Sunday, December 15, 2013

How BikeSurf works - The Video!


How BikeSurf works from Sam Muirhead on Vimeo

Many thanks to Judith and Sam for putting in the time, sweat and tears that went in to making this video for us. A warm place awaits you in bicycle heaven :-)

Friday, November 29, 2013

The Council of Europe presents BikeSurfBerlin

My God, it's full of flags!
BikeSurfBerlin was invited to present the project by the Council of Europe in Strasbourg in early November, in a conference (Responding Together) seeking to raise awareness and encourage networking between various sharing projects throughout Europe. We were privileged to be invited and, ever eager to share our idea, we (Elly, Rachel, Olga, Patrick & Graham) took 14 hour's worth of cheap trains to reach Strasbourg. Deciding to CouchSurf with some fantastic hosts there, proved to be a wonderful chance to get an insight into the city from the very off.
That's real-time interpreting - impressive.
Bjorn (the BSB bear)! - You're famous!


All those flags at the Palais de'Europe, rigorous security and real-time international interpreters told us that BSB had gotten European recognition.

We spent two days at the conference, listening to representatives from other sharing initiatives discuss the importance and logistics of setting up their respective projects. We also had the opportunity to take centre stage and present BSB and its progress to date. The BSB scrapbook, containing photos and witty descriptions, was particularly enjoyed by the audience.

Monday, November 18, 2013

BikeSurfer waxes lyrical about BSB

(In response to a request for his opinion of the BSB experience for a newspaper article).

Hello D****,

I am from the world.

To arrive in a city and be the master of your own destiny, to arrive in a city and become better acquainted with the precipices and crevices of all the kiez, riding East to West across a city once home to the 20th century's most infamous garden hedge dispute all while sparing oneself of the cumbersome, extortionate degradation they call public transport; all this is priceless.
That a priceless service is without cost should not be regarded a coincidence. The widely held belief that remuneration is the inspiration for inspiration, that moolah means innovation, to my mind at least, is suspicious and I daresay when BikeSurf is successfuly rolled out around the world, those suspicions would go some way to being confirmed.

My real name is Tanzen Spinoza. Emeka is a stage name. I should like my real name to be attributed to any quotes. Should you want anymore, don't hesitate to get in touch. Good luck with the piece.
Immer mit liebe,
emeka *

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Practical Theorist blog - we are already hooked ;-)

Looking up for some inspiration? Here's one for you: http://www.practicaltheorist.com/

This blog was launched not so long ago, and presents cool art, books and films, ideas and amazing projects... the latest article is about BikeSurf.

For us it was a pleasure talking to Oliver, the one behind the blog, and we expect to get inspired by more ideas from the blog!

Friday, September 13, 2013

BikeSurf on CNN

BikeSurfBerlin! Berlin? The buzz is global! Today we've been featured on CNN Global!

Triple hurray to Graham for the idea, to the BSB team for implementation and to all our bikesurfers from around the world, who made it possible for the project to get a minute of fame on CNN!!!

Special thanks to BSB faces and voices Olga and Sam. We've also managed to get hold of Graham to get his reaction: "overjoyed!"

4:50 and onward

Click to watch CNN report

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Bike Mechanics Wanted

HANDY WITH A BIKE?
Original image: http://sicycle.wordpress.com

We need some mechanical help with our fleet! Since our bikes are seeing active use, some pretty typical repairs are regularly needed. Think you can help? SHOUT OUT! Your usual (and potentially sometimes UNUSUAL) bike repairs are called for: making sure brakes are in order, tightening bolts, fixing tires, keeping the chain in good repair—anything and everything that can happen to a bike can just as well happen to one of ours. Think you can contribute to this effort? We can use any and all repair people: from the relatively familiar to the wizardly talented. Let us know by e-mailing bikesurfberlin@gmail.com!

You’ll not only be a ROCK STAR for doing so, you’ll also be doing all of the BikeSurf Berlin community a ton of good. After all we’re nothing if we don’t have the bikes which drive our org. Ride on!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Downsizing the BSB bike fleet

Guess the BSB team member competition
We have decided to significantly reduce the bike fleet at BikeSurfBerlin from the end of August.   With more bikes, come more repair and logistical problems, along with more costs.  Because we still are not reaching our fundraising and sustainable participation goals for the current number of bikes, in order to reduce our headaches and improve standards we will now provide approximately 10 bikes for short term BikeSurfing.  BSB's wheels turn only because of  volunteer pedaling and donations, and unfortunately right now maintaining sustainability for the project means fewer wheels.  

