Meet Caroline, originally from Wales, who moved to Berlin a couple of years ago. After leaving her job in marketing, she decided to start a bicycle-based business and combine it with her love for flowers.
Each Tuesday, in the very early hours, she rides to the market to select a mix of flowers for the week’s choice of bouquets. In order to not just keep her means of transportation but also her product eco-friendly, her focus is to always buy organic, seasonal, and locally grown.
For the rest of the week Caroline delivers by bike to customers in most parts of central Berlin.
Read about how she came up with the idea and see some beautiful pictures over on Herz & Blut – intro text is in German, but the interview itself in English. Here are Caroline’s answers to more cycling in Berlin related questions. Thanks so much for your answers, and the beautiful photos!
What brought you to Berlin?
I came to Berlin back in 2013 because I found a great job here – but the reason I was looking for a job was because I had visited the city a few times previously, and had fallen in love with it.
I was in London at the time, and Berlin felt like a much more ‘livable’ city.
What kind of bike do you ride?
I actually have two bikes.
I ride a Dutch style Gazelle when I’m about and about on deliveries because I can transport bouquets on the front and back racks, and it can carry a lot. But I must admit I find it far too cumbersome and heavy for my ‘pleasure cycles’ so I ride a beautiful (if now slightly battered) cream single speed from London’s Brick Lane Bikes.
What does your bike mean to you?
I love that I’m able to go anywhere in the city, whenever I want, without my journey being decided by the BVG’s timetable!
Do you have a dream bike?
If my single speed bike has had a little TLC – meaning if I’ve got around to tightening and oiling the chain, pumped up the types and given it a scrub, it’s pretty much my dream bike… even if others who have tried it say it feels like riding a stick!
What do you like most about riding in Berlin?
Berlin is a fascinating city, and you can only fully appreciate its diversity and beauty when you ride through it.
I love admiring the altbaus, dodging squirrels in the park, cruising down Templehof’s runways and passing historic monuments – all in a day’s work.
How do you utilize your bike on a regular day?
I use my bike everyday to deliver my bouquets around Berlin.
My working week starts at 4am on a Tuesday morning with a 24km round cycle to the Berliner Großmarkt in Moabit, and then I’m out and about every afternoon making my delivery rounds.
I can cycle up to 50km on a long day, but I do have a lot of little breaks when I chat with my customers!
Even though cycling is now my job and I spend hours a day in the saddle, I would still choose my bike as my main form of transport during my time off.
How does riding in Berlin compare to your hometown or other places you’ve lived in?
I spent several years cycling around London before I came to Berlin, and I always loved it. It’s such a spectacular city and there’s always something to take your breath away… sadly that something is sometimes the traffic!
London is so heavily congested compared to Berlin that cycling here seems comparatively peaceful.
There is an ever-growing cycle culture in London and the number of riders is increasing, but cycle culture is still not as intrinsic as it is here in Berlin.
Is there anything that could improve biking in Berlin?
Only when you’re cycling all day do you realise how intense the air pollution can be – there may not be as much traffic as in many cities, but they definitely produce enough toxic fumes!
I also love riding down tree-lined streets, but if the roots weren’t making the going so bumpy I would love it even more…
Where is your bike parked most frequently?
My bikes live in the Hof of my building.
Do you have favorite clothes to bike in?
I always go for comfort over style when I’m working – so I wear leggings and trainers, and I couldn’t have ridden through the winter without my rather unattractive, but very warm padded coat!
What is your favorite bag/basket/way to transport your belongings by bike?
If I’m not using the large delivery boxes that are on my Dutch bike, I usually use my waterproof Rains backpack.
What is your favorite spot to fill up on fuel coffee, drinks, food, snacks?
I cycle all over central Berlin when I’m on my delivery rounds, and the routes are always changing so I don’t have a regular rest-spot – but I do enjoy stopping off for a burrito at Dolores when I’m in Mitte at the right time!
What is your favorite route for a leisurely ride?
I love cruising through Templehof – those long runways are the best for a nice, easy ride.
Or if I feel like going a little further afield, riding around Schlachtensee is always beautiful.
Which route or area in Berlin do you avoid crossing by bike & why?
While I live in Neukölln it’s not going to be possible – but I would never ride Kottbusser Damm ever again if I could manage it!
Which Berlin based bike shop do you recommend for repairs?
I usually do my own repairs, but if I need expert help I head to Fietswinkle on Mahlower Straße as it’s just a block from my house.
How do you maintain your bike?
I clean, oil and tighten when necessary!
What kind of bike lock do you use?
I have a long Abus chain for my Dutch bike as I need both the length and strength, and I use a Kryptonite New York lock for my second bike.
Are there any accessories or gadgets related to cycling you wouldn’t go on a ride without?
I always carry a puncture repair kit, as I have to make my deliveries so a flat tyre isn’t an option!
Your favorite bike buddy?
My boyfriend Alonso – we can keep pace, are both happy to cycle in the rain, and never disagree over the UBahn/bike option (bike always wins.)
Which other means of transport do you use to get around Berlin?
Occasionally the BVG or Drive Now if I need to transport a large amount of flowers and plants from the market!
For more info & beautiful flower pictures go to to Caroline’s website:
Check for bouquets of the week – always two color options – on website on Tuesday mornings.