Sunday, August 3, 2014

Radlhauptstadt Munich: Middle Ring Tour

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On August 3rd, 2014, Munich's Radlhauptstadt Muenchen organization held a city ride that, for the first time, brought riders together on Munich's Middle Ring (Mittlerer Ring) highway.  No doubt, a massive undertaking to plan and finance, but reflective of the extent to which the city of Munich goes to improve the quality of life for its residents.  These types of quality of life improvements (as might be familiar to those from NYC) typically have small to no monetary returns in the short term, and when they do, they are in diffuse forms, often as part of a long-term plan.  Due to this, incredible political will is often required.

However, in this case, the plan for the closure of the Middle Ring came about as part of Munich's bid for the 2018 Olympics and became part of Munich's initiatives to expand bicycle use possibilities to more of the city.  Having moved to Munich from Muenster, the so-called "bicycle capital of Germany", I see remarkable differences.  Naturally, Muenster is relatively small, with a very high standard of living, and bike lanes nearly everywhere.  However, bicycling there is simply a matter of fact; one just rides to where they need to go, not a second thought, while such events in Munich (as well as the Radlnacht and other events I've attended) have an extremely strong focus on social interactions between participants, which, in terms of the quality of life improvements, lends itself to residents becoming more unified.

There was some organizational confusion at the starting line regarding the grouping and when/where to start, but outside of that, it was run rather well, with the assistance of the Munich Police and several medical teams.

Radlhauptstadt Muenchen here
City Of Munich here
Bayerische Rundfunk here 
Tirol (state of Austria, a sponsor of the event) here
BMW-Welt (BMW World, sponsor and final destination of the tour) here
Catering for the event at BMW-Welt by Käfer here

München U-Bahn here
Munich, July 26/Slutwalk here
Kein Mensch here
Münster: Keinenmeter here
Christopher Street Day Parade, Dresden Germany, 2012 here
Frankfurt here   












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