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Prince Among Scumballs

September 30, 2009

bikeyUnlike its scumball relatives, this street-o-matic bicycle tube and tool shop might make a positive difference in your life one day.

The streets of Berlin are unkind to bike tires–what with all the cobblestones, broken glass and junk art sculptures lying around. But the kicker is that there is nowhere to buy a tube after 17:00 or anytime on Sundays. Gas stations will laugh at you and the multitudes of corner Spätkaufen (“spätis”) don’t bother stocking them. Although the nice guy who runs our downstairs späti actually gave me his bike one hard luck evening.

So there you sit on a sunny Sunday, in the gutter beside your unpatchable flat. The canopied trails and dappled lakes of the Grunewald are singing in the distance. Your hands are covered in the fluorescent blue goo they put inside tubes here. Suddenly a ray of light strikes something gold behind you. You are saved.

Next time you will buy two tubes. Next time, you say.

In the meantime, however, SchlauchOmat has this handy list of locations (sorry, none yet in the US). The one pictured above resides at:

Bikecology Wolfgang Kochmann eK
Belziger Str. 41
10823 Berlin (Schöneberg)
030 7870 3495

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