The Prora complex is both fascinating and scary. “Kraft durch Freude.” Strength through enjoyment? Something like that. This building was first built at the end of the 1930s and when Germany started to lose the war all work was shut down. It was supposed to be play land and funville for up to 20k national socialists, I guess. Of course, the DDR never did much with it so it stood in waiting along the Baltic coast of Rügen. Waiting for what? Enter the capitalist pigs and their ability to turn something grey, banal and fascinating into something utterly dystopian and wondrous. It is indeed the perfect abode for automatons of success. If you can afford one of the flats in this place, you’ll have an absolutely breathtaking view of the Baltic Sea. When weather allows, you’ll be able to exit your apartment and go for a swim in clear, crystalline waters. Heck, even when weather doesn’t allow you can swim here. I’ve seen dudes swimming in these waters already–and it’s early May. Yeah. Kraft durch Freude.
Riding or being ridden around the island of Rügen, Germany. Other than battling some horrendous winds (thank the Gods I’m on an e-bike), this is a great place to ride a bike, check out scenery, take a boat tour and study German. OYG.
It’s been a long cold wet winter, dear worst-rider. No. Seriously. The weather has been so dismal the past few months here in the Germania tribe of #eurowasteland that I’ve barely ridden the R&M. Although I’ve been living in the old country for well over twenty-five years now, this past winter season has been extreme when it comes to all things wet and cold. That in and of itself is worth worst-writing about (or am I already doing that on this worst-blog?) Nomatter. Speaking of weather…
I was in The Homeland recently… Can you believe you can call it that now? But perhaps they shouldn’t stop there. Perhaps they should/could call it Orwell’s Homeland. But I digress.
I was in The Homeland last October for a wonderful visit. Spent some beautiful days in Baltimore. That’s right, dear worst-rider. When the police aren’t shooting people and when the automatons aren’t walking around like Zombies, and when the f’n sun shines like there’s no tomorrow, Baltimore is actually a great little city to hang around for a few days. This particular visit left me with the impression that October weather in Baltimore is the best weather in the world. Add to that the fact that once I stepped foot back in the old country, about two weeks after my Homeland visit, it started to rain and didn’t stop until yesterday. I kid you not!
I’ve experienced wet and cold weather living in this part of #eurowasteland. But in my twenty-five years I can’t remember it being this bad. I’m kinda ashamed I didn’t do more worst-riding for the past few months. But I’ve set my riding weather limits to seven degrees celsius and trees being uprooted due to flooding ground water. Yea, limits. (See pic above.)
On the other hand, I can’t help but think this break from the R&M has done me some good. It’s aloud me to readjust my e-bike senses. That is, getting back on the bike after only sporadic use during the past three or four months has allowed me to re-orient myself with it. Not only that but while it’s been in my basement turning a year old I’ve finally started fiddling with its parts. For example, for the first time I adjusted the air shocks–even though I’m not quit sure how-to do it. I also re-adjusted my thud buster seat going back to the middle rubber mount from the highest (hardest) setting. I also have a new rear tire, although that wasn’t my fiddling. And the Bosch system was updated. So let’s go there first, shall we.
Just after returning to the old country last October–in fact, the day I arrived–I was also scheduled to bring my R&M in for a check-up and frame replacement. As pointed out in this pseudo-review, the dealer delivered my R&M with paint damage on the frame. If I hadn’t insisted on having the damage repaired I’m sure that the dealer–and perhaps R&M???–would have gladly let the damage slide at my cost. I say that because, 1) I had to wait something like eight months for the frame and 2) after the dealer finally replaced it and I picked up the bike, they said/claimed the following:
“You know, we replaced that frame, which would normally have cost around five hundred or so in labour, for nothing.”
My response: Whaaaaaaaaa?
I don’t know about your experience with customer service, dear worst-rider, but such a comment is common-place here in #eurowasteland, especially in certain parts of Germany where people really do believe they $hit roses. But enough of my worst-writing vulgarities and limited intellect as a somewhat disappointed high-end e-bike consumer.
So. During this money grubbing check-up my frame was replaced. They also replaced both rear brake pads, which I questioned (more on that in a sec). I also had them install a new rear tire even though it could have probably gone a few hundred kilometres more–but that was my choice. I was thinking at the time that I’d kill two birds (with one stone) and bought a second tire (see pic above where said tire is neatly folded and waiting). I’m now thinking that was an error on account I’m almost sure I want to go with more street oriented tires in the future. Maybe more on that later. They also updated my Bosch system with the new eMTB riding mode. Let me say this about eMTB:
In fact, I might even ask the dealer (it’ll be a new dealer by then) if I can return my Bosch system back to the old riding modes. With four modes of riding, I really don’t see the reasoning behind eMTB, which seems to only combine the top three levels of riding. In fact, the other day while going up a short but very steep hill using eMTB the motor kicked a bit too hard and caused a wheelie. To prevent a backward flip I had to jump off the pedals. Indeed. Unwanted wheelies during steep ascensions… I’m gettin’ too old for that $hit.
As far as the brake pad replacement goes, there is a problem with the rear brake calliper on my R&M. In my opinion, the frame mounts are not properly aligned for this calliper setup. The brake pad that is on the outside of the disk is always rubbing. I know this because the rear wheel never spins freely. Although there is a way to adjust the position of the calliper on the frame mounts, it can’t be moved enough to one side to prevent the rubbing on one of the pads. Once I get a new dealer, I’ll be addressing this issue. Otherwise I’ll be replacing pads mostly because of this unnecessary rubbing.
