Special times deserve special words. Read the touching retirement farewell letter of Reiner Stricker and his wife Cornelia here.
Dear Stricker friends,
Again and again in our lives we let go of habits, things and stages of life. We move on to new goals, set different priorities. Together with my wife Cornelia I have now reached such a point. It's hard to believe that it's been over 30 years since I tested the very first Stricker handbike prototype - at that time simply welded to my worn-out basketball wheelchair. It just seems like yesterday.
But time flew by. Now we have reached retirement age and have officially retired on April 1, 2020.
For a long time I struggled with myself to say goodbye to my heart project "Stricker Handbikes" and all the extraordinary employees. This step is significant and certainly not easy for me. All those past years will always remain in valuable memory.
The company R & E Stricker Reha-Entwicklungen GmbH will now be continued by my brother Edgar Stricker as the sole managing director. My wife and I know that with him it is in good hands. Whenever my technical know-how is in demand, I will of course continue to support my brother with pleasure.
However, the early years of our company are still vivid in my memory. You may wonder how I actually got the idea to attach a wheel in front of a wheelchair? At the end of the eighties, there were far fewer opportunities for wheelchair users to practice sports than today - table tennis, basketball, racing wheelchair, to name a few. Cornelia and I just wanted to go for a simple bicycle ride again but not in a racing wheelchair. The idea was that it should be possible to ride a wheel built in front of the wheelchair with hand cranks and an appropriate bicycle gear shift, and that it should be easier than with push rims. I was inspired by the mountain bike scene, which was becoming more and more popular at that time, and the associated development of bicycle gears. With the prototype mentioned above, I was able to cover an amazing 40 km on our legendary May-1st tour in 1989. That was the proof - it is possible! At that time, of course, still without engine support.
The enthusiasm and interest of people in similar situations in our wheelchair bicycle was huge. This was something we did not expect. But we quickly understood that this simple idea had the potential to improve the quality of life of many more people and we did not want to withhold this from anyone. The foundation of our own company was created. The rest is history...and a new wonderful time was meant to follow.
Before we now take up our next big challenge - life in retirement – Cornelia and I would like to express our thanks. Our deepest appreciation goes to you all, our customers and our business partners, as well as to all the members of the Stricker team in Bühl and Wiesenbach and of course to my brother Edgar for the many small and big things we have been able to achieve together over the years Without the contribution of each and every one of you, the company would not be what it is today. A very special and big thank you goes to my wife for her great support, because without her this whole project would not have been possible for me.
Finally, I would like to point out that our Heidelberg branch in Wiesenbach has been closed since April 1st, 2020. Please best contact the great staff at the company headquarters in Bühl at +49 7223-72510 from now on for repairs or any other question.
Make the best of everything and don't forget, nothing is impossible.
With best wishes for a healthy, happy and extraordinary life,
Reiner Stricker and Cornelia Klingel-Stricker