Some of the other bikes will still be available from Leila (exchange store in Mitte) and from BSB on longer term loan (>1month) only. 
We also have some bikes to sell, to reduce the need to store the extra bikes and to generate funds. All the money we raise from any source goes into making this project better (there's no profit, just "the project"), so we will be transforming a few bikes into much needed capital in order to improve the quality of the remaining bikes.  

We would dearly love to provide all of the current 24 BSB bikes for surfing, as there is clearly a demand, but we need to be realistic about the path to providing a sustainable service with our current resources.  Right now this means shifting to an emphasis on quality over quantity.

As BSB is a community project, your thoughts on this decision are most welcome.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

POWERBOTTOM has arrived

POWERBOTTOM
Say hello to our newest member "POWERBOTTOM"!

Anonymous donor, P. to his friends, has been most generous in donating POWERBOTTOM to the BSB fleet. Sir, we, at BSB, salute you. We choose not to ask, why he christened this bike so.

This means that there are now 23 bikes in the service, mobilising travellers and residents through the sun-drenched streets of Berlin.

Hope that the success of BikeSurf in Berlin will spread to other cities in the coming months. If you have an interest in starting your own independent BikeSurf branch in Berlin or further afield, get in contact.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

BikeSurfBerlin Bicycle Repair/ Maintenance Workshop # 2 ---> ie BSBBRMW # 2

Vince serenades his captive audience at "Punctures 101"

Back by popular demand, we have deemed sunny Sunday 7th July at 13:00 to be the date for the next BikeSurfBerlin Bicycle Repair/ Maintenance workshop.

This time, it will be held outdoors (23C this Sunday... yay!): Volkspark Friedrichshain, right by the Bouldering Climbing rocks, next to volleyball court.

Bring beers, bike, friends, bike tools, spare parts - it will be quite a relaxed social affair, and no previous bike repairing skills are necessary.

Our resident BSB bike mechanic (Vincent) will be your guide through such wonderful repairs/maintenance/topics as truing your wheels, patching inner tubes, adjusting brakes and gears and cables, oiling and greasing, removing and repairing a chain, replacing pedals and cranks, best Berlin places to buy new parts and used bikes, what tools to get, whatever else!

Donations would be rad! These will be used to help fund the cash strapped BSB project.  If you have something that needs replacing (tires/tubes, inner & outer cables, chains, brake blocks etc) it would be very good idea to buy it beforehand. Cheapest parts shop by far: http://berlin.kauperts.de/eintrag/Lampke-Graefestrasse-1-10967-Berlin

After workshop options: Vince's WG in Friedrichshain or a local VoKu for something nutritious to eat.

See you in the Park! :)
Vincent  & Graham.

bikesurfberlin@gmail.com   --> if ay questions

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Thoughts on the year gone by....

Graphs showing the progress of BikeSurfBerlin during year one.


It's been an eventful and prosperous year for BikeSurfBerlin, so please allow us to reminisce on the year gone by, by means of some graphs, facts and figures.

We have had 331 BikeSurfers use our bikes since June 2012 and saved them approximately 18,000€ for the year, based on a conservative 7€/day/bike.

We have grown the fleet to 22 bikes and the BSB team has allowed us to expand the services we offer to include bike repair lessons, weekend bike rides outside Berlin limits and city bike tours.

This would not have been possible without the support, dedication and enthusiasm of new members to the BSB team. A special thanks to our BikeSurfers.and those inspired enough to donate their bikes, parts and money to the cause, without which, this project would not have been sustainable.

We have also achieved mainstream media attention, including notable international and local publications such as The New York Times, The Irish Times and ExBerliner magazine - see "PRESS" button above for a full listing of the media attention we have received to date.

Here is hoping that 2013/4 will prove as successful and the BikeSurf network will spread to other cities worldwide.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Tram Berta does Sternfahrt on Sunday 2nd June.

When is a tram not a tram? Tram Berta brakes all the rules.
Now is your chance to see Tram Berta on the streets and meet some of the BSB crew (we will be the ones powering this creation)

http://www.tram-berta.de/

It's a tram that is made up of two bikes and is probably the coolest thing at the Sternfahrt- the biggest annual Critical Mass in Berlin (up to 250,000 bikes), which culminates at the Environmental Festival in Mitte, near Tiergarten.

http://www.adfc-berlin.de/aktionenprojekte/sternfahrt.html

We will be leaving S-Bahnhof Prenzlauer Allee at 11:40 on Sunday 2nd June.

Arrive at Alexanderplatz about 11:55, Moritzplatz at 12:05, and UBahn-Kottbusser Tor at 12:10.

