Tag Archives: bicycles

Münster – town of bicycles

We spent yesterday in Münster, helping eldest daughter move into her new super-shiny new studio apartment.

We drove the van with all her worldly goods across town, while she rode her bicycle to her new home.

In Münster bicycles are the main form of transport. There are more bicycles than cars. I sometimes wonder whether there aren’t actually more bicycles than people. You can judge the popularity of certain locations by the number of bikes parked outside. In fact approaching certain buildings can be a bit of an obstacle course as you have to negotiate your way around bikes chained to every lamppost, tree and “Fahrräder hier nicht abstellen” sign.

, from Wikimedia Commons”]What particularly impressed me, though, in the town of bicycles was the ready availability of bike-repair equipment at all times of the day and night. An evening stroll through one of the streets adjacent to our daughter’s new place revealed a late night bike workshop and a “Schlauchomat“, a 24 hour inner-tube vending machine, catering for all the main sizes and gauges of tyre.

 

The only downside, obviously,  is that that puts paid to the most obvious excuse for missing the first lecture of the morning!

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Filed under About Germany, children in germany, german education, Life in Germany

Don’t take your child to school by car in Germany

School started again in Northrhine Westphalia this week – and as usual the local papers are exhorting parents not to drive their children to school by car.

Doing the school run by car exposes children to multiple dangers in Germany it seems. Not only will your child miss out on vital daily exercise, which would be incurred by walking or cycling, but also their social development will be impaired. Making your way to school independently is a first key step in developing independence and responsibility.

But more than this, the sheer volume of traffic around the school gates when parents insist on using the car, means that other children are endangered by having to negotiate busy roads and distracted drivers.

How different this is from the UK where many primary school children are not allowed to cycle to school or even make the journey on their own because of parental fears of abduction or bullying.

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Filed under About Germany, children in germany, Life in Germany