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Cyclists Groups Left half of British flag + Right half of German Flag

This is: http://www.berklix.org/bike/

Occasionally odd other summer sport events may be announced on the bike@ list, eg for water skiers, surfers etc.

If you ski in winter, or want to learn later, also join the Ski Group Mail List

If you walk or hike, also join the walk Mail List

Join the bike@ mail list

Consider also joining the bike-fast@ list

  • The off-putting name was chosen 'cos it's short !
  • Does not mean fast racers!
  • Does mean faster than most though.
  • Sample measured 2014-04-25: on un-tarmaced dry loose stone, on hard mud West path of Isar heading North, before & after Gross- Hesselohe brucke, suggest we bike-fast@ may want maybe 25 ? KM/hr & the 20 KM/hr perhaps OK for bike@ is frustratingly slow for bike-fast@ )
  • Definitely No clunkers (or "city rad" either generally)
  • For cyclist who may be faster, &/or go further,
  • who know to plan the effects of their move on Other bikes,
  • who can use maps & compasses & plan routes,
  • tend to narrower wheels,
  • can fix their own bikes on route,
  • prefer tarmac to stones,
  • tend to clips,
  • don't have fat tyres
  • don't have fat saddles
  • don't have suspension etc.
  • Ie about 10 to 20% of people on bike@ ;-)
  • More Info or ask organisers &/or the most proficient cyclists in the bike@ group.
Other cycle groups exist on social media groups, but , eg: Toytown advertise at you from censored web forums & internations offer of 'free' is just for boring booze events, they want paid subscription before you get sport detail.
Sometimes we cycle to Beer Gardens (which is how this section started).

Cycling Hazards, General & Local, & Local Fines

The Normal Hazards

Before mere human laws, consider the immutable Laws of biology & mechanics: ;-)

Science

  • Human Alcohol Absorption: Alcohol in bloodstream will keep rising after you "down in one" the last of your beer, & jump on your bike, & test the brakes - hard - before going down that steep hill ;-).
  • Stress laws: Tensile steel brake cables will break when hardest applied = most needed (just after hardest tested ? see above).
  • Kinetic Energy: (The "over the handlebars" law ;-)
    1/2 mv^2
    (If its cooler at end of evening, its easier to cycle faster without overheating. (+ alcohol might accelerate). If you go 20% faster, That's 1.2 x 1.2 = 44% more energy for brakes to dump before bike stops.
  • Braking distance : The law of Crunch ;-)
    s=ut + 1/2 at^2
    ie first part of braking distance doubles if tipsy slow thinking distance doubles
    + if brakes can dump kinetic energy into heat at a fixed maximum rate, if you have double the speed, you quadruple that second part of your braking distance.
  • Friction coefficients: Few pedestrians or car drivers have any clue that wet bike wheel rim brakes can take over 4 times the distance to stop. (Not [hydraulic or other?] disc brakes, they seem to suffer less from wet)
  • After kinetic energy flies you off a bike, The law of Gravity kicks in ...
  • Then Murphy's / Sod's Law: "I'll buy a crash helmet now I've crashed ;-)"

Defective Humans

  • Few car drivers cycle regularly, few understand problems of cyclists. Some cyclists act like idiots, provoking car drivers (eg cycling in parallel when it might be legal but also obstructive, or jumping lights. Such provoked car drivers probably then treat the next cyclist badly. Pedestrians are clueless eg wandering the entire width of Diener Str (S of Marienplatz) where yes, its their Right, but if they had a brain cell, they'd leave middle of road clear for bikes. Cyclists provoke each other, eg 2 fat slow cyclists can block a path completely, never overtaking (there's a fine for that BTW!).
  • The Law Of Evolution, or "Some Are Foolish, Some are stupid, (some aggressive), they won't learn, & Will walk or drive into you."
    Evolution ceased in Europe. Many humans remain foolish &/or spatially clueless (or drunk) etc, & it will only get worse. Society removed previous evolutionary "survival of fitest" selector mechanisms. Since Europeans could breed & have their offspring supported by the state, there's no reason to suppose there's evolutionary incentive for humans to improve. Lack of intelligence doesn't preclude any from breeding, rather the opposite, more who will foolishly misuse all of cars, bikes, ... & shoes ;-)