Find the whole route here.
http://www.adfc-berlin.de/images/stories/Sternfahrt/2013/Sternfahrt-2013.pdf

Hope to meet you all en route. Come show your support for BikeSurfBerlin and have a go on Tram Berta with us.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Polizei Versteigerung/ Police Auction for bikes on Tuesday 28/5/13

Some of you may not have been in Berlin long enough to hear about the bicycle auctions that happen on behalf of Polizei every two months. Those bikes that are not claimed by their owners after an allotted time are sold off to the highest bidder at these auctions.

The benefits of buying a bike in this manner are:
  1. cheap bikes - cheaper than flohmarkts
  2. proof of receipt - means you can sell off bike later more easily
  3. not supporting bicycle theft
  4. it's an exciting atmosphere and gives you a buzz when you're the highest bidder 
It is best if you go there with someone who knows what to look out for in buying a second hand bike, as they are varying quality and a little bit about how numbers sound in German is a plus.

If you contact us at BSB, we may be attending and be able to help you out.

The next Polizei auction --> 28/05/13
  • ~ 200 bikes on offer usually (also other items, sporting equipment, cameras, laptops, phones, etc.)
  • no bidding slip required - bid using your upraised hand, pay for each item immediately after you have won it
  • well organised
  • cash only - no cards
  • will be taking place on 29th January from 8am (viewing of bikes) and then auction starts at 10am upstairs
  • recommend you bring a picnic with you - eg snacks and tea
GoIndustry Deutschland GmbH, Zweigstelle Berlin
 Werdauer Weg 23 (Nähe S-Bahnhof Schöneberg)
10829 Berlin
 Polizei auction 29/01/13 website - click here

The details of all future BVG and Polizei auctions will be on the calendar in "Things to do" at the top of this page.

Happy bidding!

Monday, May 20, 2013

BikeSurfBerlin Bicycle Maintenance/ Repair 101 (WOMEN only!)

Starting 13:00 sharp on Sunday 26th May- please be on time.

Why women only? Based on a survey of BSB female members, this will provide a more comfortable learning environment. The instructors will be female.  

Will take place in the hinterhof (backyard) of this location: Alte Jakobstrasse 121 - Kreuzberg (you can ring on buzzer marked "POPE" if you need directions on how to access hintehof.

Things to bring (if possible):
  • Your own bike, so that you can learn about your specific bike
  • Any bike tools that you have, so that you can learn more about how to use them
  • Pen and paper to take notes
  • Snacks
Need no prior experience of bike maintenance/ repair (this workshop presumes you have little/ no experience with bike maintenance/ repair)

Topics to be covered:
  • Puncture repair
  • Brake adjustment
  • Saddle adjustment
  • Gear adjustment
  • Locking your bike
  • Berlin rules of the road
  • Protecting your bike from thieves
We can help you fix your own bike too (so bring it along). We have tools and spare parts.

We do appreciate any donation you can afford, for use in our BikeSurfBerlin project.

bikesurfberlin@gmail.com

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Deutsche Bahn bicycle auction 24.04 and BVG bicycle auction 25.04.13


Grab yourself a bargain bike for the incoming Springtime.
Some of you may not have been in Berlin long enough to hear about the bicycle auctions that happen on behalf of Deutsche Bahn, BVG and Polizei every one to two months. Those bikes that are not claimed by their owners after an allotted time are sold off to the highest bidder at these auctions.

The benefits of buying a bike in this manner are:
  1. cheap bikes - cheaper than flohmarkts
  2. proof of receipt - means you can sell off bike later more easily
  3. not supporting bicycle theft
  4. it's an exciting atmosphere and gives you a buzz when you're the highest bidder 
It is best if you go there with someone who knows what to look out for in buying a second hand bike, as they are varying quality and a little bit about how numbers sound in German is a plus.

If you contact us at BSB, we may be attending and be able to help you out.

