Ludwig and me went to ride in the hills close to Onabrücks the other day. We were not the last two buns. But we ate them.
But let’s start at the start of the day. Ludwig and me gave our best to increase the intelectual properties of another generation and then we rode his car down to …. Ostercappeln. There was no particular reason to select this town but it provide a nice starting point for our riding plan. Which was, in short, to ride about 80 km under beautiful blue skies and in a hilly terrain. Jörg was so kind to provide us with some route suggestions in the form of GPS tracks, but once we were on teh road Ludwig wasn’t able to load them on his Garmin. This is exactly the point why I am still not in a mood to buy such device. It seems so …. inmature for the general user who doesn’t want to be bothered with technical details. Garmin reminds me of times when MS-DOS was the prevalent operating system running on computers and one has to write commands like „del ms*.*“ to proceed with works. And be very creative in devising file names as they were not allowed to be longer than 8 letters and/or numbers. Writing filenames used to be like twittering on amphetamine.
But luckily I had been in the area quite some times, first thanks to Joerg who organized some fine rides and second because we conduct a work shop in the hills behind Bad Essen once a year with new students.
So we took some small and narrow roads in direction Bad Essen. As usual I had some sights in mind that I wanted to show Ludwig. The first one ist a rather interesting Christian wayside shrine shortly after Ostercappeln that is completely hidden within some trees and some bushes.
Well, obviously it is hard to see, but inside this oversized hedge is a cross. We continued along small roads until we reached Bad Essen, which is a very nice and well conserved village with many tourist visitors. It is also the home of a company called Kesseböhmer. I assume that not too many of the reader of this blog came across the company or its product yet, but once upon a time I was working for the Japanese distributor of their products, which in turn are kitchen fittings. And as Ludwig, some years ago, decided to plan and built his own home in Tokyo, I suggested some of the fittings to him for the outfitting of his kitchen cabinets. It is not that I have anything to do with cooking or that I spend much time in the kitchen at home or of the world at all. But once upon a time in Japan, it was my job to be an expert in all kind of kitchen furniture (not appliances) and to do the day when I visit friends or relatives, I can’t resist to take a look at their kitchens and open doors and drawers.
Once, a few years ago, I was visiting the girlfriend of my best friend during university days in Aachen. We hadn’t been in contact for many years and I was really looking forward to see her and find out what happened to her. We met in our old student pub and had a grat time and then I went to her appartment. I took a look at the kitchen and it turned out to be a fittings dealer’s nightmare: Not a single cabinet, not a single drawer, no corner cabinets – nothing. Here she was, more than 20 years after graduating from university and she was still living with a kitchen designed for students. I felt immense pity for her. Life had been so unfair: She was so charming, social and intelligent and still life couldn’t provide her with a basic kitchen. Why, I aksed myself, do we live if not to make somewhat progress in our life?
Anyway, the whole episode turned out to be a huge misunderstanding, but I don not want to delve into details. Today I believe that she owns precisely the kitchen that life should have allocated to her.
In contrast to that, Ludwig is always on the lookout for the latest in technology and innovation, so he bought a Kesseböhmer LeMans fitting for his corner cabinet, a wonderful piece of kitchen technology.
OK, I agree that this isn’t even close to the technical wonder of a Campagnolo Super Record Pat. 80 rear derailleur, to name only one of many examples, but this fittings has one aspect that fascinates me: Whereas innovations like the ipad, the internet or hybrid cars couldn’t have been brought to consumers without technological breakthroughs in many areas, for example battery tchnology, hard drives minituarization and so on, what would havew prevented a fitting manufacturer to design, produce and sell something like the LeMans say 80 years ago? All the major materials like wood, metal, chrome, plastic and components such as bearings were already available during the Thierties but still it took 80 years until somebody had the idea to combine all this into a wonderful product.
As Ludwig is one of the few people among my friends who have some connections to Kesseböhmer at all as all my other friends are either Shimano or Campagnolo (Torsten and Joerg); I wanted to show him the huge Kesseböhmer facilities in Bad Essen.I had visited the plant before and I was impressed by its size. My assumption at that time was, that the manufacturing halls start at the entrance to the village, continue to run along the main streets and end at the other end of the village. This is certainly true, however Kesseböhmer is located in Dahlinghausen which is a few km away from Bad Essen. So we couldn’t find the place, turned South in Raber in order to search for the second best thing in the ares: the dinosaur tracks park.
