It's that time of year again! Get your bike and get yourself to any of 81 meeting points in and around Berlin to join in the Sternfahrt (Star-ride) 2006. The event takes its name both from the sparkler-like route, which starts at points all around Berlin and converges on the center, picking up a crowd along the way, and from the destination point at Berlin's "Grosser Stern" ("Great Star") in the Tiergarten central park. As usual, the weather could play a bit dreary, but even in the rain last year 100,000 people joined to support the rights of bike riders in the city and with good weather there could be 250,00. At the end of the ride, participants can enjoy the Eco-mile festival, which will present over 200 exhibitors and food vendors under this year's theme of "Volltreffer Natur" (Score for Nature). The theme hints at the upcoming FIFA World Cup Football (Soccer) Championships taking place around Germany--and the Eco-mile festivities intend to demonstrate a few ideas for making the World Cup a greener event.
You can find the meeting points for the Sternfahrt at Radzeit in both English and German. Meeting points are found along 19 different paths weaving through the city (and basically shutting down traffic in ALL directions: this is one rally that really takes it to the streets.)
Upon arrival at the center of the city, participants will find a rich offering of organically grown snacks and meals on offer, to be eaten on porcelain plates with drinks in glasses. A small deposit ensures the return of the dishes for cleaning and re-use: The dishware is loaned to the exhibitors by Spülmobil (the name means "mobile dishwasher"), a waste preventing service long supported by the Berlin waste management services. The used dishes can be returned to the eatery or to Spülmobil directly, and are collected periodically (by load-ready bicycles!) for washing up. The event organizer, the Green League notes: "Our waste prevention concept is exemplary in Berlin. In particular, ahead of the waste mountain that is anticipated along the Fan-mile during the World Cup, we want to show that even major events can have environmentally friendly organization."
Other special features to look forward to:
- Free bicycle check-ups, including pressurized air service
- Bicycles on loan--for a small donation to a charitable project--including rarities such as the conference bike, and load-carrying bikes, bikes made of wood, recumbant bikes and more.
- The campaign of the Berlin Senate to promote bicycling as a means of transport for World Cup fans will be demonstrated for the first time.
See y'all there!
Via Umweltfestival (German only)