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  • It is widely agreed in Berlin that a bicycle is the best and funnest way to get around. The bike lanes are generally superb, and people bike year-round, even when it's well below freezing.

    It's pretty tough to find a bike here that doesn't have difficult-to-maneuver "back-pedalling brakes," so I figured racing bikes — which I have a particular fondness for anyway — were the way to go. Given my height of 5'1", I had already experienced an uphill battle in finding a bike right for my size. My long search ended at bikeShop Berlin:

    Me, pointing to a tiny red bicycle, hanging on the wall amidst a sea of gorgeous old racing bikes: Can I see that one?
    He: That's a boy's bike!
    He looks at me, 5'1" short: OK, I'll get it down for you.

    I try to get on it, but it's too high.

    Me: It's too high. Can you lower it for me?
    He, incredulously: It's for kids!
    Me: Can you lower it for me?

    Still incredulous, he lowers the seat as far as it will go. Honestly, it's still a little too high, but finally, a bike that (nearly) fits me! I take a closer look and see "Young racer" stenciled on the crossbar in scripted lettering. Win.
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