The next Deutsche Bahn auction  --> 24/04/13 at 15:00

Bike auction held every month in the train station in Berlin Zoologischer Garten at the Fundburo (Lost and Found office)
  • approximately 30 bikes on offer
  • no chance to examine or touch bike before bidding
  • no bidding slip required
  • much more expensive than other auctions
  • must pay in cash only
  • weird, grumpy crowd - not the nicest atmosphere
http://www.bahn.de/p/view/service/bahnhof/fundservice.shtml

The next BVG auction  --> 25/04/13 (viewing starts at 8am, auction from 10am)

  • ~ 40 bikes on offer usually (also other items, sporting equipment, cameras, laptops, phones, etc.)
  • requires you to pay a deposit of 5€  for the bidding slip in order to place a bid (bring your Anmeldung or other proof of your address, passport)
  • a bit chaotic/ unorganised at times
  • pay with EC card or cash only (no credit cards)
  • from 8am (viewing of bikes) and then auction starts at 10am.
  • recommend you bring a picnic with you - eg snacks and tea
Saalburgstr 3/3a, 12099
 BVG auction 24/01/13 website - click here

The details of all future BVG, Deutsche Bahn and Polizei auctions will be on the calendar in "Things to do" at the top of this page.

Happy bidding!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Infographic on how to BikeSurf

http://judithcarnaby.com
Judith Carnaby has lent her considerable artistic hand to designing this infographic on the process of how people can borrow a bike from BikeSurf.

Sing it Michael:
A B C
It's easy as, 1 2 3
As simple as, do re mi
A B C, 1 2 3
Baby, you and me girl
A B C
It's easy as, 1 2 3
As simple as, do re mi
A B C, 1 2 3
Baby, you and me girl

Friday, April 12, 2013

Bicis Solidarias, from Córdoba (Spain)


I was travelling around the south of Spain and randomly landed in Córdoba. Córdoba has great bike community potential due to its size, shape and climate (not in summer). A Seville CouchSurfer suggested that Córdoba would be a great location for the next BikeSurf city. Now I think Seville is actually the better choice, because it turns out Córdoba already has Bicis Solidarias.






After visiting the unique Mezquita, walking around the shady Jewish quarter and eating some snails, I had the chance to meet Andrés, a man who has created something similar to our BikeSurf project. He is probably the only vegan in Córdoba as well ;)

I tracked down his contact information and it was so easy to arrange a meeting with him, even without saying what it was concerning. What a great first impression; he is really an accessible guy.  During our meeting he told me everything I needed to know about the Bicis Solidarias’ project:

Everything started when Andrés, together with some partners, decided to provide bicycles to people who need them and who can’t afford to buy a new or used bike.  Unfortunately we all know about the current economical situation in Spain.  Perhaps this is why bikes in this area are regularly in such high demand. This is what lead to the creation of his not for profit project, which just like BSB is not an NGO or a company.

Since creating the project, Bicis Solidarias has expanded to include new and diverse activities. Nowadays, you can enjoy a variety of events organised by Andrés and his team such as:

- Bike Lending: Primary service.
- Free Language lessons: They have native teachers for Arabic, Hebrew, English, Spanish, French and German.
- Urban Farming: They are currently squatting on an empty public space and transformed it into a social urban garden.
- Workshops: Bike repair, internet for inexperienced people or any new idea they might come up with.
- Vegan picnics: These are planned for every Sunday.
- Micro Credits: If you have a vegan business idea, you can contact them and get a microcredit to support your project. They would also consider being partners in any vegan project.
- Sharing ideas: Anybody with a good idea connected to bikes, veganism or related topics is welcome in Bicis Solidarias.
- And many more things!



For more information about this wonderful project, you can check out the Bicis Solidarias blog here.  Thanks for encouraging a green planet, we at BikeSurfBerlin salute you and your team for your wonderful efforts.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Ask not what BikeSurfBerlin can do for you, but what you can do for BikeSurfBerlin (it'll only take a few clicks)

VeloCity Visionaries Awards 2013

We would dearly love to have a stall at a huge bicycle conference called VeloCity 2013, where we could gain the support of similar grassroots projects, spread our idea internationally and be inspired to make our BikeSurf project even better.

However, there is a sad lack of funds here at BSB HQ and we are looking to get a stall there for free.

To do this, we have entered our project in the VeloCity Visionaries Awards 2013, where the top 20 projects will get a free stall at this bike conference.

Only those projects which have enough votes will get a free stall at the conference. Please vote for our project at the following link before 15th April (after clicking on VOTE NOW, you will immediately receive an email with a link to confirm your vote - if you do not receive this email, check your SPAM folder).

http://velo-city2013.com/?page_id=2337&project_id=218

Please share and tweet about our submission to these awards to others you know. There are Twitter and Facebook share links on the page above.

We deeply appreciate your support of our project and want the chance to showcase it on an international stage so that other BikeSurf branches will pop up in other cities.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

BSB Logo, snow, BSB bags and Polizei bike auction

Joachim Halupczok posing with BSB bag
http://judithcarnaby.com/
Several random photos from various segments of life in BikeSurfBerlin.

