Interview K.O.

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2008, Kid Rock’s “All Summer Long” was 8 weeks on the top of the german single-charts and Barrack Obama is becoming in the middle of the big economic crisis president of the United States of America. And between all this madness about one dozen hippies hitchhiked from Hamburg to Saragossa. Of course they made a competition. And boom, the Tramprennen was born.

2017, the 10th edition of this amazing event will take place. It’s time to ask the first crazy participants how and why all this works. Today team K.O. will give us answers to questions we always wanted to ask.

 

Hey Team K.O.

 

Tell us something about you. Who are you? What’s your favorite vegetable?

Ja moin, I’m Ole. At the first Tramprennen I was 22 years old. I liked and still like carrots but I’m wearing glasses anyway.

 

What was the craziest thing that happened to you during the first tramprennen?

Uhm well, most of the time we were standing in villages and it took forever to get a lift. So we spend hours driving back and forth between two spots that locals recommended to us. We were really unexperienced hitchhikers and very trusting. In Siegburg, somewhere around Bonn, we drove back and forth three times. On-ramp to the trainstation back to the on-ramp to the supermarket-parkingspace and on-ramp again. The procedure was always the same. Presenting your thumb for half an hour to the dashing cars. Then “Damn it, this is not a good spot either!”. And so on. After several hours in Siegburg Kai just said: “Ole, let’s take a taxi!” We drove to the next service-station and after 5 minutes we were heading with 200 km/h to the finish line. Felt good.

 

What was different in 2008 and is everything better today?

First of all it was just new. Of course. Like it is today for everyone, that hitchhikes for the first time. For the first time you were sitting in some businessman’s car right next to the driver, you spend the night for the first time at a host you just met. It was also the first night we spend a night next to a toll-station somewhere in the middle of nowhere in Italy and it was premiere of suddenly getting a lift even though you already planned on spending the night on the side of the highway.

There was nothing like google maps on the smartphone in 2008. When you got stuck and the small village was not in your map, that had a scale of 1:30 million and was more and more tattered with every kilometer, then you were somewhere in terra incognita. You printed the Hitchwiki articles before you started and you hoped that your lift did not drop you off at some place that you had no information about. There was no liveticker and since roaming was so incredibly expensive you turned your cellphone off most of the time anyway. Some would say: amazing time. But you have to admit for hitchhiking, especially when you want to arrive in a given time, smartphones have great advantages.

Are you still hitchhiking? Why (Why not)?

Every now and then. I just spend a week in spring hitchhiking through France. That was really cool and the spirit of this way of travel is just amazing. Meeting new people, of which you probably hadn’t taken any notice before. It’s a slow but conscious way of travelling. But to be honest,  in the daily life I’m not hitchhiking as often as before. I prefer to jump on a train and arrive at a set time and not trying to keep a cardboard-sign dry for hours. And of course I rather spend the nights in a bed than somewhere next to the Autobahn.

What are your mothers saying?

In 2008 I told my mother: “I’m going hitchhiking to spain now.” Knowing, that she couldn’t change anything, she replied: “Ok, but come back safely.” I did. Today, I believe, there is nothing, that would shock her.

 

This year we are heading to the baltics. Will you join us?

No, unfortunately not but maybe next year. Or maybe I will come to the final destination for a few days. We will see.

 

What would be your favourite destination for a Tramprennen?

Gibraltar? Istanbul? China? Maybe too exotic but that would be nice.

 

Do you have some expert-advice for newbies?

Just try and do it! There is basically not a lot that can go wrong. And even if, normally you learn from your mistakes.

 

Registration is over. Ready to race?

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Just two weeks of waiting until up to 120 motivate participants roam the streets and hitchhike in a race to lithuania. We closed the registration and can’t hold us together because of all the anticipation. A lot of teams are done with the registration process and collecting hard-working donations for our partner organisations Pro Asyl and Viva con Agua and also the liveticker is in use already.

But we are not lazy as well. Slowly we figured, how many participants will hitchhike together with us this year and we had to recognize, that there are not enough participants for 3 starting points. To ensure, that we can give luck a chance and draw every team to one of 2 Routes starting at each starting point, we closed Kiel, which had the least teams at that point of time. But be assured there will be still wonderful routes from Lüneburg and Erfurt, which will bring you to Lithuania. And there will be the free route, as well. We are incredibly excited!

 

What else is happening? A lot, for sure! We are busy printing the T-Shirts with an especially awesome motiv, the hitch packages will be packed and the participants can be extremely excited for one or another surprise. The preparations at the starting points going to roll on as well. At the start in Erfurt (18th of August) there will be a small soli-party with 3 Bands and a bunch of cool people. Soli-Party? Yeah, that’s right!

This year we will support, next to Viva con Agua and Pro Asyl, a third organisation. For a long time we thought about giving the people that overwhelm us every year with their hospitality something back. Unfortunately we are not able to support foreign organisations via Betterplace. Since our donation-tool doesn’t work for the third organisation we had to get creative and thought about some cool ideas how to collect money. To keep it short and simple: every donation at the bar this year will go directly to the third organisation. Next to the Soli-Party in Erfurt there will be some more going on this year, stay tuned!
But on to the third organisation we choose: Marta a latvian NGO, which supports women and non-citizens, that have been affected by domestic violence or human trafficking. For more information look up: http://marta.lv/.

