Absolute Beginners

The other day I swapped some records for an old training manual. It´s the first issue of Wagner/Klimanschewski Der Strassenfahrer (East Berlin 1954). The tome as such is nothing special, the standard hints and tips are given, sadly there are only few ilustrations, and the ones that are to be found are of poor newspaper quality, like this one:


The name Klimanschewski however rings a bell: He had been around for decades, mostly as a cycling journalist, and now he had also made it as an author in the GDR.

The thing I like most about the book really is the dustjacket. Not only is it still there, but the graphics are quite nice, too.


The reproduced painting oozes power and dynamic exercise. It captures the drama of cycleracing well.

Lastly, there´s a drawing of a Fichtel & Sachs three speed derailleur, staple food for German racers in the early fifties. I´ve seen them in all steel, quite heavy and actuated by a top tube quadrant. It came with a special alloy hub with a cassette freewheel, if I remember correctly.


How can you see that this illustration is meant for absolute beginners? Look at the little arrow (top right hand corner) denoting the direction the chain is moving in.


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