Inspirational illustration celebrating the project, courtesy of Judith Carnaby. Why, thank you, for that!

BSB cotton bag production (see example with Joachim) will start in earnest in the coming weeks and will be part of our reward system for those donating to help the project expand and develop.If you wish to get your own bag today, please contact us for details on our reward scheme.
Agnes braves the lingering wintertime

Police auction 26/03 reaps rewards
Despite the snow not going away, the number of BikeSurf requests is growing. Love to see the resilient spirit.of our BikeSurfers.

Police auction on 26/03 was another exciting affair with more than 300 bikes. Come join us in the next one - see "Things to do" calendar above to keep up to date with featured biking events in Berlin.


Monday, March 25, 2013

Bicycle auctions in Berlin March/April 2013

It's time again, to brave the still wintery conditions and grab yourself a bargain bike for the incoming Springtime.
Some of you may not have been in Berlin long enough to hear about the bicycle auctions that happen on behalf of BVG and Polizei every two months. Those bikes that are not claimed by their owners after an allotted time are sold off to the highest bidder at these auctions.

The benefits of buying a bike in this manner are:
  1. cheap bikes - cheaper than flohmarkts
  2. proof of receipt - means you can sell off bike later more easily
  3. not supporting bicycle theft
  4. it's an exciting atmosphere and gives you a buzz when you're the highest bidder 
It is best if you go there with someone who knows what to look out for in buying a second hand bike, as they are varying quality and a little bit about how numbers sound in German is a plus.

If you contact us at BSB, we may be attending and be able to help you out.

The next Polizei auction --> 26/03/13

  • ~ 200 bikes on offer usually (also other items, sporting equipment, cameras, laptops, phones, etc.)
  • no bidding slip required - bid using your upraised hand, pay for each item immediately after you have won it
  • well organised
  • cash only - no cards
  • will be taking place on 29th January from 8am (viewing of bikes) and then auction starts at 10am upstairs
  • recommend you bring a picnic with you - eg snacks and tea
GoIndustry Deutschland GmbH, Zweigstelle Berlin
 Werdauer Weg 23 (Nähe S-Bahnhof Schöneberg)
10829 Berlin
 Polizei auction 29/01/13 website - click here



The next BVG auction  --> 25/04/13

  • ~ 40 bikes on offer usually (also other items, sporting equipment, cameras, laptops, phones, etc.)
  • requires you to pay a deposit of 5€  for the bidding slip in order to place a bid (bring your Anmeldung or other proof of your address, passport)
  • a bit chaotic/ unorganised at times
  • pay with EC card or cash only (no credit cards)
  • will be taking place on 24th January from 8am (viewing of bikes) and then auction starts at 10am.
  • recommend you bring a picnic with you - eg snacks and tea
Saalburgstr 3/3a, 12099
 BVG auction 24/01/13 website - click here

The details of all future BVG and Polizei auctions will be on the calendar in "Things to do" at the top of this page.

Happy bidding!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Another Successful BSB Meeting!



We are very excited to welcome not only two new bikes this month, but also a few new members!  We would like to welcome Daniel, Lucas, Federica, and honourary members Sara & Dieter to our team.

We had a very successful meeting with awesome highlights like the newest information on the development of bikesurf.org, how we can service the many requests we receive daily from non-CS or BW users, plans for spring events, bike trips, and so much more!

Not to mention we had the honour of gathering in an awesome new location including a meditation room and the home of some of our bikes! The Hof at 121 will be the gathering spot for many events to come.  Thanks to everyone who participated and to Graham for the delicious crepes!  Hopefully by our next meeting, the sun will show up too!  See you on the streets.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

One Bike, Two Bike, Free Bike, More!

Brianna adding the ceremonial sticker to Felix.

Mukuku giving us a pretty solid hipster pose.



        
We would like to introduce to our community, our two newest bike members Felix and Mukuku!  A special thanks to Siobhan Williams and Éva Tankó for their contributions to our project.  The surfers of this upcoming spring and summer will be very grateful.







You can find both of these bikes on our calendars to book them today.  If you have any bikes collecting dust in the corner, please notify us at bikesurfberlin@gmail.com and we would be happy to collect them.  We expect even more surfers this summer, and would love to accomodate anyone who needs a bike.  Thanks again to our donators!  We couldn't do it without you.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Where do BikeSurfers come from?

Well, now that our project has been going for a bit and we have some data about bikes and BikeSurfers, we thought we'd give you a little snapshot. You know, answer some age-old questions like: which came first, the biker or the bike? The answer is the bike.

The next question has it's answer below: