Dimi came with his one way ticket to Berlin in June 2017 and fell in love with the city. He lives in Friedrichshain and works as a software developer. The 32 old loves to cycle around the suburbs in his free time, but now read yourself…
How often do you ride your bike in your daily routine?
When I got my bicycle on October 2017, I hadn’t touched one ever since I was 12 years old. And instantly fell in love with it. I casually ride every single day to work and back. In the weekends I try to schedule short tours that vary between 35 km and 60 km. And I will do it regardless the temperature and the weather except either because I would plan to go have drinks with friends or because of illness. People call me crazy sometimes for ignoring weather conditions but I have to admit this is one fo the things I love about it. My favourite memories include riding from the center of Berlin to Potsdam under heavy snowstorm last winter. I ended up like a snowman on wheels! The looks on the faces of some people seeing me arrive at the Nauener Tor were priceless.
Which is your favourite bike?
I only own my beloved and only trekking bike. This baby has over 5500 km on it in the last 1 year and still going well with constant care and services. Have traveled through forests and cities, parks, roads and trails. I came to be emotionally attached to it after the adventure I’ve had and still planning to have with it. I have to admit though, my dream would be to own a gravel bike and go wild with multiple hundred kilometer bagpacking explorations with it. My next goal is to visit the Baltic sea and my dreams go wild, I’m almost scared to put down the places I wanna ride to because they might sound unrealistic. I know that one day I wanna go to Paris.
When was your first Critical Mass? What did you feel and how did you hear about it?
It was April 2018. A friend of mine wanted to surprise me by introducing this event to me. Until then I was hardly living for 9 months in Berlin and still learning things about the people and the city. I remember it was warm, maybe more than 1000 people joined, it was absolutely amazing. Riding through the streets of Berlin from 20:00 all the way to midnight. It became one of the greatest memories of my life here. Everyone so happy, lot’s of music and oh the colours and LED lights on some of the bikes! So crazy! It was then I knew I wanted to attend as many Critical Mass events as possible!
Do you join the critical mass regularly?
Doing my best not to miss it!
What is your intention to participate in the Critical Mass?
Awareness and community. There’s no better way to give a good example through awesome friendly and motivated people who do what they can to make Berlin a city with a rich cycling culture and send a message for being environmentally friendly in our lives.
What do you think is particularly positive about the Critical Mass and therefore worth mentioning?
On a planet that is already suffering from pollution. In a world that has gone through economical crisis and wars because of the oil industry. In a city where people come and go with their faces lowered upon their mobile phone screens.
A group of diverse and awesome people are there to share their love about bicycles and give a message out there. Take your bike, and go out. Breath, see, hear, feel. The world has so many things to give and we miss it all by staying in the house, our cars or in the buses and trains. And that is what makes Critical Mass special and important. The people are friendly, organised and welcoming.
Are there any negative aspects that you would like to share with us?
I don’t think there are negative aspects at all.
How do you imagine cycling in the city of the future? What do you wish and expect therefor?
There is a lot of space for improvement for the cycling culture of the city. There is still a lot of effort to be done by state but also from the people. We need better quality and safer bike lanes, and we need to keep them clean during the snowy days of the winter. However we have to improve our culture as cyclists a lot. We need to make our cyclists respect the traffic lights a lot more, be less aggressive towards pedestrians and be more law abiding. The amount of traffic violations by cyclists that i witness every day on my way to work and back is truly astonishing. Our goal should not only include to convince more people to take up their bikes and go out, but also make them more educated and respectful. We want to inspire drivers and pedestrians to give up cars and transportation and join us and not make them angry at us.