Thursday, August 23, 2012

The "Homeless Veggie Dinner"

We want to share a very cool project organised by some friends. You can watch the video and read their own description of the project:

What we do, one Saturday a month, is cook for people. Our small team, joined by an extremely enthusiastic crowd of volunteers, prepares, cooks and serves meals to all the hungry mouths that come to enjoy the dinner.

We try to reach as many homeless and poor people as possible and it's great to see that every time we have more and more new guests coming from the underprivileged community of Berlin.

However, the dinner is open to everyone and this is what makes it so special. It gives the possibility to the average Joe to sit next to a homeless person and enjoy a meal together. It also works the other way around, where a homeless person can get in touch with someone they otherwise wouldn't have a chance to meet.

The poor/homeless community is a very segregated community and their daily interactions revolve around their fellow peers and social workers. They very seldom have the chance to venture outside these circles, so having a venue where they can meet people of other social circuits and talk to them and tell them about their lives and interests and passions is of great value to them. Coming to this dinner you give them the possibility to shine, even if only for one evening a month.

How does it all work:

Each time we serve a 3 course meal (first dish, second dish and a dessert) with a free drink to everybody.
People who can afford the food may leave a donation. You can give whatever you feel your dinner is worth and you are willing to give. There's no minimum donation. This donation pays for your food and funds a meal of the homeless person. In other words, with your money you're feeding homeless (and yourself).

To see what this all looks like, check this video here:

We would like to thank Cafe Hilde here in Berlin ( ) that has been supporting us since practically day one, providing drinks for our guests. We'd also like to thank Andrew Preble who gave us a lot, more than he could have probably afforded, in order to support this project. And finally, we'd like to thank all the people that continuously or sporadically come to help out with the project, giving away their free time in order to feed people. You all are a true inspiration.

the crew

You can find the Facebook group here:

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

And then there were 13

Magrela - Brazilian meets German engineering
Another two bikes donated in the past few days by some wonderfully generous CouchSurfers. This is 13 bikes that are on the project.

Firstly, after having a great ride home from Spandau last night, we have Magrela. According to its former guardian F. it is Portuguese for bicycle. Looking online, I found it means also "thin, skinny". Both names are appropriate. An appropriate German name for this bike would be "wunderbar", beacuse it is really in top condition and rides like the wind.

CharlotteAuxFraises - why are you named so?

Second on our list is the equally bemusingly named "CharlotteAuxFraises", shortened to CAF when necessary. Its the first of our bikes suitable for the longer legged person - approximately 170cm plus. C. donated this bike to the project after spending some time with some of our other bikes last month. He will soon be donating his time to the project too. Welcome aboard.

Monday, August 20, 2012

T-shirt production

Check it!
Tim (our graphic artist, par excellence) holds up an inked BSB Logo on his newly produced T-shirt.
Also picked up 11 T-shirts suitable for similar Logo treatment for all those who are interested (a range of men's and ladies' T-shirts of various sizes).
Contact us at for more info on how you too could look as proud as Tim is at owning such a masterpiece of Berlin chic.
Also contact us if you wish to become involved in this T-shirt making.
Coming soon: silk screen and bleached logo T-shirts.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

The new, the old and the repaired

Maxi's best side
Maxi has joined the fleet courtesy of our newest team-member, known only as John Violet. Not only did Mr.Violet donate a wonderful bike to the project, but he agreed to join the BikeSurfBerlin elite squad! His skills with a bottom bracket remover will come in handy. 

DDRstyle got new pedals, so she is free to run the Berlin streets once again.
We spent the sunny afternoon with our hands covered in oil in KOPI 137, socialising and repairing many bikes. Food, music and mutated bikes - it is all here on Friday afternoons, where the bike repair nieve rub shoulders with the bike freaks. Here we see Mr. Pink at KOPI, under the strict guidance of Mr. Violet coming to terms with the aforementioned bottom bracket - the bane of bike mechanics worldwide.

Friday, August 17, 2012

What a busy day!

Things are really getting busy these days for the busy team of BikeSurfBerlin & Associates.
As part of our out-sourcing campaign to those experts who actually know what they are doing when it comes to T-shirt making, you see here (right) T. using an Xacto-Blade to cut out a stencil of our BSB logo. A pain-stakingly arduous job, which requires a more steady hand than I've seen on most surgeons.
4-5 hours later - night-time falling - and approx 50% of stencil made. T. and V. look relieved that the "bear on the big black bike" stencil is nearing completion.

I wanted my T-shirt today, but it will have to wait for another few sleeps. They will be available in two types : bleached logo on dark T-shirts and inked logo on lighter T-shirts. Using second hand T-shirts, as there is enough T-shirts in the world already. Form an orderly queue to get stamped with the BikeSurfBerlin seal of approval!

