Puncture-upon-Spree 

Något jävla ollon snarkar som fyra skogshuggare med rödvinsfylla i vårt up market-fyrabäddsrum. Ursäkta könsordet men va faaaan!! Orka ligga vaken hela natten!! Men vad kan en göra om inte trycka i sig ett par extra tjocka öronproppar extra långt in (kanske ända in i örontrumpeten? Fatta namnet ❤ ) och drömma sig tillbaka till dagens episka punktering vid sjävaste Berlinmuren.

Well then. 

Today’s puncture took place by the Berlin Wall. It all happened slightly west of the Eastern gallery entrance. Forest was ahead of me, carefully investigating the various paintings of the wall. I had made a turn to overlook the flowing river Spree, and stood firmly with my left leg nicely resting on the top bar. 

I was starting to enjoy Berlin: we had taken our bikes out to let them tour the city with us, and it was fun to be a part of he cycling crowd in the cycle lanes. It’s like that in Copenhagen, just as here in Germany: when you’re on a bike, you become someone. You’re not just some annoying little piece of flesh on pricy metal that cars honk their horn at or try to run over. You are a part of traffic that others respect. They’ll stop at you, they’ll wait for you to pass and they’ll expect you to behave.

Doesn’t everyone want to be that sort of someone?

We had cycled through Prenzlauer Berg, where we’d had double espressos and some goodies at a bakery to dry off from the rain, and the sky was finally clearing up. 

We reached the river Spree. We reached the wall, and rode slowly next to it to meditatingly take in its history and to enjoy its paintings.

Forest took off to take a closer look at some certain graffiti. Me and Ridley were situated in between the two walls; the part known as the death zone. This is where hundreds of people who tried to escape while the wall was up, were killed. 

I looked down at the wheel to make sure that it was good to go, and I as I realized what had happened, I felt delirious. My head tingled. I had to look down again, I had to lift the front fork up and down and up and down onto the ground to make sure that it was what it appeared to be.

A puncture.

By the wall.

In Berlin. 

I told Forest. We started walking. We decided to keep heading towards Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg as intended. We took the nearest bridge over the Spree in order to quickly get to a bike shop. We passed a reggae place called yaam where we had a quick look around, a satisfying pee, and a tasty veggie wrap with sweet potatoes and a spicy peanut sauce. 

We kept on walking, and my poor Ridley rolled beside me with the empty tire like an injured horse. I had to lift her up and down the sidewalks not to injure the rim.

It was for sure an urban injury: Ridley had got a piece of glass pierced through the tire. 

Finally we reached the bike shop. I bought a tube and asked for some duck tape to put as bandaid inside the injured tire. The bike guy shook his head and said: good tires, but not for riding in Berlin. Stay off the cycle lanes. Stick to the car lanes, less safe but less glass.

(“You don’t do that to a Ridley!!”)

I said “I know!”, in German, and then I changed the tubes slowly, carefully. Forest played around with the Allen wrenches, and finished off his fixing session with my multi tool,  also known as hair clip.

We then put our lights on and rode back to look for a pair of gloves that Forest had left somewhere.

I was happy. What else could lift my spirits like a little bike repair session? In Berlin? 

Forest did an admirable job navigating back to the hostel. It was dark. We went out for some up market falafel and cheap beer, and rounded it off with a sweet Lebanese dessert roll.

We are now filled up with falafel, Vietnamese food and Bretzels. And beer. We are ready to go south.

But hey: Berlin must be the capital of falafel. Imagine a restaurant with nothing but falafel dishes. Falafel with hommus, falafel with grilled vegetables, falafel with babaganoush, falafel with falafel …

Oh well. Tomorrow that falafel with falafel will have to do its job: we’ll ride south-west towards the river Elbe in strong headwinds. Then we head to Dresden, or hop onto this exclusive, car free cycle route that passes by the Netherlands and Belgium on its way from Germany.

We will see.

It will be good, all good. It will turn out, no matter what.

Some photos for the road:


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