Berlin Part 2 Infrastructure: Places to go and how you get there

Like I said in the Part 1, I found the infrastructure in Berlin to be very good, cycling as an everyday activity for doing everyday things by ordinary people is well accommodated.   Most streets will have separate bike lanes, busy roundabouts and intersections have separate bike lanes and light phasing which isn’t ridiculously inconvenient like in Sydney.

Near Alexanderplatz and on many main streets,
you're forced to share the bus lane.

Trailers are quite popular

Many bike paths have their own
mini sets of lights and buttons
However it’s not perfect, there are plenty of big busy roads without any dedicated bike lanes, they are shared with massive double decker buses that are common in Berlin. It’s a good thing that most drivers are extremely courteous towards cyclists and pedestrians alike, people get it.  Unlike in London, when there is a bit of road work they actually divert the bike lane around it with fencing - in London they would just leave the whole thing blocked.  Another little thing which is nice is things like ramps at metro stations for wheeling bikes down.

Bike lanes go behind the bus stops

Even when there is roadwork, they are considerate enough to
detour the bike path as well, as opposed to just blocking it.

Outside our apartment block they have little stands for quick stops
It’s quite often these little things that really matter, the sum of these small details just makes cycling easy and convenient.  Some other things I bumped into in Berlin was a massive flea market at Mauer Park in East Berlin.  The park is built around an old part of the Berlin, every Sunday there is a huge flea market mostly made up of shops selling bric-a-brac, trinkets and food stalls.  At the entrance there was rows and rows of old city bikes being sold, presumably some of them had less than legitimate pasts; most of them were around 50-200 euro.  A bit further in I stumbled upon a bunch of about 5 bike stalls, a bit more legit than the guys outside but also featuring buckets of parts.  I had a quick look, mostly junk stuff but I knew that I had a 10kg carry on luggage limit anyway - not worth it.

Berlin was a great place to cycle around, the main part of the city isn’t too big and it is just easy to get around.  You generally don’t have to worry too much about cycling, you just do it and get on with business which is great.  On the Saturday night I was there, I cycled to a nightclub at about midnight and cycled back a few hours before sunrise, it was just so easy to do because the route was direct and it was no hassle at all.  I cycled across the city to go look at a building, it took a while but it was generally very easy to do even on our crappy hire bikes.  The city itself is amazing, the feel of the place is electric.  I feels like it’s quite hard to describe but everyone is busy creating and making the city one of the most vibrant in Europe.  I think I’m in love with this city and I want to move here!


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