Julia Curtis' Blog Post

Hello Luther!! My name is Julia Curtis, I’m a Junior from St. Louis, Missouri, and I’m majoring in Communication Studies and German. As it were, I’m currently studying in Münster, Germany, for the whole spring semester. One thing to know about Münster is that there are more bikes than people in the city. My host father, Torsten, said that in our house there are eleven bikes. Four or five of them are outside, and the other six of them are in the basement. We have a car, but it's not ecologically friendly to use, so instead Torsten, Margrit and Oda (their daughter) bike everywhere. I have a bike, too, but the bikes here are so tall that my feet barely touch the ground when I am on one. This makes life mildly difficult when I try to get on the bike quickly. This usually happens when I'm at a traffic light and it turns green and I don't want to cause an accident and I feel like I'm in the way of bike traffic and car traffic.

In some places, there are street lights for bicycles since basically everyone either has a bike or knows how to ride one. These lights remind me a little bit of the traffic signs you see for snowmobiles in Minnesota on the highway.

Also, since there are a lot of bikers in Münster, there are actually red(-ish) parts of the sidewalk meant specifically for bikes. These are found around the really busy major streets probably because it's safer for bikers than driving in the street. There are even some one way only bike paths that have signs that basically say, "You will die and turn into a ghost if you go the opposite direction".

Bikers here are tough, too. They bike when it's raining, when it's freezing, and when it is both raining and freezing. Since it's been raining every day here, I like to think I'm toughening up a bit, too. Margrit lends me her rain pants since it's pretty much guaranteed that it will rain at least once during the day. There was one day this past week when my friend Laura and I were biking home from downtown Münster and it rained buckets. Of course we got lost when we were really close to my house. Naturally. By the time we did get to my house, my shoes and gloves, and Laura were totally soaked (she didn't have the Regenhosen). The good news is that we survived, and we can basically fumble our way home. I will learn how to get places in Münster by bike, but it appears it will take a while.

Do I look European yet?
Traffic lights for bikers are similar to the traffic signs you see for snowmobiles in Minnesota on the highway.
Some bike paths are more red than others, I promise