- Our Town
Medals for helpful British Columbians
German cyclist Klaus Lüttgen is on a mission.
Lüttgen passed through Burns Lake last week on his 'rock the roads' tour through B.C.
He started his ride in Vancouver and plans to cycle to Alaska, on the way giving out historical Cologne Carnival medals collected by his late father.
The Cologne Carnival takes place every year in Cologne, Germany, and was founded in 1823. Today the carnival is one of the largest festivals in Europe and the medals are a tradition, with a new medal being created each season.
Lüttgen said that over the years his father had collected approximately 20,000 medals.
Lüttgen's father Charles passed away in August 2008, leaving him a considerable number of medals.
He plans to donate the majority of them to the Cologne Carnival Museum, but 200 medals will be given out to British Columbians he meets on his journey and who help him out along the way.
People may invite me for coffee or to stay the night, or help me with bike repairs," Lüttgen said.
He said he speaks only limited English, but has so far managed to speak with a lot of people. "Canadians are very friendly. It is true what they say .... it is beautiful British Columbia here," Lüttgen said.
"Unfortunately before my father died we were we were not speaking. This [rock the roads ride] is helping me to remember the times we had," he added.
He is riding a 30 year old Gazelle ladies Dutch bike, which he said makes his trip unique, adding that he doesn't know of anyone else who has cycled across B.C. on a 30 year old bike.