Despite cold and wet conditions, over 100 visitors rocked up at Koskauerstaße 100 in Tanna, head office of test authority ExtraEnergy, on 18 October to test-ride the latest pedelec models and look at the 600 vintage and modern-day vehicles on exhibition in the ExtraEnergy museum. The Open House event was part of the fringe program of the ExtraEnergy Autumn 2009 Test currently under way in Tanna.
On 18 October the weather was all but inviting. But, even the wild interplay of rain, snow and (only very seldom) sun could not keep Germany's pedelec fans at home. On the ExtraEnergy premises over 100 visitors gathered to enjoy real Thüringia "Roster", vegetable soup (with ingredients from the Neupert family vegetable garden), coffee, cake and, naturally, electric bikes in all shapes and sizes.
Visitors came from near and far to test-ride the latest technology pedelecs and collect information. Some came from Taunus, others from Starnberger See (south of Munich and almost 4 hours from Tanna) and Franconia. One even drove from close to Amsterdam in the Netherlands to make a preselection of bikes for his planned new pedelec bicycle shop. An article published by the Ostthüringer Zeitung lured countless visitors from the region around Tanna. In the afternoon many citizens of Tanna also rocked up to see what all the fuzz was about in their (otherwise quiet) town on this rainy Sunday.
The Open Day drew representatives from many interest groups: bike shop owners, manufacturers, event organizations, electronic technicians and cycling enthusiasts of all ages. Even Rudolf-Hermann Huhn, counsellor in the state of Thuringia's ministerium for agriculture, nature protection and the environment, paid a visit to inspect the latest bikes on offer in the market.
In open discussions members of the ExtraEnergy team and guests exchanged opinions and ideas and floated plans for new projects, such as a possible promotion in the neighboring town of Hof and a pedelec race at the Schleizer Dreieck.
At 11:00, 13:00 and again at 15:00 Hannes Neupert, chairman of ExtraEnergy, took guests on a guided tour through the vehicle and technology exhibition, which has grown steadily over decades. All three tours were well-supported, with guests not only crowding around the television screens to view the short ExtraEnergy films made by the television stations ARD and ZDF, but also showing interest in the methods used to test e-bikes and pedelecs and the safety tests conducted on batteries - as explained by Neupert.
The Open House day, part of the fringe program running concurrent with the big Autumn 2009 Test, stretched from 10:00 to 18:00. During this time, the 30 bikes in the Autumn 2009 Test could be viewed with the measuring equipment attached. Since the manufacturers supply ExtraEnergy with two examples of every model to be tested, visitors were able to test-ride the back-up examples of the bikes due for release on the market in 2010.
After a hard week of test-riding in very unpleasant weather conditions, the five test riders grabbed the opportunity to take a well-earned rest and chatted with visitors crowding around the huge bonfire made to keep body, soul and Ms. Neupert's hearty vegetable soup warm.
ExtraEnergy thanks all visitors for taking the time to come around and all who helped to make the day a success. A special word of thanks goes to the Neupert family for helping with the catering.
Copy: Susanne Bruesch
Translated by Christoffel Volschenk
Photos: Patrick Knappick and Susanne Bruesch
19 October 2009