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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.

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via Genius

For many years brands like Lonsdale, Fred Perry, and New Balance were the favored brands of right-wing fascists in Europe. The N on sneakers could easily be repurposed to reference Nazism, and the unofficial uniform of a shaved head, bomber jacket, and military boots acted as visual signifiers of group affiliation. But due to brand backlash, and in some cases, the outright banning of certain garments, far right-wingers have been forced to get a little more creative in their sartorial choices. One brand that saw room in the market for a new, Nazi-friendly line was Thor Steinar, a multimillion dollar label run from a small town on the fringes of Berlin, that uses the Nordic imagery and gothic lettering that has become a trademark of the subculture. Though on the surface they may look like Abercrombie & Fitch or Diesel, the company has subtly woven into its designs Nazi references such as a Messerschmitt aircraft and Germanic runes (among others).

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Meet the French Socialist Who Could Save Europe

A socialist president in France is inspiring jitters, but the Francois Hollande could be just what the doctor ordered for Europe—and the world.


Over the weekend, the citizens of France elected a Francois Hollande, a socialist, to be their president. Here in the United States, attempts to comprehend this may be futile, given national confusion over whether or not our own president is a socialist,* but there’s no need to panic over this particular European specter. In fact, Hollande’s election may be exactly what Europe needs.

The key issue in Europe right now is hashing out the financial crisis that has already brought low governments in Greece, Spain, and Italy. A simplified version of the story is that most European countries got together under one currency, like the U.S. dollar, but didn’t put the bulk of their government spending under one organ, like the U.S. Congress. Without those two tools unified, some European countries ran up more debt than they could manage and now find themselves in danger of losing access to funding for public spending while their banks teeter, drying up credit that entrepreneurs need.

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People Are Awesome: European Mayor Uses Tank to Crush Car Blocking Bike Lane

A publicity stunt on behalf of bicyclists involves a Lithuanian mayor destroying a luxury sedan with a tank. Sweet revenge.


Any urban bicyclist can share with you the frustration of having to avoid people and cars blocking what should be clear bicycle lanes. Sometimes it can make you want to destroy all the impediments with a tank. Today, in Vilnius, Lithuania, mayor Arturas Zuokas lived out the fantasy of every bike messenger forced to dodge a Dodge (or BMW or Toyota) on their daily route.

"I’ve had enough of these drivers parking their luxury cars on bike lanes and pedestrian crossings," said Zuokas, a former war reporter. "This tank is a good tool to solve the problem of parking in the wrong place." With that, the 43-year-old mayor rolled over a blue Mercedes that was parked in a bike lane.

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