Monday, November 5, 2012

Critical Mass (plus more T-shirts)

Beers, "Nainaimo" bars and a certificate: thanking BSB style
"Hmm, here comes the freezing Berlin winter... I know, let's organise a bike ride!"

Our first BikeSurf gathering! On Saturday we led a group of avid and amateur cyclists as well as tandem bike virgins on a little tour around a couple of our favourite spots in Berlin, followed by some apples, cakes, tube repairing and t-shirt printing later on. The meeting spot: Lampke bicycle-bits-n-bobs shop in Kreuzberg, to give the guys there a quick BSB thanks for selling the cheapest bike parts in Berlin and keeping our bikes on the road.

Halloween in Berlin: Beware!
With that short visit over, we 18 bike lovers hopped on our bikes and headed southwards towards Tempelhof airport. Indeed, some had more success than others: Two of our friends from North America kept those at the back of the group entertained not just with their Halloween costumes, but also with their tandem bike kickoff skills, rolling first into a tree, then into a window, followed by a close encounter with two kids and their drinking cup. (Don't worry, no trees, windows, kids or cups were harmed. We checked!)

A massive, open public space, just a short ride away from the
centre of Berlin
Cycling southwards through the pleasant Hasenheide park, we crossed a main road and arrived at the Tempelhof airfield. This, we have to say, is one of the places in Berlin that you simply have to see (by bike, nat├╝rlich): an airport that was recently closed due to its proximity to the city centre. But instead of selling it, the authorities have decided (at least for the moment) to open the massive airfield to the public to use as a park for grilling, cycling, windsurfing, cultivating mini gardens, holding art exhibitions and big music festivals, or whatever you feel like doing. The very essence of Berlin!

The fruit of Vinnie's tube repair lesson
The rain held back but the cold began to get to us so we decided to head straight for the Tempest Anarchist Library, the location for the remainder of our gathering, where we had two masterclasses from two master DIYers: Vincent shared his bike brains and Bri shared her printing prowess. Both turned out to be lots of fun and very fruitful: we now have enough inner tubes patched to keep the BSB tyres inflated for the next year or so, and enough t-shirts printed... well, only enough for the group, but we'll improve on that next time when we have more stencils! 

We all had a terrific day and got a lot out of it - not just a few homemade chocolaty snacks and a t-shirt. We can't wait to organise another day out. Maybe we'll wait for the cold weather to pass... but maybe we'll brave the snow!

We at BSB would like to thank you all for showing your faces and support! The day was cracking, but wouldn't have been without you guys. See you all - and more of you - next time! 
A special thanks to Jay (Jerry), our photographer for the day

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