Local Munich Hazards

  • Don't be misled by bike friendly PR you hear about Munich. There's lots of room for improvement, & most cyclists who ride fat slow City Rad don't realise how bad most (not all) city bike paths are & how dangerous tram tracks are to bikes with narrower wheels.
  • Munich is really only bike friendly if you bike is a clunker, a fat tyred slow City Rad! Planners will learn little new from average cyclists who may eg attend ADFC city Innen-stadt cycle tour days on fat tyred slow bikes (Agonisingly slow rides BTW, high risk of zero speed collisions from jams !)
  • For better understanding ask someone who cycles fast, on narrow wheels
  • Many local car drivers are clueless don't cycle (or if so, just fat tyred slow clunkers, called a "City Rad" in Munich).
  • Best get the views of people who regularly cycle (inc. fast, on narrow tyres), & regularly drive a car too, useful for understanding different views & perspectives.
  • Tram Tracks:
    • Some car drivers don't know bikes with narrow tyres (tourers, racers) can't cross a tram track at speed at a narrow angle (more so if wet), else they would catch in the rut, crash & risk being run over. They're too clueless to realise the narrower a bike tyre, the more the cyclist has to slow down, to achieve a sufficiently acute angle to cross tram tracks safely. You can get chased between tram tracks, too fast to cross the tracks, & cant slow down cos vehicle behind too close.
    • Or drivers would like to force you to cycle between tram track & line of parked cars, with risk of any opening car door (from many careless Car drivers & rear offside passengers opening doors) causing Major injury, with no possibility to swerve across tracks with narrow wheels.
    • A few drivers don't even realise, crossing tram tracks is not the time to expect a cyclist to cycle one handed, to signal turning with the other arm.
  • Wet Braking Distance Triples ! How few car drivers & pedestrians know that happens with rain, metal rims, & rubber blocks ?
  • Some Pedestrians assume they will hear motors of all vehicles, & too lazy to look for bikes & electric/combi cars.
  • Most Pedestrians assume all bikes are slow, & eg a bike bell is a signal to later slowly consider strolling off the bike path. Not all bikes can or will stop in time. Some stand in bike lanes & deliberately don't get out of the way.
  • Munich pedestrians & cyclists sometimes cross junctions as soon as their light goes green, without first looking left for vehicles turning right. (The Ich habe Recht mentality ;-) Ignorant that foreign eg British & some other car drivers are used to a different traffic light timing pattern, & will Not expect them to start crossing just then. A pedestrian or cyclist knocked down by a foreign car driver in such circumstance may usually have law on their side, but it will be No less painful or injurious.
  • Car passengers don't look before opening doors across cycle tracks
  • Ignition Key Syndrome
    Munich car drivers mentally become encased in their steel car, the second an ignition key is in their hand, while they step out from kerb, & open drivers door, further obstructing the road.
  • Big City aggression
    Munich being a big-ish city, drivers are more aggressive than smaller German cities (eg Aachen), or UK {Canterbury, Tunbridge Wells etc}.
    (If you wonder if this author's perspective may suffer from lack of experience of Big cities, not so: I happily drive a car in London, I've been around Hyde Park corner London, a few times on a bike, not Too often, risky, & round the Arc De Triomphe Paris ( a few times, car only).
  • Germanic Recht Haben
    Native English speakers generally consider locals on average as more obsessed with their rights, laws & insurance than we are, & less flexible. More people (car drivers, cyclists, pedestrians) seem to be less flexible. Supposing the law to be on their side gives some people a deluded sense of security but doesn't stop accidents, pain & injury, it merely influences who might pay if people get caught.
  • 1st Sunny Days In Spring - Cycle Morons! ... Cycling on the left !
    Beware too many cyclists in Spring act like morons, as if they've not seen all 4 wheel traffic all winter drive on the right, & never learnt to cycle on the right, so they cycle on the Left & middle of cycle paths, & assume all cyclists oncoming are slow enough to & & will stop for them. Of course there's a law against it, doesn't stop the morons. Apparently the first few sunny days in spring the ambulances scrape up an excess number of cyclist off the cycle paths. ! Bells of course are completely useless you'd wait beyond collision time for these morons to react at all. Shouting "Rechts!" loudly, aggressively, & in agonised stressed tone at these morons sometimes helps avert a collision, far more effective than a bell if you have a Loud voice. Sometimes morons ignore that too, sometimes they shout back Links as if it's their counter proposal for a political debate or other moronic abuse. Sure there's a law & fine to enforce cycling on right, but being morons, neither Kinetic energy of a fast oncoming bike, nor German law persuade morons to cycle on the Right.

