Biking in Berlin

I just got back from a couple weeks in Berlin. Berlin is fuuun! And one of the best parts is biking. They’ve got super-cute bikes (above), super-cute biking infrastructure (below), lots of epic stuff to bike to, and a citywide laid-back attitude that just makes everything more enjoyable.

Tons more nice pictures I took after the jump:

Berliners have different cycling techniques than San Franciscans:

Beware of scams like this one:

Green, yellow and red Timbuk2 bags old and new:

Here’s my baby:

Thanks to Mortimer and Keirin Cycle Culture Cafe for lending me such a sweet ride. If you love bikes, visit this shop when in Berlin:

I also recommend playing some German-style ping pong at Dr. Pong or Sportklause on Glogauer. It is the funnest ping pong you will ever play:

When hungry, eat one of these Gemüse doners from Mustafa’s:

Here’s my baby on the train:

Here’s my baby in the air:

15 Responses to “Biking in Berlin”

  1. Yeah that bike was super duper sweet. I have pics from Little Otik — Wanna me send dem 2U?

  2. Jack Tupp says:

    I wish san francisco could take after Berlin in the area of bikes and bike mentality.

    This morning outside my house, your standard bike with no brakes fixie caring a tattoo covered guy with one of those funny hats on, runs a red light almost runs full speed right into a woman and her child walking across the street, the woman says “Hey, watch out!!!” bike messenger turns and yells “Fuck you bitch!” as he continues onward. ???

    This upsets me!

    • Almostnative says:

      This is typical of the dumb fuck cyclists, esp those who worship fixies…and typical of the attitude of cyclists when a ped calls them out on their illegal behavior.

      maybe the fixie fuck will get hit by a bus next time.

    • moderniste says:

      I lived in Berlin for a little over a year in 2005, and the chief difference in “bike culture” is that Berliners wouldn’t even really call using their bikes to get around the city a “culture” thing.

      Bikes are fun, but are more simply transportation than needlessly expensive and precious things to geek out about. Using your bike has been normalized, and you don’t get the self-rightious hurrahs about being environmentally correct. It’s like, “whatever–it’s a bike.”

      I’m currently craving a giant spread of Berliner style breakfast with tons of cold cuts, pickles, thin brown bread and amazing German butter. Mmmm…

    • Rod says:

      do you blog about it every time you see a car run a light as well?

  3. Frosty says:

    A few interesting things about bike culture in Berlin:

    1) Almost nobody wears any kind of head protection, even on major thoroughfares. My estimate is maybe 2% of adults and 20% of children, though at least the kids take side streets for the most part. Locals call me a hopelessly prudish Ami whenever I bring it up.

    2) Despite a vast and brilliant network of bike lanes, people routinely ride on the sidewalks. Because Berlin has good sidewalks too. Sometimes this is rational, because riding on cobblestones is hard; but mostly it’s just that the cyclists consider all flat surfaces fair game. When on sidewalks they will at least make some attempt to not run over pedestrians.

    3) Kids get started *really* early, on these little wooden walk-bikes. Local yuppie kids know how to ride a bike way before they understand that cars could squash them like bugs. Three is on the old side. This is of course very cute, as long as they don’t get squashed.

    4) Fancy bike trailer thingies for kids are all the rage. Maybe it’s like that in Menlo Park or something, but I always flinch when I see somebody with a nylon trailer-tent full of offspring blithely cruising down the street. Fortunately, Germans are good (if fast) drivers, so the statistic likelihood of your paper bag full of kiddies getting flattened is probably not high.

  4. why says:

    why has no-one said anything about this horrific shoe/sock combo?

  5. Cristina says:

    Dang, that looks like it was a fun trip. Berlin!

  6. Ryan says:

    Berlin has nothing on Copenhagen. King of all cycling cities.

  7. ashley says:

    mustafa’s, YES YES YES YES.
    and yeah, bike culture there is superb. my favorite mornings spent in berlin were riding my bicycle back from the subway after sunrise. magic!

  8. cheezyb says:

    hey, really nice view of berlin in a nutshell. i’m living in berlin and have frequented both dr. pong and mustafa’s in the last couple weeks. surprised i didn’t run into you! also, i ride my bike without a helmet. but to that person who was talking about riding on the sidewalk, beware! for i almost got a ticket from the polizei for such behavior.
    hi ashley!!!!!! we miss you little mama

  9. jonathan says:

    I have been living in Berlin for over a year now, it i an amazing place. Very chill and relax, and still fairly cheap:) Try the Falafel at Mo’s on Grafestr., amazing and next to the best Espresso in town (actually it is at the Keirin Cafe), not only the Espresso is good, also the bikeservice etc. Anyway, next to it, also on Schleishes Tor is Rootz, amazing Burgers, all vegetarian:)