Kaddi Kestler is a mountain biker through and through. On a GONSO ride with friends, she takes us on a journey of thought and gives us an exciting insight into her view of the world. Read what nature and cycling mean to her in our new story.
What the Hometrails have to do with horror....
...and why we definitely live in paradise
The tyres of my mountain bike are digging into the Isar gravel. It's still early on this Sunday and freezing cold. I would rather have stayed in bed and am glad I put on all the layers Jens-Nico gave us last night. Even the warm merino vest. But I know that I'll have to take at least one part off again soon. The weather forecast has once again predicted a far too warm October day and the sun is already waiting in the wings deep behind the trees on the high banks of the Isar.
Hometrails and horror
If the cold wind hadn't smoothed out the wrinkles on my face, my forehead would probably be pretty furrowed. Because one of my greatest horror visions is haunting my mind. It's certainly a bit unusual to start a text about a little cycling trip with friends on the home trails with horror. But you will find out why. And I promise you a happy ending.
Flo and I are late because I haven't found my cycling glasses. In Grünwald we want to meet photographer Michi and my Munich Mountain Girl colleague Marta for coffee before we start on the trails. And while I'm annoyed that I regularly lose things, and at the same time try not to lose Flo, but to stick to his back tyre, the horror vision creeps into my head.
Spaceships and isar crabs
I'm sure you've all seen those dystopian sci-fi movies where people live in a clean, white-grey and sterile indoor world. On an earth destroyed by nuclear catastrophes, natural forces or aliens. Or on another planet. Or in a spaceship. No matter where, in any case inside. Separated from the hostile outside world by a shell.
It is a world in which no crab, plucked apart by a predator, is guaranteed to lie in the middle of the gravel path along the Isar. You certainly won't stop in this world because you're surprised that there really are such big crayfish in the Isar. Because the crayfish that exist in the world of the future have been programmed by some machine into the water, which has been filtered and chlorinated thousands of times.
The machine certainly doesn't program such a mean, low morning temperature, I think, while the distance between me and Flo grows ever larger. Especially not to then suddenly push the regulator ten degrees higher in barely an hour. That doesn't make much sense and is not at all efficient. Resources are scarce anyway. Energy is the most precious commodity. In the world of the future it will probably be a constant 19 degrees. So Primaloft-lined winter clothes are a thing of the past. Sorry GONSO.
Highlights of the outdoor world
I wonder if there are people who would find such a life in the indoor world of the future totally comfortable. They don't care if the cold wind never smooths out their wrinkles again, or if they can't marvel at dead Isar crayfish in their entire lives. And these are not exactly the highlights of life on our outdoor earth. But there are also plenty of highlights on this Sunday morning south of Munich on the Isar: mist mystically evaporating from the still warm meadows into the cold air. Drops on blades of grass glistening in the sun. Bright red, yellow and orange in the treetops. Colours that outdo each other. Rustling leaves on the trails that give you the soft feeling of riding on cushions. The lapping of the clear waters of the Isar. Tranquillity.
We live in paradise
The other day I saw a documentary about Qatar. The reporter was in the desert state in the summer, which comes very close to my dystopian horror vision in parts. I have never been there and only judge comfortably from a distance. But that is much more practical anyway, to confirm one's own prejudices. In any case, the reporter says that because of the heat of over 40 degrees, life in Doha, the capital of Qatar, is almost exclusively indoors in the summer. In huge air-conditioned shopping malls. There you can ride in a Venetian gondola on an artificial canal under an artificial sky and to Italian music from the loudspeakers. I think it was even made of real wood. But I don't know exactly, it was only on TV.
My trouser legs are wet because we drove through the water on the beach. I'm much too warm, the sun has made it over the treetops by now. I bend down, pick up a heart-shaped Isar pebble and put it in the side pocket of my hip bag. I find quite a lot uncomfortable and annoying today, but I just can't get my head around the idea of an artificial world, I would miss so much, I think as I watch the Isar flow by. "We just live in fucking paradise," Marta says next to me, as if she could read my mind. She is so right. What a privilege it is to walk out the front door of a city of millions and only a few minutes later be standing in the middle of nature.
A paradise for us all
Of course, many people see it that way today on this fine weather Sunday. In the morning we were still quite alone on the trails around Grünwald. But as we cycle back towards the centre on the cycle path aka Isar Highway, more and more are pushing out of the city towards the south. On foot, with mountain bikes, road bikes, gravel bikes, e-bikes, city bikes, e-scooters. With dogs, children, barbecue equipment. Families, friends, couples. Bicycle beginners and Tour de France contenders. All ages. All levels. All of Munich. We ride slalom through the bustle. At first I'm annoyed. And then I'm happy. For the others, for all of us. I hope that they feel the same as I do today. That they freeze, sweat, marvel. That they experience a little adventure and the real, sometimes uncomfortable life today in the small, very close to the city. That they can also see it, our paradise. That they become aware of it. And that we all take care of it together.