Monday, December 31, 2012

Winter hall of Bikesurfing fame

Jade just off plane discovers the joys of  Bavaria
 There have been lots of bikesurfers, who have braved the snowy conditions here in Berlin, but these are the ones who we managed to get photos of.

We love your indomitable biking spirit and hope that other potential bikesurfers take heart at their example.

 Its great that there is no "low-season" in BikeSurfBerlin.

Rock on!
Karen and Kyle in the incoming snow


Meaghan and Brianna equipped for their BSB adventure

Friday, December 14, 2012

Calling all film makers in Berlin

We are entering our bikesurf project into the following project Velo Film Award and are looking for budding or established film-makers to help us win 1st prize.

Already have some ideas together and some semblance of a storyboard, but would love help with the shooting, equipment and organisation of the film shoot.

Deadline of submission of film is 18th January, so need to start planning really soon, if we are to submit our video.

Please email us at bikesurfberlin  as soon as possible.

Let's make film history!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Indominitable bikesurfing spirit

Jade braves the snowy Berlin conditions

 While many a bikesurfer has cancelled their request for a bike, due to the snowy conditions in the past week, Jade fearlessly, wobbly, slidingly and intrepidly made her way off with a bike today. Bravo and bon chance! Let this be an example to all those who shy away from cycling in this inclement weather.

Wheeler - the latest member of the fleet
Our newest bike acquisition - Medium Wheeler (Mountain bike). Donated by Chris and proudly fixed by our resident bike mechanic - Vincent. 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Presentations for new BikeSurf projects

See what you can do with those old chainsets
For those interested in setting up their own BikeSurf project in Berlin or other cities, we have created the following overview presentations for your information.

Happy reading.

Presentation on setting up your own BikeSurf Project

Training presentation for new BikeSurfBerlin members

Please feedback with any queries or suggested improvements you may have.

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, natürlich): 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





Saturday, November 3, 2012

T-shirt production: Part 3

Before
Et voila - when worn, instant Lynx effect
 Knowing that only Bruce Springstein is the only guy to get away with wearing white T-shirts and most people having darker T-shirts, I started to experiment using a bleach technique.

This requires fewer and cheaper materials but is way more tricky; I should have been supervised by an adult, or at least Brianna.

But I will have time to perfect the technique when I help give the masterclass on T-shirt printing later today on at our Critical Mass.





Thursday, November 1, 2012

T-shirt production: Part 2


Fruit of our stippling fun
In order to look super snazzy for our Critical Mass Bike Ride on Saturday, 3rd November (see poster below), we have ramped up production of our BSB T-shirts ie now there a total of six T-shirts in the world and two of those are in the US.

Thanks to Tim (BSB logo designer), we had a rather excellent stencil, with which we could stipple away with our newly acquired fabric paint. The results speak for themselves.

Bri:  "Ironing is fun with BSB!"
Stippling action
Limited editions
So we got to thinking on how others could get a BSB-logo on their clothes and here's the deal:  Bring along a 100% cotton, light coloured piece of clothing (not green) on Saturday, November 3rd to our Critical Mass and we will do a workshop on how to put our logo on your clothes and you'll get to take the results home.

Another idea on Saturday, is a workshop in puncture repair. This means that you all will learn the fine art of puncture repair and also help us out with our backload of punctured tubes.




Monday, October 22, 2012

Critical Mass Bike Ride

You've seen the poster, now come join us!!!
Please join the attendance list on CS below:
http://www.couchsurfing.org/activity/view/G41M7A/critical-mass-bike-ride-lampke-appreciation-day

There will be plenty of food, if everyone brings some along to share!!!


Okay Folks, this is the first Critical Mass brought to you by the guys and gals from BikeSurfBerlin.
Open to all cyclists (or maybe even pedestrians could get a lift from a passing bike) of all abilities, the idea is to cruise about the streets and show that the weather is not able to dampen our cycling resolve. There will be ample time to quatsch and chat en route and make new bike-buddies.
Just a thought, but it would be super-fantastisch if people were able to bring some snackable food along (vegetarian/vegan option would be great), so we could have a picnic somewhere along the way. And remember, sharing is caring.
After the ride, we hang out with some Sternies (whoever they are) at the Tempest Anarchist Library.
The secondary objective is to show our continued respect and support for Lampke bikeshop (Graefestrasse 1, Kreuzberg) who has helped so many people stay on their bikes, by providing the cheapest bike parts I have seen anywhere in Berlin - seriously, I don't know how he does it, but we at BSB give respect.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Repairs and new branch of BSB?

Repaired tubes today = 4
 This post may or may not become interesting, I have yet to decide. In the meantime, I will take my time talking a bit about the amount of time that the project takes in terms of repairing bikes and administration.
Firstly, there is and always will be some repairs, adjustments and niggling noises that need to be solved on some of our bikes. Due to the lack of time, space, spare parts and tools, it has proven a difficult task to ensure that the bikes are always kept in road-worthy condition. Fear not though, we are more than capable and willing to dedicate our time to the project. Today, for example, I was donated four tubes. However, all needed puncture repair. Not a mammoth task, but requiring some time.
Secondly, the administration side of things can be a little less greasy, but require even more time. Processing requests alone can sometimes feel like solving some chaos theory puzzle, with all the butterflies flapping their wings in random directions ie confusing, at the best of times. With an ever-increasing fleet of available bikes, the complexity of processing bikesurf requests, becomes exponentially more difficult, due to the fact that there are more variables in the system and more things that can go wrong, leading to other unforeseeable effects. Regardless of the organisation system in place, this is an inherent issue as the fleet continues growing.
Packing a bike for a plane

In order to expand this bikesurfing model and allow more people to avail of borrowing bikes for free, I would be extremely grateful if other like-minded individuals, would like to set up another independent hub for this project, in Berlin. The ideal person(s) would have 1-2 hours per day, have a small bit of space to store a few bikes and be able to repair bikes. If you would like to employ a similar booking system to the one that we have developed, then we have no problem in training you up in its use. When operational, we would be there to support this other branch of bikesurfing, if and when needed.


