Thursday, June 18, 2009
Biking in Göttingen
(my helmet's in the basket - I never ride without it)
I've been getting to ride my bike a lot here (well, the bike that belongs to the student whose room I'm living in). I thought I would follow my friend Trisha's example and blog a little bit about bikes here in Göttingen.
Bikes are pretty common in Germany, especially for students. A few pictures from the campus should illustrate. The "Before" pictures were taken on a Sunday morning, the others on a Monday or Tuesday about midday - but are pretty standard for the whole week.
These are at the ZHG - Zentral Hörsaalgebäude - the building with the biggest lecture halls and connected to the central cafeteria.
In this second pair you can see how when all the bike racks are full, any free space becomes a bike parking lot. It was windy that day, so if you see some of the bikes have fallen over, that's why.
One last one - in front of I think the theology building:
I wanted to take more pictures of the many things that make biking in Göttingen/Germany easier, but the weather hasn't been cooperating, so I don't have a full catalog of the signs limiting streets to bikes - bikes that are allowed to ride the wrong way on a one way street, and where bikes can ride in the pedestrian zone. But here is a shot of one of the busier, or at least broader intersections in Göttingen:
Bike lane (one in each direction) with its own traffic light. At this intersection there's even a bike lane in the left turn lane... again with traffic light, but I'm not sure how to get over in that lane! So I wait at the corner with everyone else.
I have really gotten to liking riding my bike around, and if Nashville were flatter, with better informed drivers, and more helpful bike racks and bike lanes, I would definitely keep it up at home. Well and the fact it hasn't really gotten over 75 degrees here yet and it's June probably helps too - biking in the summer feels a lot different here than in Nashville. Who knows, maybe I'll feel differently about it when I get there.