Knights on 2 wheels
Everyone has met one of these dark-ages-metal-viking-cosplayers who like to dress up and go to tournaments and reenactments and shit. More often than not these people seem a bit nerdy – you’ll always find someone willing to discuss the finer points of medieval armaments at great lenghts or you might overhear a heated discussion if the mead they’re serving this yeat might actually be closer to the original recipe or the tactical advantage of the mongol hornbow compared to …. i’m getting carried away, never mind that’s not my point. Point is: you won’t hear any of this at Berlin Pedal Battle. What you might hear instead is talk about gear ratios or other bike stuff.
Early October Berlin-Friedrichsain played host to this action-packed and beer-fueled knights’ tournament and I finally managed to take a look.
Just like the whole fall, weather is more than perfect affording participants the opportunity to show their tatoo’d chests. I pay a reasonable entrance fee, which I could have avoided if I dressed up, set myself up with an entirely contemporary Berliner Pilsner and take a look around. The first thing I notice is an incredible number of kids. Everyone is extremely chilled and the whole contest is all in good fun and no one takes it too serious. the competing teams of course are dressed up quite thoroughl; chain mail, axes, helmets all there. But of course my favour goes to the team with the pink hearts all the way. I later find out they’re called “Nutten & Koks” – hookers & coke, which in Germany is used as an emphasis of decadence, so they might not actually approve of either.
Nice to see, that women were not only there as spectators.
For the first dsclipine of the afternoon three walnuts are placed on upright wooden blocks and riders try to crack them with a bloody hammer in full stride. Sounds a lot easier than it actually is. Hitting all three inside the time limit prooves to be the exception not the norm. As an interlude two guys on impossibly tall bikes have at each other with padded clubs, of course.
Sadly I missed both the jousting and the chariot battle but I’ll be back next year to give you more comprehensive report. For now, you might just enjoy a couple more pictures: