Seven Days Later
My Seven Favorite Things About The Berliner Fahrradschau 2016
Only two of seven Berlin Bike Shows under my belt & this annual highlight of Berlin Bicycle Week has got me feelin’ some type of way; still a week later. Justifying a several day trip to a trade show is so much more than just browsing exhibitor stands in foreign lands. But what exactly makes everyone say wow about the Berliner Fahrradschau? For me, I boiled it down to seven main reasons:
1. The Vibe – Last Sunday night I was up milking the last minutes of gemütlichkeit at 2:30am before flying out only several hours later. This year, I, again, stayed with Bregan Koenigseker who runs Communications for the Berlin Bicycle Week & Berliner Fahrradschau. The show’s #CyclingUnites hashtag really captures the intent and result of the event quite sublimely. Seeing the work that goes into making Europe’s best bike show so well known is inspiring. Sure you read it in blogs, magazines and instagrams but talking to attendees and exhibitors, participating in the events or simply standing in any corner of the show and soaking it in is the only way to feel the the Fahrradschau vibe. This is the single most illusive & immersive aspect that makes this experience in Berlin so unforgettable.
2. The Whiskey – Sure it is cliché but if you’re spending a weekend in Berlin, chances are you’re gonna be drinking more than you do otherwise. This year, the whiskey was a highlight that spanned every day of the show.
Friday evening I arrived and immediately found my way to the Standert booth. Max and the guys have had a long standing affiliation with Bulleit Rye and certainly make the most of it! Photos from their Lange Nacht event the evening before & the rest of the weekend are here.
John at the Radavist caught me sipping from a smooth bottle of High West that Dirk from Rapha had stashed in the H-Van. Lastly, I spotted some Glendfidditch behind the wild left side drive & righty fork equipped & ready to rip Bididu. I, for one, am totally for more whiskey equipped booths in 2017!
3. The (Handmade) Bikes – In many ways, the The Berliner Fahrradschau fills a void that missing the North American Handmade Bicycle Show left in my heart. The handmade revival in Europe is not only blooming but booming! I checked out builders like: Crema, Fern, Jaegher, Big Forest Frameworks + Holland homies Elian, Primarius & RIH (with super rad TimTas bags!). If you’re into the best built European bikes, making it to Berlin next March is a must. Next will be to see some North American builders joining in on the fun!
4. The Rides – Of course you see heaps of groups rolling deep the whole week but getting outside you’re regular peloton is why riding in Berlin during the show is so awesome. I snuck out for a 150km loop with Ilya of Aspire Cycling. He also invited Jeroen, Soigneur’s editor, and we spent much of the day on roads new to us with new people and new things to discuss.
Check out the route on Komoot. No excuses for next year either! Wondering where to ride? Peek: www.berlinroadcycling.com. Ilya can rent you a road bike to log some KMs while in town next year here: http://aspirecycling.com
5. The People – Old friends & new connections. Bike shows are really about who you know and get to know. I love the way new ideas spark as introductions are made. It may be my favorite thing to do besides handing out Twotone Amsterdam stickers ; ) Each year is like a family reunion and each year the family gets bigger!
Some of the best places to meet people are at the booths of your favorite brands. I stopped at the TimTas booth a few times and ran into the Schicke Mütze crew. Kerstin caught a snap of the sticker exchange. ; ) Every show I visit the fine folks at Pelago and this time brought Max from Podia. We waved people down, ran into random passerby’s and I ate all their Finnish licorice. So good!
6. The Events – It’s almost impossible to attend them all. There is the Rad Race, eBike Derny Race, Junkyard Cross, Bärlin Pedäl Bättle, Single Speed Cyclocross European Championships and many more. Getting out there to cheer on your friends and/or compete in a race yourself is the most exciting way experience the thrill of the Fahrradschau.
7. The City – I get to quite a few conferences, trade shows and events every year. It is easy to visit a city for a show, follow the show programme and go home. Hey, its happened to me. But having a bike to ride means no excuses. Saturday night was an hour long wait for kebab with Olaf Wit & Caro Paulette at Mustafa’s and Sunday night was dinner at District Mot with the Crema crew, John Watson and the Rapha Europe task force. PRO tip? Get out on the town by bike with fellow ‘out of towners’!
Convinced you gotta attend next year but can’t wait till 2017? Me neither! I’ll be in Vienna in October 21 through 23 for the first ever Wiener Fahrradschau. Bis Dann!