Saturday, 4 June 2016

Bikes Rule

“Ring, ring” goes the bell on a Berlin bike.

Time to move out of the way. Quickly. What are you? An imbecile, a tourist, drunk?

Number one rule in Berlin - Don’t get in the way of a Berliner on a bike. Don’t you know that bikes rule the roost in Berlin?

Ah… I miss cycling around without a care in the world.

After taking to the roads in London, I quickly realised just how good you have it in Berlin.

The morning commute is incomparable.

In Berlin there are wide bike lanes, sometimes the width of a narrow London street; Nobody wears a helmet, not because they are not safety conscious, but because safety is already built in to the infrastructure (though this would freak out many of my London friends). There are separate traffic lights for bikes so you go first. Bliss.

Having a bike in Berlin is almost compulsory. A bit like in East London.

Riding around Berlin is one of the biggest pleasures of the city, and something I miss a lot.

Credit where credit’s due, my cycle ride to work in London has improved by over 100% over the last couple of years, since I moved back. However, this only brings them close to the standard in Berlin.

It’s so easy to cycle around Berlin – and although I was knocked off my bike there once – it is one of the safest cities I have cycled in.

Wide avenues and separate bike lanes make cycling easy, spacious, safe and pleasurable.

But one of the main reasons that cycling in Berlin is safer and fun, is that the cyclists rule.

Yes, that’s right – you’ll know this if anyone has ever rung their bell at you when you’re accidently walking in the bike lane.

Bikes generally have the right of way. They have the respect of both pedestrians and cars. Something where Londoners desperately need to catch up.

Bikes aren’t an annoyance or in the way. They are the way. They way of Berlin life.

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