Seavo has an amazing day with Rolf and Christopher - The Bartletts Bike the Baltics - CycleBlaze

May 14, 2019

Seavo has an amazing day with Rolf and Christopher

We also have an amazing day

Feeling restored by a good night’s sleep at Pension Kleeblatt and a home made breakfast, we headed to Sausetritt to meet Rolf and his apprentice mechanic,  Christopher.  

We couldn’t  believe our eyes when we opened the door. The shop is a treasure trove of all things recumbent. So many trikes and 2 wheeled recumbents of brands from across Europe and North America. He even sells the Canadian made Arkel seat bag. This is like a candy store for bike freaks like us. 

We have arrived at the bike shop in the village of Oehna. This small village has all the necessities: a bike shop, Gasthof and Pension, a Church -all set in a pretty rural landscape.
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Seavo’s home for the day. Note the two trikes on the right - these are what we rode today.
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Rolf warmly welcomed us with, “the wood stove is on, take a seat, have a coffee and cookie”  and this began what was to become  a  most memorable day. As a side note, what a stark contrast to our experience at Main Velo in Frankfurt where we were not allowed in the Werkstatt area. We were made to feel like unwelcome interlopers. Whereas here, we are very much a part of the team and respected as  a source of information about Seavo and a stakeholder in the proceedings,

Seavo was given a place of honour and hoisted on Rolf’s handmade adaptive hydraulic lift. Due to the weird and unusual configuration of recumbents, this type of creativity is important.

For Barry and I, this shop, set in a restored stone barn attached to the house, is like a combination bike museum and fantasy bike shop. Bikes we have only read about are here. What fun! And now back to Seavo. 

Rolf and Christopher hard at work. We enjoyed being able to be in the middle of the action drinking coffee and listening to Rolf’s stories.
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Hase Kettweisel or Lepus anyone? A benefit of this model is that it stores nicely straight up on its seat back.
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We understand the expressiom “wall of books” or “wall of LP’s” from our own home. But a wall of bikes is a new concept for us. Perhaps we could work on this type of wall too!
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A fat tire off road trike
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The first wrinkle was that the Bafang controller has been improved recently with more silicone embedded inside to offer more protection against bumps and water. Now that is good news. The only problem is that it is wired differently. This led to the first of a few calls to the guys at Akkurad for help in how to adapt to these challenges. As we know from years riding of recumbents, a flexible, “thinking outside of box” approach is necessary.  We can see that Rolf and Akkurad embody this strength. Much like our good friends Max, at Fairfield Bikes and Pam&Wayne at Performance Bikes in Victoria at home.

Many laughs, lots of coffee and cookies, much salivating over all of the bikes, conversation and explaining the bike and its problems, Rolf offered us an opportunity to head out for a few hours and tour the area on 2 of his bikes. Barry chose an HP Velotechnic FS (folding with suspension) trike and I rode a Hase Kettweisel trike, both with motors. The Hase had a Shimano Steps built in motor which means that it can be automatic or manual and Barry’s had a rear hub SwissGo motor. Rolf had recommended the Flying School/small airport a few km away for lunch, so we headed off and had so much fun. Could we divest ourselves of our car at home and swap it for 2 motorized trikes  and our Screamer for tandem rides? After the fun we had today, it is a tempting thought. 

Mary Ellen speeding ahead on her electrified Kettwiesel. Such fun!
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This is what a happy rider looks like on a borrowed Scorpion. This trike belongs to Rolf and he has made some interesting upgrades like the tubeless tire on the rear.
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We are on our way to the Airport for a ride.
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Our experience at the airport Cafe was a classic case of a language barrier. When we arrived people were having cake and coffee. We tried to ask about something savoury but the woman offered only toast and jam, so we had Mohne (poppyseed) and Blueberry cake.
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Then we noticed a new customer arrive and order a plate like this, so we did the same. Currywurst with house made potato salad, cabbage salad etc. Very good. It really doesn’t matter what order you eat your courses, right?
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This BOSCH hand crank was used for a propellor (which is now on the wall) , but then its function was to ignite cigarettes for customers. But now that smoking is not allowed in the cafe, its function now is purely decoration and a good conversation starter.
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Some of the planes used at the Flying School.
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When we returned, progress had been made but another adaptation in the installation of the controller  required a trip by Christopher by bike  to a nearby village to purchase  some silicone. Rolf and Christopher worked very hard for us. From 11 -6, with a break for lunch, Seavo got their TLC and expertise and our bill was beyond reasonable. It certainly did not reflect the hours spent working on Seavo. How do you thank someone for such kindness and generosity. I guess you can only express gratitude and “pay it forward”. With  much relief we were able to take Seavo out for a test ride. With baited breath we all waited to hear the wonderful whirring sound of the motor and it didn’t disappoint. We had a great test ride and with much relief we thanked Rolf and Christopher for their kindness and good work. 

Rolf and his wife, Christopher and Mary Ellen at the end of a very long but successful day. Note that Rolf is wearing a Spezi t-shirt. He has been very involved with Spezi starting when it first began.
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This is a day filled with memories and personal interactions which  we will cherish.

We have really enjoyed staying at Pension Kleeblatt in Oenha. Our hostess was wonderful to us. What a great smile,
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Today's ride: 8 km (5 miles)
Total: 1,102 km (684 miles)

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