Just cycling back from Longerich and miss my turning down Buschweg, through the forest. I pass a small conspicuous, red and white barrier and come face to face with a large wired fence on the cycle path with a perfectly functional cycle path behind it. Curious and it would seem, pointless. I signal to the Baggerfahrer who is busy shifting felled tree stumps with a huge bucket scooper claw thing into the bareness of the culled forest.
Can I cycle through? No. He points to the road behind me. The Militärring affectionately called the Mili in these parts.
What? He must be joking. Cars are tearing down at 70kmh. Not to be messed with. What to do?
I could turn round and see if there is another way (to Grandma’s house). Perhaps through the forest. But I am a little disoriented …
I can see the tram stop from here. It is a mere 300m. I wait. And as luck would have it (combined with savvy German road planning, having featured several sets of safety-forward – if otherwise irritating and speed-inhibiting – traffic lights on the Mili) the road is clear in both directions. Not a car in sight. I mount my wheels and peddle as fast as my legs and semi-flats allow and make it the safety of the pedestrian crossing.
Nerves a little frayed. Hair a little frazzled. I make it. And I’m still alive. Yeah.
I pass the bus stop where the 127 pulls in from Ebertplatz. In front of me is a cyclist’s nightmare (neither a dawdling pigeon nor a pile of dog poopidoop on this occasion). The floor is carpeted in miniature cubes of mint coloured safety glass, like Elsa had a major row with Anna after a few sneaky teenage-the-pressure-of-ruling-the-kingdom-is-getting-to-me Grogs and instead of firing Nordic ice from her delicate regal fingers…Glass.
A man from the KVB is evaluating the damage.
What’s going on? Und vor allem Why? How is he supposed to know? Also a gute question.
So he’s calling in the City’s Reinigungsdienst to clean the area before he takes next steps. Stick to protocol. Efficiently German. And swiftly managed.
I cycled on the Mili. Not sure that is entirely legal. All this glass. What would CSI say to the criminal mastermind behind the vandalism of public property? Despite our inherent connection on this otherwise normal day I still find myself asking: What is the point of smashing in a bus stop?