|Distance in km
|Elevation in m
|Amount of newly ridden kms in Berlin from wandrer.earth
This was my first stage back on the bike after giving my body a well-deserved break. The break wreaked havoc on my blood glucose control where I struggled for most of the time with hyperglycaemia. But I also caught up on some much needed sleep and after a few test rides, I felt well enough for Stage 5 of the Grand Tour de Öffentliche Verkehrsmittel.
This stage took in a good chunk of some of the quieter western Berlin boroughs – Grunewald, Wannsee, Zehlendorf and Lichterfelde. The first bus route (349) started at Theodor-Heuss-Platz and made its way past the Messe towards the S-Bahn station of Grunewald. Many road cyclists, myself included, are extremely familiar with this route as it is the main cycling route out of Berlin towards Potsdam. Despite cycling this route many times before, I think this was the first time that I actually noticed the bus covering this route – it’s so small compared to the usual Berlin buses! The bus is basically a mini-bus not a single/double-decker or a bendy bus. Very cute.
After completing the 349 bus route, I carried on along the Kronprinzessinnenweg – parallel to the Autobahn – towards Wannsee. During warmer times of the year, this is full of cyclists, in-line skaters, runners etc, but a weekday in the middle of December was a different matter. I think I saw – maximum – 20 other cyclists on the way to Wannsee. Typically you’d see that many within the first 500 m!
The first bus route starting from Wannsee, the 114, is a circular route that goes towards Heckershorn. Here there are plenty of sailing clubs – today with the yachts covered in preparation for winter, and a hospital at the far end of the loop.
The bus also services the Haus der Wannseekonferenz, where senior government officials of Nazi Germany and Schutzstaffel (SS) leaders met in 1942 to discuss and enable the Final Solution to the Jewish question. The building is now a Holocaust memorial after being previously used as a school.
The Liebermann Villa is also serviced by bus route 114. This was the villa used by the impressionist painter Max Liebermann for many of his artworks that depicted Wannsee which he could view directly from his garden. He was president of the Prussian Academy of Arts before being expelled by the Nazis in 1933.
The second and final Wannsee bus route of this stage, the 318, follows Königstraße – the main road through Wannsee – until it turns left on Chausseestraße and ends at Hahn-Meitner-Platz. This is mainly a residential area but at the bus terminus there is a nice memorial to Otto Hahn and Lise Meitner and their work on the nuclear fission of uranium. Lise Meitner was the first female to become a full professor in Germany (Yey!) but the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for their work on nuclear fission was exclusively awarded to Otto Hahn (Boo!).
I then made my way from Hahn-Meitner-Platz via Zehlendorf to the S-Bahn station of Lichterfelde Süd, the starting point for the M85 bus route. I decided that a small kiosk right outside the train station was the feed station for this Stage. After an egg sandwich and some coffee, I traced the wheels of the M85 bus. This route ends at Hauptbahnhof and passes through some of the main streets of West Berlin – Schloßstraße, Hauptstraße (doesn’t get more main than this!), Potsdamer Straße and Potsdamer Platz.
I was grateful for the caffeine kick of the feed station as I needed full concentration on these very busy roads. The wide cycle paths on Schloßstraße were pretty packed with double-parked cars and vans meaning that I had to filter in the single lane traffic – not the most fun but the car drivers were understanding and alert. Hauptstraße and Potsdamer Straße are different beasts, as on these roads it is the bus lane that acts as a cycle lane. Here again there were plenty of illegally parked cars in the bus lane which again means that cycling safely entails taking the lane to avoid close calls with car drivers.
Blood sugar management on this stage was pretty optimal – a pleasant surprise after my cycling break. I had lowered my basal insulin and reduced my bolus insulin for breakfast before heading out and my blood glucose started dropping slightly when on the Kronprinzessinnenweg between Grunewald and Wannsee. I stopped and had an energy bar which held my blood glucose within range for the Wannsee part of the ride. I injected about half of the amount of insulin for the egg sandwich that I had for lunch and again this worked wonderfully till the end of the ride.