|Distance in km||103.1|
|Elevation in m||265|
|Amount of newly ridden kms in Berlin from wandrer.earth||57.3|
There are many stages of the Grand Tour de Öffentliche Verkehrsmittel that are 100 km or longer. So I need to start sooner rather than later to avoid a build up of very long stages at the end of the Grand Tour. I also plan on using Bolt, my road bike, for these longer stages.
It had been a while since I took Bolt out on the open roads and I was really looking forward to that as part of this stage. The weather was predicted to be dry but I wanted to test out my new mudguards to ensure a dry backside given that there were still puddles from previous rainfall. I was greeted with beautiful sunshine while preparing breakfast (porridge with added peanut butter) but I still needed to wrap up well since it was going to be cold outside. I reduced both my basal and bolus insulin before heading out, knowing that this was going to be a long day in the saddle, and headed out the door once my blood glucose was rising after breakfast.
The first bus route was the X83, starting at Königin-Luise-Straße in Dahlem and ending at Nahariyastraße in Lichtenrade. While making my way towards Dahlem, I got a CGM alarm that my blood glucose was dropping so I took on an energy gel to boost up my sugar reserves. The 15 km route of the X83 starts in Dahlem and traverses the Freie Universität (FU) campuses, including the Botanischer Garten (Botanical Garden), westwards towards Steglitz.
The X83 then heads southwards through the Lankwitz district where it passes on Malteserstraße (Maltese Street!). I have travelled on this section of the X83 bus since the FU faculty administration of the Geosciences department are located on Malteserstraße and this is where I picked up my PhD certificate to the least amount of fanfare possible (but this is the norm in Germany).
The industrial park – including the huge IBM campus – in Marienfelde is next up for the X83. Then the final stretch is in the Lichtenrade district where Nadja spent her tween and teen years. I am also familiar with some parts of Lichtenrade, since Nadja’s mother lives in the district. However, the end terminus of the X83 at Nahariyastraße was new to me.
The next part of the Stage was to complete the 175 bus route that loops around Lichtenrade and starts at the S-Bahnhof. On the way to the S-Bahn train station, I had a planned stop to say hello to Nadja’s mother. She braved the cold to wait for me and even gave me some yummy sugar-free juice!
The 175 bus first heads up towards S-Bahnhof Schichauweg and then back towards S-Bahnhof Lichtenrade through the quiet residential area. The 175 route then goes further eastward towards the Berlin/Brandenburg state border before heading north to Nahariyastraße and back towards S-Bahnhof Lichtenrade. This was a really nice bus route to cycle since it passed on quiet and well-paved roads.
Next up was cycling towards S-Bahnhof Schichauweg for the start of the 275 bus route. I decided to have a coffee stop at an Imbiss to warm up and eat one of my energy bars before starting this bus route. The 275 is a short bus route from S-Schichauweg to Kirchhainer Damm, right at the end of Berlin. I passed by Nadja’s old high school, the Ulrich-von-Hutten-Gymnasium, before taking the right turn on Kirchhainer Damm, which has a superbly paved bike path, all the way to the final stop of the 275 bus and the end of Berlin.
The next bus routes were 4 bus routes that each loop around different parts of Rudow, another southern district of Berlin. I headed eastwards over the Fuchsberg (Fox Mountain – spoiler alert: not a mountain) through the towns of Kleinziethen and Großziethen towards Berlin-Rudow. I was getting off the bike path just before re-entering Berlin when I hit a bump and my bike wheel wouldn’t move.
I thought I had a puncture but in fact it was my rear mudguard that moved and jammed the wheel. I was trying my best to fix it but I just couldn’t reposition the mudguard in a way that would allow my rear wheel to freely spin. Eventually I decided to not fully fix one of the two metal rods as that meant I could carry on but the mudguard would rub a bit on the tyre. This worked well for the rest of the ride, but the day after the stage I noticed that I lost the small nuts and bolts so I couldn’t properly re-fix the mudguard. I emailed SKS-Germany about this and they are to send me free replacements!
The half an hour that I spent trying to fix the mudguard meant that I was really cold – especially my hands and feet – once I got to the bus terminus at U-Bahnhof Rudow. The first Rudow bus route was the 271 which headed southwards towards the Berlin border before heading back up towards the start terminus. At this point, my phone battery was draining fast so I decided to stop taking pictures as I needed the phone to load all the routes onto my Wahoo Element. The residential roads of the 271 bus route (and the other Rudow looping bus routes) allowed me to increase my effort and warm myself up while enjoying the efficiency of riding a road bike.
The 371 bus route was next up, this initially heads towards Schönefeld before taking a left turn through the Frauen Viertel (Women’s Quarter). The Frauen Viertel is a residential area of about 1700 apartments built in 1996 where all the streets, squares and paths are named after influential women that lived in and around the Neukölln district. This was the first residential area in Germany where all the streets are named after women. Chapeau!
Next up was the 372 bus route, this is a loop around the northern parts above U-Bahnhof Rudow. There are quite a few schools, churches and parks around this part of Rudow. Again, a quiet area with nice streets to cycle on. I was starting to warm up at this point as well! I was also getting hungry too so I munched on a Clif Bar, this was also well timed to keep my blood glucose levels up as well.
The final Rudow loop bus route, the 373, was also the longest and wasn’t just restricted to Rudow – it passes through the modernist Gropiusstadt (named after Walter Gropius, he of Bauhaus fame) locality too. The beginning and final stretches of the 373 bus route are pretty quiet while the middle section passes along the main streets of Rudow and Gropiusstadt, such as Neuköllner Straße and Lipschitzallee. The bike paths are part of the wide pavements of these main roads but they haven’t been serviced in a while making them very bumpy due to tree roots. Not so much fun to ride on with a road bike!
After the 373 route, I made my way towards Mariendorf for the final bus route of this Stage – the 282 bus route. While cycling towards Mariendorf, I passed by a vineyard in Britz, quite a surprise but apparently most people are unaware of its existence. There has been wine production in Britz for over 300 years but this iteration of the vineyard has been around since 2002.
The 282 bus route starts at Dardenellenweg in Mariendorf and ends at Dillenburger Straße in Wilmersdorf. The Dardenelles (Hellespoint in Ancient Greece) is a narrow strait in the Mediterranean Sea that is part of Turkey. People swim across this strait in a yearly swimming competition that emulates Lord Byron who swam across in 1810.
The 282 route heads westwards towards Steglitz and passes along the Schloßstraße which was a lot less busy since my last visit during Stage 5. The bus route passes on Schildhornstraße which is parallel to the Berlin Autobahn until it’s terminus at Dillenburger Straße.
That was it for Stage 9, taking in 8 bus routes and the loops making a very interesting GPS track. I was happy to get home and have a coffee with empanadas. This was a beautiful day to be out on the bike and I was happy with my efforts, it’s been a while since I cycled that far outside. Looking forward to the next one!
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