    The same morons, (both cyclists & pedestrians) have to learn afresh each spring, that on a red light on a cycle path at a 4 way intersection, ne shouldn't roll bike or walk those last 3 metres up to 2nd white line at a crossing, 'cos any moment there'll be a pile of traffic at 90 degrees on the flank that the moron will be obstructing.
    By high summer the danger from morons recedes... till next Spring, every Spring.

  • Summer Clueless Tourists They swarm in summer & Oktoberfest, they often innocently have absolutely No idea they're standing in a bike path, on what appeared to them to be pavement.
  • Föhn (On sunny days, if wind from Mountains in South, dry air, (positive ions apparently), Many more people act stupidly. (Simple rule to observe: Count the stupid mistakes on such days, compared with other days. Only count objective mistakes you remotely observe, not any subjective mistakes where you are either the wronged party, or you made the mistake). I used to think Foehn was maybe a local gullibility joke, like a Wolperdinger, well it's not, Foehn is real!
  • The dangerous continental habit/law of "Give way to the right",
    which aggressive "my right=law" obsessed inflexible drivers convert to "Screw any traffic to the left, I'll pull out regardless, Es ist meine Recht ("It's my right") ...,
    I'll pull across that single or line of car driver[s] or cyclist[s] on the left, ignoring any/ all of: common sense, courtesy, risk, kinetic energy, bad road surface, poor visibility, possibility of bad brakes, T junction, or narrow road ahead I want to turn left into -
    (The French to their credit, on their major routes, reduced this dangerous continental habit on their major routes, decades back),
    Munich re-introduced greater use of this daft legal system (maybe around 1995 ?), when they removed white lines & signs from city junctions (in the stupid name of Verkehrs- Beruhigen") . That would have required more courtesy & sensible flexibility in case of near simultaneous arrival at junctions. Of course that often didn't happen with "Es ist mein Recht - Muenchners" - I saw many more near accidents after.
  • Taxi Drivers
    I've had taxi drivers shout at me to use cycle paths, paths they've doubtless never tried at speed, drivers too stupid to even guess the paths are damned unsafe at speeds I can cycle. Some taxis have even dangerously tried to use their taxi body to force me off the road, real road swine some Munich Taxis. (I'm a car driver too, I consider Munich taxi drivers more dangerous than normal Munich drivers, & less disciplined than London Taxis. Typical Munich taxi driver aggression was exemplified in 2013 at a 2 to 1 funnel heading south along Isar, West bank, south of Fraunhofer Str, 2 taxis must have refused to allow each other to take the lead, & rammed each other, side ways on in a 2 to 1 lane funnel. As a pedestrian that day, seeing no human damage, just 2 taxis, remembering how often they cut up other cars, I burst out laughing, hoping taxis might learn to be less aggressive.
    Wouldn't so likely see that from black London taxi cabs, not only better trained in knowing the roads ("The Knowledge"), but taxis not allowed on roads if scratched. ) (Yes london cabs will cut corners in city of London endangering pedestrians, but after someone I know got sick of it every day & held out his long umbrella , brass ferule at end toward the taxi sides, to prevent them clipping the corner, that they avoided : A scratch on a London black taxi means off the road & no earnings !
  • Bike Paths:
    • Everyone (planners, car drivers, police) assume all bikes are dead slow with fat wheels. They don't realise the bumpy tarmac , swerves, crossings, cobbles & reduced visibility to cross streets is jarring and Very unsafe at a decent tourer/race bike speed, & it's much smoother & safer on the road.)
    • Police: I've had various police tell me one must use lousey cycle tracks. They seem ignorant & uninterested how bad adjacent tracks are. One officious policeman from his warm comfy car seat stopped me & told me in mid January that I Must cycle on the cycle path covered in snow & ice, & not on the cleared road. He might or not have been legally correct ? (If you know, let me know please.The road was safe, the snow & ice track was treacherous, very high chance of crashing.
      I had road tyres, as his BMW did; I did not have mountain bike fat tracked tyres, just as his BMW did not have off road tractor tyres. His BMW would not have held on the snow & ice track he demanded I slide & balance on. He degraded Munich's image of "Bike Friendly"
  • City Planners: They mistakenly plan for all bikes being fat tyred slow City Rad.
    • Cobble stones (pflaster- stein) Junctions eg Holz & Muller Str.
      They made road junctions More dangerous in recent years: They dug up the tarmac & replaced with cobble stones (pflaster- stein) so badly laid, they have gaps between wider than tyres of tourer bikes. They planted these cobbles at junctions in the name of "Verkehrs Beruhigung"(thinking of slowing cars with the bump). Look for classic stupidity at eg junction of Holz & Muller Str The gap between stones, with no tarmac, is wider than my bike tyres. The only saving grace is 45 degree angle.
    • Fraunhofer Bruecke
      Cycle East on the south side of & suddenly the cycle track swerves 1 width to the right. A path just wide enough for 1 bike to overtake another, suddenly becomes barely wide enough for 1 bike often with oncoming pedestrian hazard on /near path, & in dusk or poor visibility, easily overlooked, when the tangent would then toss you out in the road, to be run run over by 4 wheel traffic. No 4 wheel vehicle could ever pull over as hard & sharp as that kerb does, so that first bit of road tarmac can never be used, & stupidly just makes a completely un-necessary hazard to cyclists.
    • Stachus
      A bit of paint would reduce risk to a lot of cyclists & pedestrians at the East-West pedestrian crossing north of Stachus.

