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Bike Hunters

Bike Hunt Special: Berlin March 2021

Nobody likes a thief. And when one of our riders’ bikes is stolen, we take it personally. If your VanMoof is taken from you, it’s on us to hunt it down or replace it – but really, we prefer the chase. We’ve assembled a crew of Bike Hunters to track down your rides. These are their hunts. The Bike Hunt Specials follow our fearless Head Bike Hunter Daniel on his adventures rescuing stolen VanMoof bikes around the world. In each bi-monthly episode, he teams up with a local Bike Hunter and recruits a special guest for the hunt. This month we’re back in Daniel’s hometown Berlin, where his good friend Jalil joins the hunt for an elusive stolen S2. Jalil’s keen to learn the tricks of the trade - but will she make it as a Bike Hunter?

Another day, another bike hunt for VanMoof’s veteran Bike Hunter Daniel. It’s the first Bike Hunt of 2021, and he’s on a mission to track down a stolen Dark S2 – it’s time to round up his crew. First on board is trusted co-hunter Daisy-May, who you’ll remember from our epic September episode. And this time he recruits his mate Jalil, who he knows is a natural born detective – there’s no way she'll want to miss this. Having had her bike stolen one time too many in both Berlin and her home city of Guadalajara, Mexico, she’s more than ready to seek her revenge.

Daniel drops by the Berlin Brand Store to pick up his trusty Bike Hunter’s bag with the Bluetooth scanner, and a spare X3 for Jalil. Biking to Frankfurter Tor where they’ll pick up Daisy-May, Jalil’s loving the ride on her X3 – that Turbo Boost is going to come in handy. A hairdresser by day and a real fashion fiend, she has her sights on film school – plus a keen eye for adventure too. Debriefing over espressos at Daisy-May’s favourite Sicilian coffee place in Kreuzberg, the trio work out how they’ll recover the missing S2, which was last spotted in Neukölln. But first Daniel gives Jalil a quick rundown of a hunt. Map potential hiding places in your head, play it cool if you see trouble coming, and trust your gut. If it feels unsafe, leave – pronto. Scanner in hand, Jalil’s fired up and ready to hunt.

In Neukölln, the coordinates point to the park where the Bike Hunters waste no time scouring every corner of it. Apart from a few gravestones nestled in a spooky corner, there’s nothing to be found here – and no sign of the bike. Daniel’s instinct says to head to the backyards, which he knows are always where the action’s at. In typical Berlin style, they’re hidden mazes. Jalil aces Daniel’s ‘Stolen-bike-doorbell-trick’ to get a peek inside those backyards, and is put to the test searching car parks and trash containers. Feeling frustrated going around in circles, the trio places their final hope in a building they missed earlier – Jalil is definitely not ready to throw in the towel yet. But the S2 still eludes them. Even optimist Daniel’s finding it hard to stay positive. Despite their efforts – with a little detour to help push a stalled car and hoping that their own bikes hadn’t been stolen in the process – the crew is forced to call it a day.

A new day dawns for the Bike Hunters, and Daniel can sense victory is on the cards. And he’s never far off the mark. Coordinates for the S2 are picked up right around the corner – the veterern Bike Hunter’s stalk just got turned up a notch. Edging round a neighborhood park, and boom! Daniel spots it. Remarkably, the stolen ride’s owner is turning the corner just as Daniel’s ready to pounce. With some expert negotiating, the S2 is back in safe hands. That’s how it’s done, people.

Keen to join one of our Bike Hunters? Sound off on our social channels and who knows, maybe next time we’ll be hunting with you!

Does the thought of someone stealing the VanMoof S3 & X3 send you into a cold sweat? Peace of Mind: Theft to the rescue! It’s our ironclad guarantee that we’ll recover your bike in the event it gets stolen.

How does Peace of Mind: Theft work? Simple. When you report your bike stolen in the VanMoof app, we alert our Bike Hunter team to track it down. If we can’t recover it for you within two weeks, we'll replace it with a bike of the same (or better) age and condition.