Priority numero was finding the one person, in a city of over 3.5 million and the second largest city in Europe, to gift my bike to.
I made reservations at my Airbnb for an additional 2 days (total of 5) to ensure I found someone before I left. I had a little anxiety before I arrived, not sure how I was going to give Ms. Jamis away.
I hit the streets immediately the day after arrival. Introducing myself to bike shop after bike shop telling my story. Although I stopped by ten or so bike shops, I had one in mind, Ci Cli Berlinetta. After doing some research online this was "the" shop in Berlin. More curated museum and lifestyle brand than anything else. It didn't disappoint. So cool inside.
I was fortunate to talk to Alasdair, an ex bike messenger, professional web designer, and friend to the shop. He helped me out in a major way by plugging a link to my site on Ci Cli's blog and FB page. I'm forever grateful, Alasdair!
I was pretty amazed by the response rate. I wasn't really expecting to get anyone to contact me and had made plans to give my bike to bikesurf.org. A bike sharing website that allows you to rent a bike for super cheap. However, 48 hours later I received twelve responses. All of which were deserving of Ms. Jamis.
I ended up picking Chris. An ex bike messenger, traveler, cheese aficionado, and family man. He was so welcoming. Even invited me to dinner with his girlfriend Teresa, a couple friends from Berlin, and couple from Brooklyn who visits them every year.
I rushed to get over to his place by dinner time (8ish), coming from Friedrichshain (east Berlin) to Friedenau (southwest Berlin) is about an hour ride and the contrast between the neighborhoods couldn't be more different. Think city to the burbs.
Dinner and the company were amazing, but now it was time to gift away the bike. After a few beers, wine, and cheese of course, I tried to explain to Chris all the little imperfections and how the bike handled in certain situations. All this while my cab was outside waiting to take me back to my apartment, and then to the train station to catch my midnight train to Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland. It was a little... a lot more rushed than I would have liked, but I had to roll with it. My bike tour was over and the next chapter of my trip was just starting. One final look back at Ms. Jamis and I was off.
My new buddy, Chris.
Chris, the new owner of Ms. Jamis.