had a jummy pancake with strawberry jam. On top of my 'must see list' was the Greenspeed Glyde velomobile. I saw it and have so much to say about it that I'll make a seperate post about it tomorrow. Not only are there many bikes to see, there's also quite a display of special accessories. I bought myself a pair of special socks. They proved to be so comfortable on Sunday, that I bought another pair that day. Not everything is fantastic. I also saw things that I just didn't understand. Some didn't seem to make any sense, or where unnecessary complicated. But than again, it's always nice to see different things.

A lot of modern velomobiles still lack a proper protected chain like in a Quest or Mango. Maybe it's because those designers like to clean chains? The Milan and Evo 3 do have that essential feature, but their rear swing arms could possible smash your precious luggage. I also saw un-tubed chains that offered the possibly to shave your legs and lube your skin whilst riding. Apart from the fact that it's huge (but that was the original idea) the Velayo could be a good one. Well made, reasonably light, protected chain and practical.

I won't describe anything I saw. I did make photos of things that had my attention. Feel free to browse through my picasa album and ask questions I could possibly answer.

Sunday was quite similar to Saturday, but it had a short bike ride at the end. And there's nothing better than a recumbent ride after a long and warm day of standing and walking. I had ice cream with whipped cream on top for dessert and more whipped cream on my chocolate milk later in the evening. Apple juice was another favourite of mine this weekend. Without cream, but in a total volume of about 2.5 litre.

Monday, time to go home after a busy, successful and fun weekend. My three wheeled toy proofed itself again this day. It is easy to carry on board the trains and is a welcome addition to the otherwise boring walks to and from train stations. 

More post will follow about: a short video about Spezi, the Glyde, travelling with the ICE train, and maybe something about whipped cream.

4 comments:

  1. i also wonder why the chain is often unprotected, i think it is harder to design the entire chainline protected and to actually install the chain when the entire length is protected. Besides, it adds weight ;-)

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  2. Everything you say is true. But it's wonderful that my Mango's chain is almost as good as new after about 24,000km in all kinds of weather, including snow. The only caring being a drop of oil every 500km or so. It has never been cleaned, and I never have to worry about my chain, even during winter. My previous vm had an unprotected chain, and it needed cleaning every week.

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  3. uh oh. Every week. Maybe i should consider my purchase once again. Which vm was your previous precious ;-)

    I was hoping i could fix part of the problem by putting a Rohloff on it, because it does not extend so near the ground as a derailure, and is probably easier to fully enclose should there be a need for that.

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  4. I had a beautiful white Flevobike Alleweder, but the type of vm doesn't matter. Rear wheels just throw around a lot of sand, water and, during winter, salt. And everything finds it's way to the tiniest bit of exposed chain.

    A Rohloff is a good step towards an enclosed chain, just because the chain is easier to wrap in. Chaintubes as long as possible and some sort of removable casing around the sprocket. Perhaps half a 'Hebie Chainglider' will do the job. The chain tensioner can have a place right behind the crankset.

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