One of our readers, Kristin, sent us a link to a bike ride in Germany called Sternfahrt back in June.
"I just wanted to show you this as a nice summary of all kinds of Berlin cyclists (beginning with racers, tour cyclists, ending with normal commuters and some freaks).
"On this Polish website are some photos from the so-called "Sternfahrt" in Berlin (www.adfc-berlin.de) , where people bike from towns outside Berlin on different routes to the city-center.
This Polish group started in Eberswalde. The ride was full of normal Berlin cyclists.
This took place on a Sunday at temperatures around 30 degrees."
It's always great to see glimpses of cyclists from other European countries and the Sternfahrt looks like great fun. Thanks, Kristin, for sending us the link to the photos.
Berlin is a fine cycling city. I've ridden around it many a time and it's the quickest way to get from A to B. Berlin has made an effort to increase the number of intra-neighbourhood trips made by bicycle. There are efforts for increasing the number of cyclists commuting from the suburbs, but this intra-neighbourhood angle seems to be a good way to reduce short trips made by car.
It's an angle that other cities are adopting. The entire Vélib' scheme in Paris is geared at helping people choose the bike for short trips. It's a tall order for cities without any major urban cycling tradition to all of a sudden build bike lanes and infrastructure from distant suburbs into the city centre. Intra-neighbourhood trips are a good place to start. Isn't this what we we're seeing in New York City?
I have a number of photos of Berlin Bike Culture over at Flickr if anyone is interested.