You almost feel a little too jubilant when you give Cyclingworld 2023 100 out of 100 points again, but no matter which corners we look at, we really don't stumble over anything negative. Whether our guests on site at the stand or our well-travelled partners from Café Du Cycliste and PEdAL ED, who watched the trade fair in Düsseldorf live for the first time, we have only received positive feedback a week later. Sometimes even overwhelming. Of course, it fits perfectly into the picture that attendance records have also tumbled this year, 23,000 visitors* are a real house number. And the number of rides increased immeasurably this year, the frequency of the gravel rides was felt to be higher than the local public transport towards Areal Böhler. Speaking of local transport: one of the most disconcerting findings of the weekend was that traffic was backing up on Saturday morning as far as Oberkassel due to a bike fair.
For our small team, the Düsseldorf trade fair weekend is always an official challenge, on Friday and Saturday our hats are still on, and we are involved with our partners and helpers in a number of trips that don't just happen by themselves. Whether the women's movement Rennrad with our friend Iris Slappendel, the "Nice from Nice" - Rennradrund with Café Du Cycliste, the classic tour with the Viennese friends of "In Velo Veritas" or Schotter, Kies und Moos with Ritchey and Café Du Cycliste - boredom came not up. Of course, the laps are a welcome change from the hustle and bustle of the trade fair, but you can hardly really switch off on the bike at the Cyclingworld – Rides, keyword #myBikeIsMyOffice. We would like to thank our great helpers - crew, who have often made life easy for us. Thanks to Hannah, Hanna, Kathrin, Wilma, Lotte, Tina, Monika, Andi, Ivo, Alex, Nadine, Volker, Horst, Terry, Holly, Iris and everyone else who helped with the rides and made life easier for us. *curts*
The start on Friday evening can without any understatement be described as a tailor-made start. As always, it felt like we only laid down the drill 7 minutes after the start of the trade fair because the stand was standing. As always, creatively designed, but don't let yourself be fooled, what looks so casually thrown in here cost us enough sweat and tears in advance. The feedback on the stand came immediately, GEIL from various directions. Thanks for that. The fact that we got down to business straight away also had something to do with the music. Our friend Martin *Kassettenmusik* Schneider rolled out relaxed grooves and proved to be a real crowd puller. In the spirit of our small neighborhood in the Ritchey, IRIS, KASK and wahoo - dead end. After the fair, at Rigatoni and Riesling, they were nice enough to conjure up a delicious pasta on our plates at a late hour, thanks for that.
Saturday started in bright sunshine with the outing of the racing bike women's movement together with Iris Slappendel. A great field of participants, strengthened by visitors of the Cyclits from Cologne, met in front of the main entrance of the fair. By the way, the organizational crew of Hanna, Hannah, Kathrin, Kerstin, Lotte, Monika, Tine and Wilma invite you to weekly rides every Tuesday evening from April, more on that soon.
While the women went on their journey outside, the exhibition halls got really crowded. Okay, we'll skip the phrase that bicycles are really booming, but one can certainly speak of increased interest in the best vehicle for sport and mobility change. And we knew from the start that Areal Böhler was a suitable location for a trade fair a la Cyclingworld. Fits.
Flying change at the stand, on Saturday afternoon at 4:00 p.m. we went together with Café Du Cycliste in the form of Holly Emma Waymark on the “Nice in Nice” exit. The sun of southern France was there, even if the temperatures were not quite at Mediterranean level. Then just crispy fresh including return in the sunset.
After work, the organizers, Stefan and Torsten, invited guests to the old boiler house, where Frank Ostrowsky's impressive collection of historic racers could be admired over a beer and a chat in the atmospheric ambience. We would have liked to have spent more time but had to go around the corner to Les Halles where a table was waiting for us. A cloak of silence descends on the rest of the evening. To be honest, I was about to join the restaurant critics and write my first Google review. But I bit it back because I didn't have the time for it.
Sunday morning was fun again, after the sun for the racing bikes came the rain for the Gravelistas. You all know that lousy drizzle that covers everything with a wet spray film within minutes, that's exactly what happened. But after a bunch of chocolate biscuits from Bulle and various espressos from our friend Bas from Il Magistrale put the peloton in the best of moods, nothing could shock them anymore.
Again and again muddy wet forest floor, nasty sticking and abrasive sand down on the Rhine, deep meadows and field crossings - the tour could call itself quite ambitious. We are taking this as an opportunity to get a detergent manufacturer on board as a co-op partner for future events, but please do so in an ecologically correct manner. In any case, our thanks go to this year's partners from Café Du Cycliste and Ritchey and all passengers. Great how many happy dirty faces can be seen after such a mud fight. A little anecdote: after I strolled through the packed hall to our stand with a halfway cleaned bike, I received strange looks, but a lot of space was made for me. When changing clothes I was able to determine the cause - even at a bike fair you look a bit questionable with 200 grams of mud in your face.
Now the part is due where reports are given about the other stands, about our friends and partners and everyone else who was a guest in Düsseldorf. Of course with great pictures of the individual innovations and highlights of the stands. well Honestly, we didn't make it. No lousy excuse, just reality. Three talks at other stands, otherwise our own stand. More was not possible. We are sorry. And it's definitely not what we want. But anyone who saw what was going on until late afternoon can certainly understand us.
Three days in flight. Or like on a perfect brisk ride. Thanks to the entire Cyclingworld team. We are already looking forward to 2024.
Okay, now the season can start. Here's to a great 2023, great experiences on and with the bike and with you.