Who loves his eBike?

Richard Armitage and Michael Roskam race their environmentally friendly electric bikes behind the scenes at Berlin Station, photo originally from November 2015.

This is kind of old news now, but in December of last year, the new German government was formed, [ETA} the so-called “Ampel” coalition of SPD (red) — Bündnis 90 / Die Grüne (green) — and Union (black). (It’s already having problems governing, as new Chancellor Olaf Scholz can’t get an internal consensus on vaccine mandates, but anyway.) There was a “fun report” from that day, which reminded me of our discussion of Richard Armitage’s bike preferences and the revelation that Daniel Miller was riding a FREYGEIST ebike (price back then: about $4400 USD — but it seems to have gone out of production and the firm’s instagram hasn’t updated in about five years).

This was the report: new German Minister of Food and Agriculture Cem Özdemir rode to his official installation as minister with his ebike! Özdemir is cool both as a representative of the Greens but also as the first German federal minister of “Turkish immigrant background” (he was born in Germany but his parents were both originally Turkish — Germany does not practice ius soli). He comes from the “realo” wing of the Green Party and he’s been kind of a party darling. I remember he fell out with the party years ago about his desire to arm parts of Northern Iraq, but in general he’s a poster child for the kind of Germany that forward-looking people like to see.

 

The AP reporter tweeted this photo of a news program.

 

Back to bike ride: Essentially the ministers had to travel from the former Reichstag, now Bundestag, building, where they had just voted to establish the government, to Schloß Bellevue, where the Federal President lives and works, to take their oaths and receive their certificates of office. All the other new ministers went in their limousines but Özdemir took his bike. It’s only 1.5 km, and as with most national capitals, traffic is congested and there are a lot of one-way streets. He beat everyone else there, and I gather, somehow messed up the security arrangements.

According to Bild (yes, questionable source) Özdemir was riding a Bavarian bike: the CUBE Crosshybrid, which costs about €2100. When he’s not riding it, he locks it in the bike rack right in front of the Bundestag. When asked why he took his bike, he responded that it’s healthy, and also that he gets places faster.

Which reminded me of this much-beloved song of the 1990s. Only connoisseurs ride their bikes, and they’re always there faster.

This is the song:

 

 

And here’s a version with English captions.

 

 

[sigh]. I miss biking!

~ by Servetus on January 13, 2022.

4 Responses to “Who loves his eBike?”

  1. A little confusion here, the FDP is yellow, black stands for the CDU, so it’s a “Ampelkoalition”, not a “Jamaica-Koalition”.

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  3. […] few days ago, Servetus wrote a post about a German government minister biking to his official installation as a mi… and I found myself initially thinking, “Cool! But so what?” I then immediately […]

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