Bsically waht happened is that soem time ago some dinosaurs got their feet dirty while walking along the muddy banks of a river, swamp or lake. The imprints were so deep that over time they filled up with dust and sand and once they were covered never disturbed again. Well there were some tectonic movements which ultimetely led to the development of the local Wiehen hills. So the plates with the dino tracks were moved up and rotated in vertical direction which explains why we can see them today as a kind of wall. Or of course it is possible that dinosaurs defied gravity some million years ago, there is so little what we know today about these creatures and movies like Jurassic Park let us know that we should not investigate too much.
Anyway, we were running along in our cycling shoes and the area was pretty muddy as well. So I imagined that maybe some thousand years later, researchers will find Ludwig and my tracks. They will marvel at the technological standard of advances pedal clip systems (Look Keo II), but also note that primitive life forms were still relying on outdated systems (Shimano SPD) when they find our tracks. How I wish I could be there!
Ludwig and me continued to ride along the Glane valley where we decided to shorten our ride, cross the ridge in direction South and move an to Linken. The landscape there is beautiful, one feels almost like in the South of Germany. Many hills, pastures and nice empty roads with beautiful old trees lined up left and right.
We took the road West towards Buer then. I was running on my last carbs and I was definitely in need of some food. Where to you get food on a Friday in the German Country side at half past two? In this respect Germany is much more „Inaka“ than Japan.
In the Seventies, when I was a child, stores were open from Monday to Friday between 8 AM and 6.30 PM. Some of the shops had lunch breaks between 1 and 3 AM. On Saturdays shops were open between 8 AM and 2 PM, sometimes even only until noon. And the first Saturday every month was designated as „Long Saturday“ and shops were open until 6 PM. All that was regulated by law. Shops were closed on Sundays. Yes, you could buy something at gas stands that were open also on weekends and holidays, but that something was better a can of oil.
I guess the main idea behind that was to protect employees and workers in the trade sector. Thus store opening times were set teh same day as working hours in a factory for example. That was finde for housewifes and kids somehow, but for the working population it was a disaster. One had to rush after work to do the necessary shopping or let everything wait for the big shopping event on a Saturday.
I am pretty sure that may people dies of hunger and starvation or because of heart attacks when they arived too late at the slosed doors of their supermarket. Well, all this has luckily changed although we are far away from the virtual timeless shopping experience of places like Japan, Hong Kong or Singapore.
Now, when I say that has changed, I mean that this has changed in the cities. German countryside is, still to this very day, very much like Germany in the Seventies. We were very lucky that we found an open bakery in Buer. It was open exactly 2 minutes after we arrived there, as we had barely missed the lunch break.
Sorry, couldn’t finde the webpage
Good. An open shop. Well, the product portfolio inside was less impressive.
Some tin cans and preserving jars. Plus coffee shop on the right.
Not much left on sales here. We were lucky as we git the last two buns. Ludwig bought an apple in addition; I opted for a piece of buttery cake. The lady in the shop although was very nice. She provided some ham and cheese and made some real nice sandwiches for us. We will keep Buer in good memory for the rest of our life – Thank you Axel Hartwig.
Actually Buer, part of Melle, was quite a nice town.
After our feast we continue to ride to the West until we reached Oldendorf. Again very nice roads and alleys. But beware of the trees!
These photos are dedicated to Tom Wielrenner who is the pioneer of high speed cycling selfie pics.
The sign reads: (beware of) tree accidents. Not sure what it means.
In Oldendorf we took the road to the North in order to traverse the ridge which is Soputh of Bad Essen. That is a very fine road and we had to ride out of teh saddle at high speed from time to time. Which we now enjoyed running on the energy of our two buns. Before we knew it we are on the top of the Bad Essen hills and enjoyed teh fast descent into the village. The we rode back to Osterkappeln.
That was the end of a very nice riding day in the German countryside with Ludwig. Just in April we were riding together in Tokyo, almost precisely four years after I have left Japan. I didn’t expected to ride again with Ludwig anytime soon and yet, one moth later we were together in Germany riding again. Life is full or surprises.
PS I then rode to Bohmte, where I took teh train back to Bremen. Needless to say it was delayed again.