Kunstradfahren, anyone?

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  • Hi.

    I want to connect with people who are doing artistic cycling.

    I live in the U.S., where no one has even heard of this kind of riding. And despite looking online with some care, I can't find any orginizations here that promote or even recognize kunstradfahren. I know it's going on predominantly in Germany and Switzerland, and perhaps a little in China, but since I speak only English, it's been hard to learn very much on my own. I reached out to the indoor cycling division of the UCI, but I haven't heard back. I don't have any expectations of becoming an expert on a kunstrad. I just want to find a used bike and begin learning some basic movies, like no-handed wheelies and, if I'm lucky, fakie wheelies. I don't speak German, but I did find a Germanic forum (Hallenradsport-Forum) that does have a kunstradfahren section, so I cobbled together an intro (Thank you, Google Translate!) and posted it there. Nothing.

    So, my initial questions are...

    1. Is there an artistic cycling club or organization in England (or any Anglo-phonic nation) that I could connect with?

    2. Are Otoupaliks some of the only kunstrads made? I can't find even one other current manufacturer. I can't afford any of these new bikes.

    3. I see a few used, vintage kunstrads for sale on a Germanic eBay, some of which weren't even 200 Euros. Is that going to be my best bet, given the much higher prices for the new bikes?

    4. I found one relevant thread on this forum, from a poster who just wanted to lay hands on a bike to begin trying things, etc. He hoped to build a kunstrad from a conventional bike, but he was advised against it. Please refer me to others I might have missed.

    Thanks for reading!

    Jason in Minneapolis

  • As I understand it it's only really got any kind of a following/participation in Germany. I wouldn't worry about the language barrier though, most Germans speak better English that the nations that speak it natively.

  • Did you find this thread?

    https://www.lfgss.com/conversations/1391­31/

    As far as I know, there aren't any artistic cycling clubs in the UK.

    If you want to get into it, you need to move to a place where there's a club that practises it. You won't be able to do it on your own, and least of all from a distance. Also, as I think you know, you won't be able to get up to the standard of those who've practised it from early childhood. Having said that, if you're a natural acrobat, you can still have huge fun.

    I'm from Mainz, Germany, which has had quite a few world champions over the years (although I think some of them have been from villages just outside the city boundaries). While this is one of the main places where the sport is practised, it is still a very small scene run by dedicated amateurs, and they will be wary of engaging with you unless you show the sort of commitment that they can trust. They have built up an expertise and understanding over the course of probably about 100 years that can't simply be replicated elsewhere. However, if you spent a few years there, you might be able to return to Minneapolis and start to build up your own club there, who knows?

    This is the web-site of the club where I grew up:

    http://www.rv-finthen.de/

    As you can see, the current women's doubles world champions, Julia and Nadja Thürmer, are from Finthen.

    I'm afraid I don't have a clue about how to get a good Kunstrad.

    Also, it's extremely unlikely that you'll get any response on a German forum with a Google Translated post--it is absolutely rubbish and will have produced completely nonsensical gobbledygook. Never, ever use it.

    German has a reputation of being hard to learn, but it merely has a higher initial difficulty. Once you've mastered the basics, it becomes much easier to learn than English. Naturally, I'd say it's worth it.

    Good luck with finding a way!

  • Also, it's extremely unlikely that you'll get any response on a German forum with a Google Translated post--it is absolutely rubbish and will have produced completely nonsensical gobbledygook. Never, ever use it.

    So true.

    I can speak a little German, but only to English speakers that have learned German, any German person I have tried to speak German to has told me they'd rather use English than listen to my god awful attempts to replicate their language!

  • Thanks for your input. I've found two kunstrad manufacturers - Langenberg and Walther. I also found a German organization dedicated to radball (cycle ball) and kunstradfahren, called TrickCycler. Yours is my first reply in response to any of what I've written, so either my German is unintelligible, or - well, I have no idea.

  • Oliver,

    Hallo.

    Thanks for your helpful response.

    I'll take your advice and drop Google Translate. I suspected the translations would be awful, but I thought it would be arrogant to jump in there with English messages written to Germans.

    As to kunstradfahren, I'm sad to hear that no one in the UK is doing it. Still, I will soldier on 'til I find some receptive clubs in Germany or Switzerland. Of course I'm not going over there to join them, but if I ask nicely, I can't imagine they would decline to at least tell me where to find a used kunstrad. I just want to find a used bike and experiment with some basic moves. You're right; I've missed my window of opportunity to be an expert, but even beginning to crack some of those tricks would be gnarly!

    Thanks for the link to your club in Mainz/Finthen. Look at the kunstradfahren group! They're all of ten years old! My goodness! As you say, they start early and remain committed, not unlike gymnasts I guess. It's far more rare in the U.S. to meet children who are that disciplined. In Asia, sure.

    Lastly, are you riding a kunstrad at all these days? Is that what you focused on in your club? If you're not riding a kunstrad any longer, what do you like to ride instead? Do you ride a fixed road bike and bring your kunstradfahren to the street?

    Danke!

    -Jason

  • Did you find this thread?

    https://www.lfgss.com/conversations/1391­31/

    I did come across that one, yes. It was the only post of any substance on kunstradfahren.

    Thanks.

  • There isn't even a category for the bikes on ebay.de as far as I can see so I wouldn't hold your breath for finding one easily.

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Kunstradfahren, anyone?

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