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Using his home-made “laufmaschine” (running machine), later dubbed a “dandyhorse” or “draisine” after its inventor, the baron managed a 14km trip in less than hour.Faster than the post coach, this was a one-man mobility revolution. A horse that eats nothing and isn’t a horse,” exclaims an alarmed housemaid onstage Mannheim’s Capitol Theater in a new musical reimagining that maiden trip in 1817.
Neither of these entered serial production, unlike his early bicycle. Some in Mannheim point to an 1815 volcano eruption in Indonesia, which spread ash around the world and caused the notorious 1816 “summer without sun”.
This made me suspicious, as did the fact that when he grabbed a new T-shirt he did not open the massive wardrobe to grab one, but got the shirt out of a drawer.
I was intrigued and at the first chance I got took a peek into the wardrobe. Gretchen, Bertha and Agnes were hanging in the wardrobe on big butcher hooks. Yes, that’s right, his bikes (Gretchen aka Cube Fritzz, Bertha aka Scott Genius and Agnes aka Trek Hardtail) all had German female names. Was he dating me as I fitted into ‘the collection’ or was it just a coincidence, as he has been claiming ever since.
I don’t mean this in a romantic I-saw-him-and-I-knew-he-was-the-one-kind a way.
More in a there-will-always-be-three-of-us-in-this-relationship-kind a way. When I visited his shoebox size studio apartment for the first time, I noticed that he had a wardrobe bigger than mine.