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Berliner brief

Racing the German police by bike

By Joyce Hackett   November 2003

It was a Sunday night. The streets were deadly quiet as I turned onto Gniesenaustrasse. I was riding home from hip Kreutzberg back to my down-at heel neighbourhood in old west Berlin. Berlin’s bicycle paths are a systematic wonder, a testament to the belief in a perfectible society. They snake along every major thoroughfare in the city, sometimes on sidewalks, sometimes between parked cars and the kerb. I am a New York cyclist, which means I look both ways at a red light before speeding through it. As I whizzed past Mehringdamm onto Yorckstrasse, I heard a shout behind me.…

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