What We Loved at Berlin Bike Week

10 of our favorite bike design innovations, from a seatless BMX to coconut handle bars.

BMX race image by Katrin Greiling.

Every day in Berlin, an estimated 500,000 bicyclists take to the streets on their preferred mode of transportation. In fact, the German capital is increasingly becoming one of Europe's most bike-friendly cities. It's only fitting then that Berlin is host to one of the most creative and vibrant bike shows on the continent—the Berliner Fahrradschau (Berlin Bike Show)—now in its sixth year.

The show is part of the larger week-long celebration Berlin Bicycle Week with an underlying message that cycling unites. The week's promotional poster featured a rabbi and an imam riding tandem, and the festivities culminated with Jews and Muslims riding together from the iconic Brandenberg Gate to promote tolerance across cultures, religions, and lifestyles—a notion that's certainly easy to get behind.

We spent some time at the Berliner Fahrradschau over the weekend for an overview of the most eye-catching trends in cycling today. The show seamlessly brought together everyone from individual bike builders to larger, more established—albeit still niche—manufacturers offering bikes and accessories for aficionados, hobbyists, and the curious cyclist to drool over. And drool we did as we walked through rows and rows of beautifully detailed commuter bikes, classic rides, eco-friendly frames, stylish baskets, velo couture, and more. That's not to mention all the action with events like bike polo and BMX racing. Here, the 10 best things we saw at Berliner Fahrradschau:

Bespoke vintage bike with each item (down to a customized bell and front lamp) sourced and crafted by Berlin-based Santucci Cycles.

Santucci Cycles detail.

A bike bench, because, why not?

A classy basket by London's Brick Lane Bikes (BLB).

For the little ones: this kiddie-friendly cycle helps 3 to 5-year-olds find their balance and will likely be the first of many stylish rides. By Early Rider.

Amsterdam-based Vanmoof believes that "A little less car and a little more bicycle will benefit everyone." To this end, they've constructed a classy commuter bike with a built-in headlamp. It's even equipped with a GPS tracking system in case of theft.

A clever wood basket by Vanmoof.

We can't tell what to make of Auftragsrad's fluid frame design, but it was certainly different.

These stunning built-to-order wooden bikes are as sturdy as they are sustainable. By NaturRad.

NaturRad detail.

This yellow custom crafted vintage road bike by Kimura Cycle Works caught our eye for it’s elegant details like intricately woven handle grips and hammered aluminum fenders.

Kimura Cycle Works detail.

We spent a lot of time at BLB's stand getting to know their range of bikes, like this La Piovra classic road bike.

BLB La Piovra detail.

Another one from BLB is this lightweight fixed-gear with a full carbon clincher disc wheel.

German bike-makers Schindelhauer are known for impeccable quality and for using the Gates Carbon Drive, an alternative to a standard chain, which they say is more or less guaranteed to last a lifetime. Our favorite was their metallic blue Hektor frame.

Coconut Ozon Cyclery

A seatless BMX.

via National Nurses United/Twitter

An estimated eight million people in the U.S. have started a crowdfunding campaign to help pay for their own or a member of their household's healthcare costs, according to a survey released Wednesday.

The poll, which was conducted by the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago, also found that in addition to the millions who have launched crowdfunding efforts for themselves or a member of their household, at least 12 million more Americans have started crowdfunding efforts for someone else.

Keep Reading
via Library of Congress

In the months after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt authorized the military to move Japanese-Americans into internment camps to defend the West Coast from spies.

From 1942 to 1946, an estimated 120,000 Japanese Americans, of which a vast majority were second- and third-generation citizens, were taken from their homes and forced to live in camps surrounded by armed military and barbed wire.

After the war, the decision was seen as a cruel act of racist paranoia by the American government against its own citizens.

The internment caused most of the Japanese-Americans to lose their money and homes.

Keep Reading

Step by step. 8 million steps actually. That is how recent college graduate and 22-year-old Sam Bencheghib approached his historic run across the United States. That is also how he believes we can all individually and together make a big impact on ridding the world of plastic waste.

Keep Reading
The Planet