Riding downhill is in. Even so the man from Tegernsee Franz Zehendmaier is still really special. In the whole of Bavaria there is definitely no individual speed freak, who at the ripe age of 66 years old races down the mountain at breakneck speed. The age at which he is still practising his hobby is phenomenal. But it’s his inclination for riding downhill that made him a racing legend a few years ago. With his record of 80 km/h [56mph] on his scooter the trained mechanic can easily compete with any mountain biker any day. For this nearly crazy performance the speed freak once put on his protective motorcycling gear and chose an extremely steep route at Kasbach in Austria. Even today the “Racing grandpa from the hut”, as he’s called affectionately by his friends gets on his RoSi and hurtles down the mountain on it. “It’s easy to go seventy (km/h) on it, I’m not really scared of speed”, he explains proudly in his Bavarian dialect, “but you definitely need good disc brakes and the right cross-country tyres on it”.
Speed has always fascinated the local man from Kreuth. In the 60s and 70s he used to compete in car rallyes. In the famous Wallberg race in 1968 he finished in third place. Before the race Zehendmaier had tweaked & tuned his Kadett up to 120 bhp. As technology is the man from Tegernsee’s second hobby.
The folding scooters which were modern at the beginning of the seventies inspired the technology freak for his scooter ideas. He developed best-selling models such as “RoSi”, “GeRo”, “Downhill” and “Kili”. And then he added e-scooters, scooters for dog-owners and scooters for handicapped [disability] people to the existing models. In 2010 Zehendmaier received the German innovation prize for e-mobility with his environmentally-friendly e-drive scooter.
You can look forward to lots of new ideas from the scooter freak, as he definitely has no intentions of retiring yet. To be able to realise all his ideas he wants to stay around until he’s 120 years old. So keep your fingers crossed!
Source: The book to accompany the programme ”Heimatrauschen“ on BR tv