Actually I don’t have anything more to say about the tires on this bike. I love them. So I might just go one more set and then go to street tires. I don’t know. I’m confused about tires.
The front forks have no manual.
The pic above is a screenshot of the CD that was delivered with this bike that is supposed to contain an owner’s manual for my forks. The only problem is, there is no manual. The good news is that my bike was delivered with a cute little air pump specific to these forks. This is helpful because they are springless air forks. If, by accident, you let out all the air–which I did–you’ll need this pump to get going again. Either that or you’ll have to ride home with useless, impotent front forks. (Sounds worst-rider erotic, eh!) And there is one other problem. Because there is no user manual for the forks, how much pressure can I put in them? Since I fiddled around with air forks back in the day when I was a real-man motorcyclist–as opposed to a wuss on an e-bike–I figured I could fill the forks till they don’t move anymore, which I think was around 150psi. Right now I’m running something like a 100psi and they’re still a bit hard. Or is it 10psi? Who the fcuk cares. And you know what they say about hard (forks) and men in their fifties, right? Ok. Enough.
Btw, my better-half’s R&M Mixte is definitely gonna skip the eMTB Bosch update. The main reason is because the update seems to be just another gouging mechanism for dealers. You see, Bosch doesn’t charge for the update. But dealers do. Go figure. Also. The Mixte is mostly used on roads, so it really doesn’t need eMTB.
In the last few days I’ve been able to go on longer rides with my GX, even though off-road is still very very wet–in fact so wet that even my extra wide tires sink a bit much for my taste. We’re planning a new tour up on the Baltic Sea at the end of May, though. We’re looking at about ten days of riding and maybe 1500km along the German north coast not far from Poland. Looking forward to it.
Oh. As far as battery life goes… I’m gonna have to worst-write something about that (again) soon. Reason? During the first 2000km I could go 30km before the first notch on the battery gauge would disappear. Now I can barely go 15km. After questioning a dealer about this he said that as soon as it gets warmer I should have all the power back. I’m skeptical. Even though the Bosch e-bike motor is great and I trust the Germans engineered it well and Hungarians put it together well, the battery–or the batteries–is a different story. Indeed. Batteries are the weak link here. But I digress.
It’s been another busy worst-day, dear worst-reader. It started with early day chores having something to do with goodies for evening grub consumption. The joke is always on me, though. Reason? I’m the one that has to prepare the evening grub. And I’m no good at getting the grub. But at least I can cook it. Nonetheless. Let’s go there, shall we? The pic (above) with the noodles fails to contain the broth of my bi-montthly Japanese soup night. Nomatter. The other pic is of a Mini I checked out and test drove today. Although I’m no advocate for cars in this f’d-up world, I’m not anti-auto. They are quite useful. The thing is, I’ve been living with leased corpo cars for the better part of twenty years. You know what? Corpo cars suck. (But that’s a whole ‘nother post.) I haven’t owned a car since… way back when. But I have been driving lots. And not just driving. I’ve been driven on German f’n Autobahns. And you know what? German Autobahns… suck. You want to know why? They suck because, well, these f’n Germans just started building them. Seriously. They just started building them, like, yesterday. And you know what that means? It means traffic traffic traffic traffic traffic, etc. Of course, leasing corpo cars in Germania is an industry für sich. With that in mind, I’m tired of leasing these damn redundant things so I can get stuck in traffic. And so. Since we want to be able to travel around Europe on e-bike vacations and we’ve long since realised that we can’t do this with trains, we’ve decided to go the route of actually buying/owning an f’n car. Hence we had Japanese soup tonight and I test drove a 2017 Mini Clubman. The trick with this particular vehicle is that it has a AHK (Anhängerkupplung). You know, one of those tow-bars installed. That way we can take our f’n e-bikes with us when we buy one of them/those things that attach to the tow-bar and we can put the bikes on it. And before you consider barking at me (us) for traveling with e-bikes with a car, we would rather do it with the train but that just ain’t possible on account the f’n German trains are a bitch bitch bitch–and the f’n things never run on-time anymore anyway. But I digress.
Struggling, dear worst-reader. Struggling. It is so wet here–here in worst-writer country–that one can feel it in the bone(s). In fact, one of the warnings from all the extreme weather has been to watch out for falling trees. Parks have been closed, don’t you know. The ground is so wet from so much rain that trees tear out easily from gusting winds galore. But let that not stop us, eh. For our path is set, the journey we must make, or maybe not. And so…
Headless Mac Pro (fiddling with it due to indoor out-of-weather preoccupation)
That is a tree branch that broke off in a storm gust last week (and I just missed it falling)
That is how Germans close park gates (to prevent people from being hit by trees)
Those are the cables that lead to the Matrix (or they power the German train system that has shut down because of heavy winds)
The Rhine is swelling, dear worst-reader. Even though we’re not having the bomb-cyclon winter storm that my beloved east coast #americant is having, the weather in old Germania plays strange all the same. Check out how close the river is to the tree top and the dike in the pic above. The vehicle almost buried in snow is from my home town where a bit of crazy weather is happening, too. And the odd painted BMW is yet another example of Germans failing miserably at just trying to be funny with the only thing they can really do (make cars).
Nine month old Goose vacuum packed and in bath water of 65 degrees celsius (ca 150f). Also known as Sous-Vide. Before dig-in will place bird on the Weber grill for about 20-30 minutes to get it crispy. The Chinese dumplings to go with it are supposed to have a filling made out of the innards but I’ve never been a fan of organs. Although we did prepare the innards according to the recipe, the flavour is just too… liver. Will probably substitute innards with mushrooms and/or maybe oats. Not sure yet. We’ll figure it out.