Tour de Siggi: Part 2

15.07.2023


Paul, co-founder of Coh&Co, is doing a tour of Europe starting from our home base in Copenhagen, Denmark. He is riding our newest model Siggi, a 20” wheel folding bike, which he was instrumental in designing. He is writing from his over 1,000 km journey documenting his adventures riding on Siggi!

 

Paul is embarking on the second leg of his epic journey from Kamp to Berlin, putting our newest folding bike, Siggi, to the ultimate test!

Folding up Kamp

Leaving Kamp on Wednesday morning was a bit of an adventure. We packed our tent, charged our phones at an outdoor outlet next to the harbour, and then rolled off into the windy sunny morning. There was a very strong headwind from the west/southwest, which would get stronger through the day, and we could also expect some showers. A kilometer or so out of town we ended up on a 3,5 kilometer gravel road that was almost entirely made up of rocks the size of a good sized apple. This was Johans first taste of navigating gravel and my first taste of doing so on a 20″ bike. After a kilometer or so we stopped to make a video vlog entry and I realized that I had a flat rear tyre. This was not something I looked forward to. Pulling off Siggi’s rear wheel is no big deal but Tubeless-ready tyres, which might be the wave of the future, are nevertheless more difficult to get off the rim than old-fashioned rims. Fortunately, everything went quite smoothly and with the help of a gas cartridge we got the tyre reseated.

For anyone reading the above, that isn’t familiar with tubeless ready rims or gas cartridges. This was actually my first use of a cartridge. Modern tyre rims are designed to accommodate both traditional inner tube tyres and tubeless tyres that use a sealing agent to keep them airtight and seal the tyre directly against the rim without an inner tube to capture the air – much like car tyres no longer use an inner tube. This of course means tighter tolerances and that you will not be able to puncture your inner tube by pinching it between the rim and the tyre when hitting a sharp stone or a curb or a root. The disadvantage, or rather the not-so-bad downside is that it is a bit more tricky to get the tyre off the rim.

After fixing our flat we went on to navigate the next few kilometers of heavy gravel and despite my concern about puncturing another tyre, Siggi handled the extreme terrain without a hitch. The wetlands we were riding through were gorgeous but it was the gravel and my bike that dominated my thoughts.

Fantastic New Friends

As we rolled on through the day we enjoyed northeastern Germany and its many small towns and villages. Our goal was to overnight in Brohmer Berge Not a very ambitious day but an eventful one. A few kilometers from our Inn the ominous sky overwhelmed us with wind gusts that must have been hurricane-force alongside hail and rain. We took refuge under a very scenic, wonderful old City Gate we had noticed only a few minutes before. Johan got there first and I arrived after less than a minute in the rain completely drenched. The gatehouse was now a private residence and Yvonne and Winfried took us into their home and served us tea and coffee while we waited for the storm to pass. Winfried had been a semi-professional violinist and they had bought the house 11 years ago when they moved to the Kotelow. Leaving Kotelow we had but a half an hour ride to our Inn where we showered and relaxed.

In the morning we headed off again this time towards Boizenburg where we stayed at the Gasthof zum grünen Baum which was run by an architect named Karsten. He was a wonderfully friendly person who had transformed the old Inn into a fantastic retreat with great food, exciting rooms with a dynamic mix of modernism, and historical buildings that made up the lovely Inn. Karsten is a cycling enthusiast so we had some great talks about cycling before pushing on to Zehdenick the next day. Karsten and his Inn are well worth a visit if you should find yourself in the area.

This is not my first ride from Copenhagen to Berlin, my first time was a slightly different route back in 2019, and now that we were nearing the city I was getting into slightly more familiar terrain. I decided to head towards Zhedenick where I knew there was a hotel at a museum that was worth revisiting and that I thought Johan would enjoy. However, life doesn’t always go to plan and since they were full we had to find other accommodations. We found a Bed & Breakfast run by a father and his son who had a few extra rooms in the courtyard behind their house and they took us in and provided for us graciously. We spent the evening walking through Zhedenick where we ate at a small restaurant along the canal that runs through town and then went to a nearby bar for a nightcap with the locals. That ended up being a couple of rounds and some chit-chatting before going back and getting some much-needed rest.

In Busy Berlin

In the morning we set our sights on Berlin. Leaving Zhedenick we wove our way through town where they were celebrating their summer fest. We zig-zagged through runners doing a relay run and after a couple of kilometers we found ourselves riding along the Voßkanal which we had followed in 2019. This is a really wonderful and relaxing route- a tarmac path, ideal for cycling, follows the canal side by side for many kilometers towards Liebenwalde. As you approach the city of Berlin, from Liebenwalde, the ride continues on in a beautiful setting until the urban landscape gradually begins to dominate for the final 20 kilometers into Berlin. Of course, a part of that was on Kopenhagener Straße.

During the day we reserved a room at the Grimm hotel near Potsdamer Platz so we needed to roll all the way into the center of town and cross the Tiergarten which was occupied by the summer’s big Rave parade. Thousands upon thousands of very happy people danced their way through the streets. A river of humanity needed to be crossed before we could get across the Tiergarten park and reach our hotel.

Once we arrived at the hotel we enjoyed a shower. They were nice enough to give us a room with 2 terraces where we could store our bikes since they had no parking garage that lent itself to the cause.  Although, this was not an issue for me since Siggi easily folds and can be stored inside. We enjoyed our 7th-floor corner room and I need to thank Zlatko who was kind enough to give us the room that would give us a base for exploring the city during the course of the next few days. Siggi would have a chance to rest – she had brought me all the way to Berlin on her maiden ride. 

Follow for more about Paul’s adventure with Siggi! They still have a ways to go over these next couple of weeks. The ups and downs of this trip and how Siggi and Paul manage through the winding countryside, through towering cities, and across sprawling borders, will all be documented here.

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Siggi - electric folding bike
Siggi | Folding e-bike

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The new folding bike Siggi is live on Indiegogo. It is the perfect combination of performance and convenience with an elegant fold.