DThe white ghost bike memorial of the deceased cyclist Andreas Mandalka remained intact for less than 24 hours. Just on Sunday, around 500 people made a pilgrimage to the accident site on the steep national road 574 from Pforzheim to Huchenfeld to place candles and symbolically put up a bicycle painted white. It was supposed to happen soon after. “We knew at ten o'clock on Monday morning that the small memorial had been destroyed,” says Martin Mäschke, chairman of the Pforzheim-Enzkreis regional association ADFC.
43-year-old Mandalka – known in the cycling scene as blogger “Natenom” – was riding his mountain bike on a Black Forest country road on January 30. The 77-year-old driver did not keep his distance from the cyclist in front, a collision occurred, Mandalka was so badly injured that he died at the scene of the accident.
The bicycle activist sometimes rode 1,000 kilometers a month and was well known in the area. Some drivers hated him, many cyclists adored him. After his death was announced, solidarity demonstrations took place in many cities – including Nuremberg, Cologne, Darmstadt, Marburg and Kassel.
“Why is this country's customs so brutal?”
Mäschke is appalled by Mandalka's hatred, which does not end even after death, and which has now supposedly led to the destruction of a small memorial on the side of the road: “What kind of people are they who can't leave a person alone. death. Why is this country's customs so brutal?”
Several citizens reported damage to property and disturbing the peace of the deceased to the Pforzheim police. There were repeated controversies over Mandalka's activities in the region and he received many threatening letters and e-mails. According to his supporters, the police in the past did not deal with all the reports with the necessary speed. “Perhaps the criminals are among the authors of the old threat letters, or they were just people who drank too much at the carnival,” says Mäschke.
Candles, a ghost bike and flowers are now on the freshly paved road back to the crash site. Tobias Husung, spokesman for the ADFC union in the state of Baden-Württemberg, criticizes the lack of bicycle path infrastructure in rural areas on state roads. In connection with the budget cuts of the traffic light government, the expansion is progressing even more slowly: “There are 44.6 million euros less available in the special program for the city and the countryside.”