Germany’s Cycling Surprises
Bliss and Stress in North Rhine-Westphalia

Coinciding with the start of the 2017 Tour de France in Düsseldorf, the film takes a close look at the cycle landscape of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. The camera takes to the saddle to discover enchanted river banks and converted railway tracks, to meet bicycle pioneers and get to know the designers of the latest cycle fashions – as well as activists battling for innovative traffic planning in the cities. North Rhine-Westphalia boasts 13,800 kilometres of cycle paths: the biggest network in Germany.

While veritable cycling oases are being created in many places, the major cities of North Rhine-Westphalia are suffering from cycle stress: the automobile is facing ever greater competition from the bicycle. The country’s first cycle motorway – or velobahn – recently opened in the Ruhr District and will soon provide cyclists with an unimpeded route from Hagen to Essen. But in places like Cologne and Münster, reconstructed after the war as car-friendly cities, cyclists are faced with countless obstacles. With the camera on the handlebars, the film takes us through city centres, discovers insider routes, encounters cycle bloggers and manufacturers, and recounts the history of cycling in NRW.
For WDR
Written and directed by: Ulrike Brincker // Camera: Christian Eichenauer, Erik Sick, Dieter Stürmer // Sound: Tobias Akly, Alexander Czart, Nils Drescher, Marcel Lepel, Tim Pattberg, Ralf Weber // Film editor: Maximilian Narkovic // Sound editor: Paul Drey // Soundmix: Alexander Weuffen //Colour correction: Wolfgang Engels // Commentary: Philipp Schepmann // Production assistant: Laura Bleifuß // Production manager: Katja Sträter // Producers: Sarah Zierul, Thomas Weidenbach // Commissioning editor: Barbara Schmitz // A production by LÄNGENGRAD Filmproduktion GmbH

Running time: 45 min, in HD

Broadcast date:

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