We have to say: “Thank you, Peter! Without you the SPEZI wouldn’t be the SPEZI we like!”
Peter’s story in his own words: “In the year 2002 I have been visiting the SPEZI for the first time. I went there with my friend, Matthias Weber, who already had a HP Velotechnik Street Machine and was able to ride it even on the steepest mountain roads on our tours. I had quite new upright bike I have build myself with all good parts on it.
As Matthias was so enthusiastic about his recumbent, I told him, I would surely not buy a recumbent now, because my new bike has been so expensive. Only if it would have a really low price, I said. And then we saw AZUB (Ales and his brother, I think) and the AZUB 2002 for less than 1000 €. Matthias told me, it’s serious recumbent. It was not possible for me to communicate verbally with the AZUB people: I don’t speak Czech and Ales (and his brother) did not speak English at that time.
Despite all insecurities and after a couple of days I decided to order an AZUB recumbent. A couple of weeks later Ales came with his girlfriend. They came to Kaiserslautern in Germany with a small car and five (!) recumbents in it. Ales assembled the bike in my backyard and they both were my guests in Kaiserslautern. In the evening we took our meal together. Luckily Ales’ girlfriend was able to speak English,
so she could translate and it was a nice evening together. This was awaking some childhood remembrance: I have been in Czechoslavakia with my grandmother a couple of times in the 70ies…
The result of this visit of Ales was the start of a kind of friendship. Not with many words and not with much time together, but I like his personality and how he lives his idea, building recumbents, relationships and a whole company. I respect him very much for all this!
After this started, I asked my parents, if the AZUB team could stay with me in their house in Schifferstadt for the next SPEZI in 2003. They are openminded and accepted my idea. Well, also my parents started to like Ales and all the people he brought with him over the years. It was a tradition: April ended with SPEZI and at some late (or early) hour in the night the AZUB team arrived.Well, the whole thing was growing and after a lot of years Ales decided to stay in the SPEZI camping ground with his company. But my parents still ask me, how AZUB is doing. Well it is doing well, I like to see that!”
It must be said that Peter has helped us on the booth every year since then as his German is much better than ours (none). Thanks once again!
If you like Peter’s story, you can read his description of the process of ordering a bike from a country outside EU (Czechia became member in May 2004) from a single-man company and what was his first impression from the bike. This article is in German only, but you can use Google translator, if you want.