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8 May 2011

Spezi, the weekend

It's just before 9 in the morning on Saturday when I ride to Germersheim. Only 5km or so, that's wasn't too much for my ankle. I spend most of this day at the test ride area, working. Every half an hour a new group of people is allowed on the track. They've often waited quite some time, and are eager to try out as much 'bents as possible. Some know exactly what they're looking for. Others don't have a clue. Some just want fun. The level of experience varies from absolutely zero (even below that), up to being an experienced dealer.

I saw 130kg man trying to ride a 'bent set up for 1.6m short females. Seeing short people trying to climb onto a obviously way too tall and big bike is also no exception. The scary category doesn't know how derailleurs work. Some people better stay away from bikes in general. But, in the middle of this mayhem, good things happen. People find the bike of their dreams, or successfully ride for the first time, and really enjoy that. On the photo you (could) see a Pioneer.

Near the end of the day I did a quick check of what was to see at the rest of Spezi. Walking was a problem, so I didn't go for long. Like in 2010, I bought something to eat at the food stand. Russian Pelmeni are worth becoming a tradition for me.

For me, there just wasn't enough time to see everything. I missed the Rotovelo. I didn't ride in the Evo K. (drool....) So maybe, I should ride to another special bike show. Preferably less than 600km from Assen. With time to see and try everything. Now I'd 'done' Spezi in under an hour.

Speaking of riding 600km, I wasn't able to ride back home. Luckily, the 'bent world is a small world. A man from Challenge Recumbents had some space left in his van, enough for a big red Pioneer. He gave me the hint to ask Radical Design if they had a spare seat for me. They had :-) My ride home was arranged. One worry less that was. Going home by train was possible, yes. But that would have cost me dearly, and would have been quite an expedition too. The Nazca van already was full with bikes and other luggage.

On Saturday evening, I had dinner with a whole group of 'Aussteller'. I choose patatoes with asparagus and melted butter. Conversations jumped in all directions. It's good to talk about something different after a whole day at an exhibition. Dessert was something I'd been waiting for half a week, chocolate-milk with icecream and whipped cream.

Sunday starts with breakfast, just like every other day. The rest of the day was new. I gave Lobbes to the man with the van, Dirk. I'd re-unite with my Pioneer on Wednesday, in the outdoor shop where Dirk works. I spent most of Sunday in the Nazca stand in hall 2. Answering, explaining questions and things, talking with people I know. No easy task, but I managed, I think. German is my 3th language and I rarely have the need to use it.

The little spare time I had where spent in hall 1 mainly. I visited Sinner and admired the Evo K. I sat in it. The only thing that doesn't suit me is the €11.000 price tag. That machine is definitely worth a blog post. At Icletta, i said hello to Kirk, bought some Green Oil and a Cage Rocket. Meeting some fellow 'bentriders is always nice, especially when you don't expect them. Wim and Frank dropped by and, more important, Willemijn too. And in between everything going on, some other stand holders found time to drop by as well.

At 6, Spezi ended, and the big exodus began. I couldn't carry stuff. I'd arranged a pair of crutches to get around today. Luckily a, if all goes well, near future customer helped us out. One member of the Nazca team had been sick all day, and didn't leave his hotel room all day. And with one man down, not many where left.

I left Germersheim just after 7. Together with the people from Radical Design. We had dinner in a good roadside restaurant. My right foot was on a pile of bags to keep it high. We arrived at Radical hq. at 2:30am. After a glass of milk and the brushing of my teeth, I went to sleep. They had a spare bed. At this time, just a blanket would have been enough for me.

The original idea was to cover the final 20km homewards by buss. Judging the size of my ankle, I was offered a drive home. Not before I paid a quick visit to the sewing studio, where a lot of special recumbent bags are made. With that, a remarkable weekend had come to an end. So I was home 3 days early. That felt odd. All I could do now was rest, type and wait.

more photos here.

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