The urban bike magazine

Lost in Berlin? How to Get Safely by Bike through the City

Berlin has more than 1,500 km of cycle paths – who can keep all that in their head? After cycling in the city for the past four years, I can tell you: cycling is safe, fun and a source of freedom!

Kerstin Oschabnig
Since about two years Kerstin Oschabnig has been coordinating the Bike Citizens Magazine. For her, the bicycle embodies more than just a means of transportation – it's a lifestyle. She loves all the facets of bicycle culture and sometimes stares a few seconds too long towards a passing bicycle. In her free time you find her on stage as a circus artist.
Image © Andreas Stückl

A few years ago I decided to finance my life by transporting packages as if pursued by the hounds of Hell from A to B through the city. In other words: I became a bike messenger. Typical reactions included: “You must be mad with all that traffic!” “Cycling in the city? I’d rather take the underground. I feel safer there.”

Andreas Stückl, Co-Founder of BikeCityGuide, on Tour

Talking to friends and acquaintances, it soon dawned on me that one of the reasons people don’t ride their bikes in the city is because they don’t think it’s safe. What to do then? Forget about the bike completely or acquire so many cycling skills that you can accurately anticipate every conceivable dangerous situation? Or else … stay safe by knowing your way about?

Berlin, for example, has more than 1,500 km of cycle paths – who can keep them all in their head? When I started out, I also cycled across Alexanderplatz and along Unter den Linden where the streets are narrow and hectic. But over time I discovered other routes that were much more relaxed and could sometimes be covered quicker.

That’s my approach in a nutshell and after cycling in the city for the past four years, I can tell you: cycling is safe, fun and a source of freedom!

Freddie Proves Berlin’s Bikeability

My dear colleague Freddie, who’d been living in Berlin for just three weeks, took the test and cycled through the middle of Berlin. Together we rode eight kilometres, from the centre to Moabit.

To sum up after a 30-minute trip: of the eight-kilometre stretch, five kilometres were on dedicated cycle paths (along the canal, through the park, etc.). The rest of the route ran along side streets away from the main traffic. We were relaxed the whole time and felt safe except for Freddie’s fear that chestnuts could fall on his head as we wound through Tiergarten. That hairstyle was expensive! But it was fine in the end. Berlin, 20 degrees and the hairstyle all in one piece!

This was our bike tour, feel free to plan your own trip:

As a former bike messenger, my love of cycling is not just a key part of my life – it’s also the core element of the BikeCityGuide. We regularly go on bike trips in any number of different cities. We do it because it’s fun and because it gives us a deeper insight into cities at home or abroad. Fun presupposes a feeling of safety and that comes from knowing your way about and where relaxed mobility is possible. We want to make cycling in the city a matter of course. So thanks again to all our supporters! The bigger the community behind BikeCityGuide, the easier we can achieve our goals of making a city an even better place to live!

 

Kerstin Oschabnig
Since about two years Kerstin Oschabnig has been coordinating the Bike Citizens Magazine. For her, the bicycle embodies more than just a means of transportation – it's a lifestyle. She loves all the facets of bicycle culture and sometimes stares a few seconds too long towards a passing bicycle. In her free time you find her on stage as a circus artist.

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