It’s 97 kilometers from coburg to gotha, if you don’t follow the autobahn, but the route that the dukes used to take in the old days. Since 1826, the dukes of saxony-coburg have also ruled in gotha; from 1830 to 1832, duke ernst I loved the city. Building the so-called art road from gotha to zella via oberhof. The kingdom of preuben contributed to the construction costs to get a more comfortable way to its exclaves schleusingen and schmalkalden. Ernst I. Were it about a faster and more comfortable connection between its two residence cities coburg and gotha.
Even today, the shortest route to gotha is via oberhof, although it is not the most comfortable for cyclists. But that doesn’t deter andreas prinz von sachsen-coburg und gotha from cycling there. From the 1. To 5. In may, he wants to cover the distance on an electric recumbent bike. "I will make the distance in a shorter time, but I don’t want to put my foot in my mouth", says the 75-year-old with a smile. Prince andreas suffers from parkinson’s disease.
But that doesn’t stop him from throwing himself into new projects: he has published several books, including his memoirs, those of his mother and his father’s manuscript about the last reigning duke of saxony-coburg and gotha, carl eduard.
Now he wants to set a sign against parkinson’s disease. Not alone: the rotary clubs of coburg and gotha support him. Max beyersdorf, also a rotarian, who has a lot of experience with sporting events as an athlete and member of the gymnastics club, supports him. Beyersdorf is also taking the precaution of putting on the brakes: how long the stages will be depends on prince andreas’ daily form and other conditions, he stresses. "It is a load of five days in a row. Many people have difficulty estimating their performance in advance."
The two OB ride along
The first and last stages are fixed: mayor norbert tessmer (SPD) announces the first. May the starting signal on coburg’s market square. From there, the route leads to the former border crossing at rottenbach. "Who wants to accompany us on this route, whether by fub or by bike, can do so", says beyersdorf. The participants must organize their own return journey.
Prince andreas will also not complete the second to fourth stages alone, but will be "accompanied by a small but excellent team" accompanied, says beyersdorf. He has set his sights on the traffic circle at the end of the town of zella-mehlis (before oberhof) and the wegscheide parking lot near oberhof. The fourth stage then ends in ohrdruf. There on sunday, 5. May, the last wegstuck to gotha tackled. Then burghers from gotha are to accompany prince andreas, headed by the gotha mayor knut kreuch and his coburg colleague tessmer. In gotha the troupe is buried during the gothardus festival.
Where albert traveled
It’s no coincidence that the route was chosen this way: "prince albert also traveled to gotha this way", says beyersdorf. The late prince consort of queen victoria was born on 26. He was born on august 1819 and had a very close relationship with his step-grandmother in gotha, duchess karoline-amalie von sachsen-gotha-altenburg. The duchess died in gotha in 1848.
"The purpose of the campaign is to give courage. Sitting down won’t make a disease better. You have to keep pushing", says prince andreas from his own experience. He himself is trying to improve his language skills and his condition. "I feel fitter now than I did a few years ago, apart from the parkinson’s", he says. When it’s too cold to ride a bike outside, he exercises indoors at least twice a day for 20 minutes. Otherwise his training route goes from castle callenberg around the goldbergsee and the deep ground back up to the castle. "It’s steep!" The advantage of his sports program is that he can now do without some medication and only needs the medication for parkinson’s disease, he says.
The message of courage is also what fascinates max beyersdorf about the project: "it’s about someone accepting his fate and making something of it." Flo sitzmann, the "man without legs," is also a supporter, prince andreas will probably accompany one or more stages in his wheelchair, beyersdorf revealed.
100 euros per kilometer
The tour of prince andreas will not least serve a good purpose: the rotary club coburg collects donations – 100 euro for each kilometer, the first are already sold. Prince andreas wants the proceeds from donations to benefit the geriatric rehabilitation clinic in coburg under the direction of professor johannes kraft. According to beyersdorf, a concrete project is now still being sought that the rotarians can support.
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