Meanwhile, elsewhere, preparation for the impending video shoot  (Saturday 18th August) continues: script writing, location scouting, and equipment acquisition from throughout Berlin's CouchSurfing community. And there are the more usual aspects to the project to complete: bike requests to be processed, emails to be answered,  a new bike to be collected from another CouchSurfer for use in the project. Go BSB team!

Hoping that tomorrow brings T-shirts, more out-sourced expert help, coffee and karma (in that order).

Monday, August 13, 2012

BikeSurfBerlin now has a lovable logo

Welcome to our new logo design, courtesy of Tim Warden. Thanks to skills in Illustrator and his tireless determination, despite being on holidays, we have before us the new logos.

Hopefully, you will soon see these logos in the flesh adorning many a T-shirt in Berlin and beyond. Contact me if interested in making old T-shirts into BikeSurfBerlin fashion statements :-)

Calling all bands....

We will shoot our promotional video on 18th August (extras and help always welcomed). This video will outline the service the project provides, as well as how people contribute to the project,

As part of the video, we require backing music. This means we would like it if anyone knows of any bands (preferably in Berlin), of any style, that would let us use one of their songs for this purpose.

Closing date for submissions will be 27th August 2012.

Please submit any songs, links, etc. to

I look forward to listening to your grroves :-)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A whole new world....

Logo design, soundtrack, video storyboarding... these concepts have suddenly come into my world, as I prepare to shoot some video for this blog.
Have announced a competition for the BikeSurfBerlin logo about a week ago and hoping that I get some entrants, so that I get to choose a design. Nothing too complicated, minimal is best actually, so that black and white/grey scale printing doesn't look shabby. Still time to enter this competition; closing date 16th August - details on how to do so, in post below.
Also so the search for Berlin bands, composers, etc who wish to add a short soundtrack to this promotional video. The video will be approximately 2 minutes long and I am looking for something typifying Berlin style. Again, I welcome any thoughts and suggestions on this one.
Thankfully, have B. on board the project for the storyboarding, video directing, etc - came up with some ideas with her yesterday and have set a shoot day for 18th and 19th August. Equipment (HD or DSLR camera) may be lacking (please help!), but enthusiasm most definitely is not!
Quiet on set :-)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Going, going, gone.....

Information for those looking to buy a non-stolen bike in Berlin (BVG auction) very cheaply. Some roadworthy bikes for approximately 30euro.
Thursday 09/08/2012: from 08:00 to 10:00 you can view the approx 60 bikes. The bidding auction starts at 10:00 until approx 12:00
I will be attending this auction, so you can call on my free evaluation of your proposed bike - just message me on Couchsurfing for contact details.

Click here for details of the event!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Bicycle Repair Man

Among more of the unusual requests, I've been receiving since the founding of this project, have been questions about Life, the Universe and Everything. Today, was not an exception. It was Sunday and no bikeshops were open and G. another CouchSurfer from Spain had a puncture in his wheel. Not being able to live even a day without his trusty steed (I know the feeling), he contacted me, pleading advise for his situation. Promptly, I dug out my Bicycle Repair Man costume (see Monty Python sketch of same name, if this reference is lost on you), and zoomed to Schlesi, where I found a a forlorn G. with his lame bicycle. I had brought spare tubes for 26" and 28" wheels, but his bike has 24" wheels! After my laughter had abated enough to fix his tube, we quatsched a bit, while onlookers admired my puncture repair skillz;-) He told me that rather than buy a stolen bike from the flea-markets in Berlin and promote the bike theft circle, he would buy a child's bike, though it be more uncomfortable and ridiculous looking! A guy with bicycle ethics, super-fantastisch! Within approx 20 minutes, G. was on the road again, with the grin you see in the photo. I had to take a photo to remind me of his "clown-style" miniature bike. Ride on, you crazy diamond.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Another day in the life....

This project has crazy, fanatical bike-lovers at the helm. All aboard for a quick run through synopsis of yesterday. Early start: off to Polizei auktion in Berlin - Werdauer weg 23, 10829 - with my shopping list of bikes to buy for various friends.
Unfortunately, the only purchase if the day is the MacKenzie shown (project funds are very limited, at present) for my friend and tandem partner T. This is against the strong advice of my friend and very knowledgable P. I try to explain, that some people like shiney bikes, but he does not seem to get it. Rushing home with new bike in order to help another bikesurfer in desperate need of a bike - she explains that has been here one month without a bike and is in desperate need of a "bike hit". Off she rolls with our latest acquisition: Taipaei101, kindly donated by E. Towards the evening, meet up with another CSer S. to discuss plans to cycle to Copenhagen in the next week. S. has travelled by bike for 2 years!!! about Europe and is instantly my hero :-) Looking forward to more biking tales being told on the trip north next week. Have no fear, the rest of the posse will stay behind to continue the project, in my absence.

We have moved to a new website

Hold onto your hats, folks, its time we got our own brand new website. Please update your bookmarks or how you link with us to: