Preparing for this year’s Berliner Fahrradschau was a full on obstacle course. With the argon tank for TIG-welder and the lasercut sidecar mounts not arriving, it really pushed us to be creative to get everything ready in time. Luckily we are surrounded by excellent people, namely Jan and Arne, who borrowed us gear, so it was possible to start welding on Tuesday, to be ready by Thursday evening. And so, after working 12-13 hours every day, the sidecar and materials for the stand we’re ready, just minutes before our production area alarm is armed on Thursday evening. Unfortunately with no time to paint the sidecar.
So we loaded everything on the car by 21:30, and after a quick sleep, we were ready to hit the road at 4:30 in the morning with my friend Birk. Roll your clocks some 6,5h forward and we’re unpacking at Station Berlin, the venue for 2016 Berliner Fahrradschau, only to discover that we had forgotten the smallest, yet one of the most important components of the Sidecar Bike – the bearings that connect the sidecar to the bike.
With 1 hour to go before opening, I grab one of the show bikes and make my way to a tech shop. With no lock on me, I take the bike inside the shop and set it standing next to the counters. A very grumpy older lady-worker appears and takes the bike outside, I’m nervous about thieves, but I hope to be out of the store in 2 minutes, and take my chances. So I’m directed to the right department and waiting as the man over the counter speaks to a client about RC helicopter blades in a deeply disturbing pervert tone – oh well, at least I’ll get my stuff soon. Some anxious 5 minutes pass, I ask about the bearings and he tells me to look at a shelf, if it’s not there then they don’t have it. OK, Thanks for not checking your stock on the screen, they are not there. Out and gone I am, luckily the bike is there.
Googling for help, the only option is to hit up the store from the same chain, some 20 minutes by bike. I’m quite pissed off by the manners of the service person, but as I cycle and absorb more of Berlin, I start to feel more and more relaxed. Berlin has a really nice vibe and I decide to give it one more chance. On my way, I come up with a plan to ask a person on the street to mind my bike as I run to the store.
I arrive by the shop, a man is just walking out the shop – ‘Can I ask your help, I’m here for a bike show and need something from this store. Do you have just 5 minutes to look after my bike? I don’t have a lock‘. After taking a moment to process English, the man says ‘Yes‘ with a nice smile. Faith in Berlin restored. Running in, I show a picture of what I need. I’m immediately directed to right department. I ask the person there, this time to be greeted in perfect English, he checks the computer, they 2 bearings in the back room. I’m out in about 7 minutes and after thanking the person outside, I make my way back to the show, 6 minutes after the doors opened..
I guess everyone is quite tired of reading by now, so we’ll post the part 2 about the actual show next week.
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