We also have some news regarding the Liveticker. Last year a lot of requests reached us for a comment function on the liveticker-messages and we took it to our hearts. This year everyone, who has an account on tramprennen.org will have the chance to comment on the hitchhiking skills and liveticker-messages of the participants. If you own a team, you can give them funny tasks to do on the road.

Well that is about it. Just keep on donating. We are almost at 1000€. And feel free to try out the new liveticker function.

See you on the road!

 

Interview KiBeT

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2008 in the year of the rat next to the Olympics and the European football championship the world exhibition in Saragossa took place. The theme of the Expo was “Water and sustainable development”. For about 12 hippies this was the perfect reason to raise awareness for clean drinking water and the work of Viva con Agua de Sankt Pauli e.V. And what should be a better way than a hitchhiking race across Europe. And since a hitchhiking race is so incredible amazing, we will celebrate the 10th anniversary of Tramprennen this year. Time for us to ask the experts about their view of this remarkable era. Today the Team KiBeT answers our investigative questions.

 

Hey KiBeT, tell us something more about your teamname.

Kiel Berlin trampt! Besides that year the situation in Tibet was pretty popular in the media and we thought we should take the chance of some cheap PR.

In how many Tramprennen did you take part?

As a team in 2 races… Marcel started in 5 races and Hauke even in 7

And which one was the best?

As a Team KiBeT definitely the first year. Everything was new and chaotic, nobody had a plan of the rules, because there weren’t any. For the night, we were invited by people who gave us a lift. Routes were adjusted and the race was extended. On top of that we won the first stage of the very first race. The rest is history…

This year we are going to the Baltics. Are you joining us?

Unfortunately, not. Both of us are expecting some offspring and altogether we will have 4 children. But they will start at the race in 18 years.

Are you good hitchhikers?

Experts claim: Yes! And we always believe in experts.

Is there even skill in hitchhiking or is it just luck?

Mh well…, there is definitely nobody with as much misfortune as Ole R. and Pille…

Do you still hitchhike? Why? /Why not?

Marcel: That is quite a while ago. I am working in Cambodia and living here with my family. Traveling looks kind of different around here. But I would definitely do it again!

Hauke: Barely. The last tour was last year to Barcelona. If it works, I try to hitchhike once a year. If not, it’s not a big deal either.

Which is/was your favorite service-station to get stuck? 

Hauke: Service-stations? Are those the buildings on the side of the Autobahn?

Marcel: At most of the service-stations we did not spend a lot of time… Hence, I can’t answer this question.

What was the longest you had to wait for a lift?

Marcel: Without spending the night… about 6 hours I would say.

Hauke: It felt like 100 years with Pille in Greece and again with Pille in Montenegro. The reason should be clear.

Now we need some expert advice. What is the most important when hitchhiking?

I would say preparation! You should know where you want to go and how to get there. And don’t forget food and drinks. When you are in the car it is important to interact with your driver. And: bright clothes.

Interview ProPain

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The cuckoo is bird of the year and the world exhibition took place in Saragossa, a city in Spain. The theme of the “Expo” was “Water and sustainable Development”. “Cool”, thought a few young people and a little later around 12 hippies were standing on the road and hitchhiked to the bet to Saragossa. We are still unsure what the cuckoos role is in all this and what the mothers of the crazies were thinking. So today we ask the team ProPain, who hitchhiked in 2008 all the way from Hamburg to the capital of the autonomous community of Aragon, why how and what?

 

Howdy ProPain, who exactly are you?

Hi we are Conny, Steffi and Malte.

 

What does Tramprennen mean for you?

I think everybody should answer that question for themselves. For me (Malte) it always meant something new, to be on a journey and meeting old and new friends.

 

What was the craziest Tramprennen-experience you’ve ever made?

There were far too many to tell. Maybe the experience that you can travel the world with your thumb and the realization that there are a lot of nice people out there.

 

This year Tramprennen is going to the Baltics? Are you coming with us?

Unfortunately no, the Job makes such a journey impossible.

 

Do you still hitchhike? Why? /Why not?

Not as much as the last years, but I still manage to hitchhike 2000-3000 km every year ????

 

What do your mothers think?

My mom is relaxed

 

Which Autobahn is your favorite to hitchhike?

The A9 starting in Berlin and then all the way to Budapest!

 

And which country is, in your opinion, the best for hitchhiking?

Romania was always a pleasure.

 

Do you prefer hitchhiking with a sign or just with your thumb?

Both but the all-time best are gas stations.

 

Do you have some expert advice for hitchhiking-newbies?

Rule no. 1: You will always reach your destination.

Stickercontest

TR_Schilder_Tags_5Halli-Hallo Tramprennen-people all over this world,

We know that all of you already waited for a very long time to finally participate in a Tramprennen-Sticker-Contest again! And of course we don´t like to let people wait in vain :-)
So here we go: To become the designer of this year´s TR-Sticker please send your proposal to gro.nennerpmartnull@oreg. Deadline for submitting designs will be Sunday, 18th of June.
Like every year there will be an election of the winner via likes on facebook after the submission-deadline.

We can´t wait to see your designs flying into our mail-inbox,

whoop whoop
your TR-Crew