A bit later than expected – but this was how Berlin on a Bike went…
Berlin itself is a wonderful city – but the one thing that really blew me away about the place was the cycle culture. In all honestly that was the 1st thing I noticed when we were heading to our hotel in the car. Bleary-eyed and tired (we’d been up since 3am that morning), I was staring out the passenger window and every other person I spotted was either on a Bike, or parking one up somewhere… already I was impressed.
The initial plan was to rent Bikes from our hotel when we got there, but even in my excitement I realised that going for a cycle the 1st morning & feeling so knackered probably wasn’t a great idea. After a much needed breakfast and freshen-up at The Circus, we headed out for a walk to check out “home” for the next 5 days. It didn’t take long to encounter more cycle enthusiasts on our walk – other than being surrounded by seriously chic people on 2 wheels, we bumped into a cycle tour that was just about to set-off from Rosenthaler Straße.
They looked like they were going to have fun touring the City… my mind wondered about doing that instead of renting bikes ourselves and heading out.. but then I saw these 2 beauties parked up together:
As I was busy taking pictures, I didn’t realise the couple that owned them were stood behind me watching! Had a brief chat with them (thanks to my limited German) and gathered that they were having a day off work together & just heading out for a ride across the city… which swayed me back to doing exactly that with The Boy 🙂
The “rent from the hotel” plan didn’t happen: they had run-out of bikes the morning we wanted them – but I have to say I wasn’t that taken by selection they had. Instead, we hired from the excellent Fat Tyre Bike Tours!
We set off from under the TV Tower with nothing more than a Map, and an idea of places we wanted to visit… and that was really all we needed!
The freedom of just jumping on a bike and seeing Berlin from the velo-view was excellent. It was also surprising how easy it was to navigate and follow the routes The Boy had mapped out. Our stops included the Deutsche Guggenheim, the Dali Museum… and of course, a stop-off for the ultimate German food experience…
I was nervous about cycling out there: I still consider myself a newbie to cycling, so the idea of riding around the roads of a new city spooked me a bit. But in comparison to London? – I felt much safer in Berlin than I ever have cycling in London. The cycle-culture out there is a world apart from that over here – cycling accounts for 12% of total street-traffic & the City’s riders are catered for with the awesome wide and smooth cycle lanes on both the roads and sidewalks. London really could learn a lot from Berlin & I hope one day that it will happen over here.