‘Max Planck Hamburg’ cycles 12,118 km in three weeks

Joint team from the city’s three MPI takes part in Stadtradeln event

October 11, 2023

Even though the three Max Planck Institutes in Hamburg work on very different topics: Their joint participation in the ‘Stadtradeln’ city cycling event achieved impressive results. For the first time the three institutes had set up an overarching team – Max Planck Hamburg. From September 8 to 28, 51 scientific and non-scientific colleagues cycled as many kilometers as possible. They came from the MPI for Meteorology, for Comparative and and International Private Law and for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD). Basic research on wheels, so to speak - and also a very good opportunity to do something for one’s fitness and the environment!

Pretty soon, a good-natured competitive spirit emerged. An MPSD colleague covered longer and longer distances: first a tour to Mölln, later a Tour de France-worthy day trip of more than 130 kilometers (!), from the Baltic Sea back to Hamburg. Respect!

On the very last day of the contest, the MPI for Meteorology helped to boost the team total yet again. Dozens of colleagues saddled up and cycled to the Harburg mountains for their day out – a fantastic final sprint! Around 20 pf them cycled the whole distance of almost 50km, starting and finishing at the Institute.

Most of the rides, however, were everyday routes: from the commute to work to smaller weekend excursions or other trips, where the bike was often chosen instead of other means of transport.

The result after three weeks? A grandiose 12,118 kilometers for Team Max Planck Hamburg! Out of 933 teams in the contest, the three institutes had not only achieved 52nd place but also avoided up to two tons of CO2 if those distances had been covered by car or city bus. Across Hamburg, 17,828 cyclists notched up a total of 3,387,941 kilometers – a big increase on just under 2.8 million kilometers the previous year.

“I took part because I think the Stadtradeln campaign is great, I think it's brilliant that our MPI also took part, and because it shows how many colleagues travel by bike,” says Michaela Born from the MPI for Meteorology. "It really motivates you to keep taking the bike!"

Susan LaMoreaux at the MPSD was equally thrilled. “The Stadtradlen event was so much fun and really motivated me to travel by bike a little more. I found that my commute to work became much easier as the month went on! Even though I only cycled a total of 80 km during the entire challenge period, I was proud of myself for reaching that total. It’s much more than I normally cycle! The challenge helped me move around the city, and I enjoyed recording my miles on the app. It's also been a confidence booster for me."

In the second half of October, Stadtradeln will award a range of prizes to the participants. The winners will be announced on November 2 at 4 p.m. in the reading café in the Stadtpark (Rosengarten).


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