What makes a classic?

Sometimes it is the first bike you had, sometimes it the one you did a special trip on or the one you made another personal connection with, sometimes it is a bike you lusted after as a youth. I have always loved the angular style and square ‘in your face’ engine of the old and original K Series bikes from BMW. I found this, an unpainted aluminum tanked, 1989/90 K75C in Berlin this week… The bike was propped up under an industrial unit balcony, being protected from the worst of the winter elements, and after almost 30 years it looked like it would have coughed into life. From memory and new, it would have had about 70bhp so not much chance of me getting a (read ‘another’ German) speeding ticket, even if I had persuaded the owner to part with the flying brick…

K75 C

We will not be moved

I found these iconic statues of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels whilst looking for shade (and an ice cream) in the Marx-Engels-Forum which is a great open park in Berlin, a place for relaxation, surrounded by fountains and picnicking families. Whilst much of Berlin has been rebuilt, the site of these two great memorials is on the land in past occupied by the Old Town quarter which was heavily bombed during allied air attacks when most of its buildings reduced to ruins. For some reason after the war, the ruins were cleared but nothing replaced them and the open space remains. Despite the peaceful facade, the Marx-Engels Forum has been the subject of public controversy, with some saying it is an unwanted reminder of austere past times stepping past the political arguments, I welcomed the shade and respite and pondered on George Santayana’s wise words “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” as I ate my decadent western ice cream.We Will Not Be Moved