Nice to be back in Vienna for a rapid visit after enjoying it so much in June. A bit rainy but in between showers lovely pre-autumnal temperatures which encouraged me out onto the city bikes. I was reminded by one of my hosts that I had been very rude about these bikes when I first used them last year. On one of the rides I did manage to pick up one of the original purple monsters with its huge over-gearing which made my dodgy knees ache but once I got the hang of it I learned that Vienna City Bikes are like a bag of sweets – pick them by the colour. (Always take a yellow one).
Two places I didn’t get to see in June were the FahrRadhaus and the new location for the Radlager, a great retro cycle shop and café that I wrote about early in my blogging days, way back in May 2012.
Radhaus is the City of Vienna’s official bike promotion centre which it has used as the base for Bike Year 2013 (Radjahre 2013). It as sign of the city’s commitment that this isn’t an unwanted cellar somewhere the wilderness, it is a nice piece of imperial architecture right next to the City Hall, the Rathaus (great wordplay in German Rad = bike, pronounced raat, the same sound as Rathaus, city or town hall )
I didn’t get a chance to come here during Velo-city so it was nice that my meetings for the two days I was in the city were in the Radhaus. It is a nice atmosphere, it doesn’t feel civil service, it feels like a promotional centre that gets cycling and cyclists. There are good displays of a wide range of city bikes and absolutely tons of printed matter, books, pamphlets, maps, guides, in fact almost anything you could want to take up cycling.
There are also mobile outposts of the Radhaus promoting cycling which seem to be transported by the biggest cargo bike platforms I have ever seen.
On my evening in the city I joined some of the cycling activists for dinner and then we rode city bikes around the city to the cycling quiz night.
Sadly I arrived too late to take on the local talent but I looked around our venue and realised I was in a nerds paradise, retro bike stuff and restored bikes all over the place amongst the beer and coffee. “Look like the Radlager” I said to my hosts, referring to one of the coolest bike cafés and bike shops I have ever been to in Vienna. (See previous post here)
“This is the Radlager” they said.
I hadn’t noticed the names and logos around the shop so I hadn’t realised that the café had moved to a new much more central location. Maybe I was confused by the fact that more Moultons than I can possibly recall seeing in a small shop had moved in among the Colnagos.
I like it and it is now much more accessible to visitors so I do encourage any bike nerds going to Vienna to pay a visit to the Radlager as well as the Radhaus.
However I miss that gallery – it really was a great display.
I’ll treat myself to using that photo again. Enjoy.