Monday, October 8, 2012

We need your support!

Dear friends,

We need your virtual support this time. As you can imagine, BikeSurfBerlin has a Facebook page and also a Twitter account. So, if you are using this social networks, you should like and follow us!

Why? Just because we want to be famous and meet more people and make all of them happy with our bikes! Is it a good answer?

Thank you!!

PS: The post was a bit empty so here you have a very cool video:

Monday, October 1, 2012

New bikes!

We have some new bikes! Say hi to TheSea and Pinkie!


TheSea



Pinkie

Monday, September 17, 2012

We will miss them...

Yes, two bikes are gone. Different circumstances but, for the moment, the same sad story for Ragazzi and Taepei101. If you rode one of them, this is the moment for sending your condolences.


Good news are: we are receiving enough bikes to replace them. They will be available soon!

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:

http://www.rbb-online.de/himmelunderde/archiv/himmel_und_erde_vom2/dinner_fuer_viele.html

We would like to thank Cafe Hilde here in Berlin ( www.hilde-berlin.com ) 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:
http://www.facebook.com/groups/121769647855905/

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 bikesurf.berlin@gmail.com 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 bikesurfberlin@gmail.com

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.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Only the name has changed...

As part of my rebranding campaign (after consultation with my PR team), the name of the project and thus several of the links have changed.

BikeSurfBerlin still offers you the smooth, refreshing taste ;-) but is now the name is more easily remembered and is future-proof ie it allows the project to easily expand to other cities eg BikeSurfRome.

Please update your links - sorry for any inconvenience or trauma caused.

Logo Competition Time!


Hear ye, hear ye, I hereby announce the competition to design the best logo for this project.

John needs the help of all established and aspiring graphic artists, photographers, painters, typographers; essentially all arty types ;-)

Please submit your entry as follows (NB: you can enter as many designs/logos as you like):

  • format: .png .pdf .jpg .tiff
  • email subject heading "LOGO"
  • in print quality
  • before 16th August 2012
  • to the following email address: bikesurf.berlin@gmail.com
The winning design will be announced on the 20th August 2012. Viel spass! 


Friday, July 27, 2012

A Day in the Life....

90 minutes of bike maintenance, 3 pickups planned, visit to KOPI 137 for spare parts, internet request to process - all in a day's work for me. Any assistance you may be able to offer would be greatly appreciated. No skills required! And now to daydream of bicycle heaven....(*sigh*)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A special kind of feeling

Cycling about mitte today, when I caught a streak of green out of my peripheral vision.
It's a special kind of green that is unmistakably Claudia.
The pursuit was on....
And then I saw that her brother Bavaia was with her, frolicking about on this sun-drenched day, with nerry a care in the world.
I introduced myself to the riders and we talked a bit at the next lights.
Then, as so often is the way with spontaneous moments, we parted ways.
Totally amazed to catch two of my bikes gallivanting about Berlin; still got the grin on my face to prove it.

All Bike Calendars on the one sheet

Due to popular demand, I have amalgamated all the bike calendars into one calendar, so that you can all see when you can book a bike, without the need to open up the individual calendars.
See link on the top of this page entitled "All Bike Calendars".

If all the colours send you into some sort of hypnotic trance or you think that it looks a bit complicated, then the more sombre individual bike calendars are still accessible too on the right hand side of page under the imaginative title "Calendars".

Hope this makes the choosing of the available dates easier.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Fill the form and ride!

I'm receiving support for this project from lots of people. This time Andrew has prepared an online form to make my life easier! I'm starting to have a big fleet and it's getting more difficult to handle! So, if you wanna ride one of my bikes, you just need to check the calendars (right column) and fill the form! See you around!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Now you can find me on Twitter!

I was talking about it with some friends and eventually decided to open my Twitter account. So, if you are using twitter, it's time to follow me! @bikesurfing

Sunday, July 22, 2012

One more bike added to our fleet


"California" was in a bit of pain as she arrived at the BikeSurf residence yesterday afternoon - partly from having a flat tyre and a bit of rust, but mainly from having been towed for 15 km with the flat tyre. Poor California.

But she's not shaken. Her luscious purple mane stands strong before any rust; no orange fleck of any size or shape can dismay her! Her wheels stand proud and inviting (and no longer flat) like two great, round eyes ready to wink at any CSer passing by. She is ready, citizens of the CouchSurfing world, to help you discover Berlin!

Take her for a ride for free by requesting here!

Check availability here

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Weekend trip to Usedom. Day 3. Military Restricted Area - Anklam

Third and last day of the trip. Some hangovered faces show up in the morning. Everybody knows what cheap whisky means. We reflect on that. We try to find an answer.


Life is beautiful, the sun is almost shining. Our bikes are too dirty. We will reach Usedom soon, unless we start having punctures and breaking our bikes' chains.






Well, we finally manage to cycle more than 10 km. without incedentes, until we find The Beach.


At some point, mostly when it started raining we leave the beach and keep going North. Just heading to the storm I would say.



At some point we realize that we are tired and hungry, we also find a train station and a train is going back home in 15 minutes! Oh! we didn't reach Usedom, but the weekend was pleasant enough and as someone said "The journey is the destination". So we try to find something to eat in town on a sunday afternoon. Seems kinda impossible in Anklam. Let's go back to Berlin! Where you can buy Döner in every corner and the sun is always shining! </irony>