German Fines

New fines 2013 April: http://www.adfc.de/bussgeldkatalog/bussgeldkatalog-fuer-radfahrer Zusammengestellt vom ADFC, Quelle: Bundeseinheitlicher Tatbestandskatalog, 9. Auflage 2013, gültig seit April 2013)
New rules 2013 April:http://www.adfc.de/stvo

(~2009, as read/heard, might be wrong or old, don't blame me, ask a lawyer if you Need to know):

  • 10 Euro. On pavement & pedestrian zones: @ 2009 June
  • 15 Euro if obstruction. @ 2009 June
  • 20 Euro if dangerous inc. wrong way on cycle path. @ 2009 June
  • 15 to 30 Euro if wrong way on a road (unless allowed by sign). @ 2009 June
  • 10 Euro: No lights. @ 2009 June
  • 10 Euro if ear plugs for music (though disputed if illegal). @ 2009 June
  • 25 Euro Mobile phone. @ 2009 June
  • 45 Euro + 3 points in in Flensburg: if Red stop light for less than a second, & no one endangered. (If longer & an accident, up to 180 Euro & 4 points. @ 2009 June
  • Alcohol > 1.6 Pro mille Drunk Driving. 30 days pay. + 7 points in Flensburg. If an accident & above 0.3, a higher punishment & usually an MPU test. & 7 points. If they send you for a looney check: Medizinisch-Psychologische-Untersuchung (MPU). = Depperltest ) If you blow that you lose your licence. @ 2009 June
  • 350 Euro.: Over a closed rail crossing. @ 2009 June
  • 500 Euro:+ 1 Month loss of driving licence: Cycling on S Bahn platform. @ 2012 August
  • 16.01.2012 talk about making cycle helmets compulsory in the next few years

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