One thing you can count on in life is that it is full of surprises. And while the idea of the unexpected makes us nervous, it also makes us hopeful - For just as trouble can be waiting around the corner, so can excitement and adventure.
Last night I met Jacqueline... and took her home!
Apologies for the unflattering photo, but it was dark. Jacqueline is a beautiful vintage Waffenrad, which is an Austrian manufacturer no longer in business (more about that once I have some pictures of the bike in daylight). The bicycle is on loan from the collector Wolfgang Höfler, who also runs Vienna Active Tours and is involved in a variety of local bicycle-related projects. He is the one who named her Jacqueline. This bicycle is completely upright and very comfortable, which is why I can ride her despite not having entirely recovered from my injuries yet.
I picked up Jacqueline on Saturday night, and was nervous about riding home across Vienna for the first time. I considered taking the bike on the U-Bahn, but then decided to just go for it and cycle. The foldable basket-panniers even fit my huge laptop bag.
It was a 25 minute ride home, and I had no trouble at all. Figuring out the route was much easier than I anticipated, as was navigating the intersections and other quirks of the bike-path system.
And yes, this was playing in my head as I flew through the night-lit city. It was interesting to notice how much more lighter Vienna is at night than Boston; I never really paid attention to this before. The dynamo headlight and tail light on Jacqueline are dim compared to the set-up I have on my bikes at home, but they are more than sufficient here.
Jacqueline after I dragged her into the hallway of my building. She is tired and delighted.
So am I!
I was worried about cycling after having just recovered from pneumonia, but the Waffenrad requires very little effort to pedal - it just rolls. I wasn't even out of breath when I got home. It is a similar ride to my Raleigh DL-1, but not quite the same. I am not sure yet whether I will use this bicycle for transportation, or just to cycle around a bit in my free time - it depends how I'm feeling. And speaking of that, I suddely feel much, much better.