Thursday, July 29, 2004


Today I got to try a recument bike. It took a few tries until I was able to balance, but once I got going it was easier than I had imagined. I rode it for about half an hour in the fields (paved roads without car traffic) and was quite confident on it after that. I even managed to take a u-turn on the road without falling off. Fortunately, it had above seat steering – I hear that getting used to under seat steering is much more difficult. It felt a bit strange at first because the wheel you’re steering with is below you instead of in front, and you don’t see the direction of the wheel while turning – it looks like the bike keeps going straight forward because the front of the bike always points in that direction. Looking ahead instead of at the bike itself is key here, I found out.


And of course I now want my own recumbent – I think the Grasshopper (auch auf deutsch) by HPVelotechnik is cool.

And for future reference, here are two Ask MetaFilter threads about recumbent bikes: one, two.


Yeah, I would like to keep it. (Photos taken by my lovely husband, of course.)

P.S.: I can already feel the muscles that I used while riding the recumbent – they’re different from the ones you use while riding an upright bike. In German we call this Muskelkater, literally muscle tomcat.

Don’t try this at home, kids!

AndrĂ© and I are moving in a couple of days. Our new flat is going to have a much nicer kitchen than the old one, and it will have more room, so we’re considering buying a microwave oven. I guess you can use it for cooking, but the child physics teacher in me also wants to do some experiments… here are a few links:

I don’t remember if the experiment is even on one of the pages, but I want to start by showing the “hot spots” of the oven by placing a sheet of heat-sensitive paper (like fax paper) in the oven. I’m told it also works with a bunch of marshmallows – that’s probably more fun than fax paper.


… or rather, Math that makes you go Wow, “a multi-disciplinary exploration of non-orientable surfaces”. It’s too late now, so I’ll have to read it tomorrow.

Link via MetaFilter.

6 thoughts on “Thursday, July 29, 2004

  1. Cathie Grimm

    Hi Andrea,

    I always thought of “Muskelkater” as a “muscle hang-over” — like the muscles had had too much to drink… but I don’t know if the two “Katers” are connected…

    The recumbent bike looks like fun! (My husband has always wanted to try one).

    Have fun moving/ Viel Spass beim Umziehen!

    Cathie Grimm

  2. Andrea Frick

    Hi Cathie,

    I don’t know either if Kater and Muskelkater are related (I guess one would have to find out where each word comes from), but Kater seems to always mean something unpleasant. I never had a hangover though, so I can’t really compare the two.

    Heh, I bet we’ll also have Muskelkater after moving…



    P.S.: I just found your weblog virtual notebook. I have read Cold Mountain but have yet to see the movie… I guess I’ll rent it when it comes out on DVD. There are few opportunities to watch films non-dubbed in Germany, but we usually prefer the original version (unless it’s in a language I don’t speak, of course).

  3. Andrea Frick

    Another thought: I just remembered that a hangover is sometimes called Katzenjammer instead of Kater. Maybe that’s the origin of the word?

  4. Cathie Grimm

    Hi Andrea,

    You’re right thats where the hangover Kater comes from, which is funny because it takes us back to cats, at least from the sound of it! I posted a little more info I found in my “Etymologisches Woerterbuch” on my “virtual notebook” (not quite a blog). Not sure if I can make a link to it here in the comments (I’m not really very tech-savvy, but I do like the internet). Tschues Cathie

  5. Andrea Frick


    you can use HTML tags in my discussion group, like links, bold and italic tags, but others as well. For example:

    <a href=””>Muscle tom cat</a> yields Muscle tom cat.

    And here’s the link to the entry about Katzenjammer.

    Interesting explanation, by the way. I’m somewhat interested in certain aspects of language, for example connections between German, English and Plattdeutsch (spoken in Lower Saxony where I come from), but I’ve never got into etymology.


    P.S.: While posting this I realized that if you just type in a URL (starting with http://) it gets converted into a link automatically.

  6. Cathie Grimm

    thanks Andrea for the tip!

    I did take an html class a long long time ago but I don’t really remember much of it. Its a good thing I can rely on people like you and my husband who are much better at this stuff!


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