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Grand Tour de Öffentliche Verkehrsmittel Stage 13/59 – the Birth of Pi

Strava Activity
Distance in km98.0
Elevation in m228
Amount of newly ridden kms in Berlin from wandrer.earth54.6
Blood glucose values throughout Stage 13 of the Grand Tour de Öffentliche Verkehrsmittel

After quite a bit of rain (but warmer temperatures) during the week, there was an opportunity for a longer Stage today. I was expecting overcast skies the whole ride but I was pleasantly surprised to see the sun while preparing breakfast! The prospect of riding in the sun made me hurry out the door a bit faster than usual so I could enjoy some sun while heading out the for southern and east Berlin. 

Walter Schreiber Platz

The first bus route of today’s Stage was the N81 starting at Walter-Schreiber-Platz in Friedenau and ending at Nahariyastraße in Lichtenrade. Part of this bus route was similar to the X83 bus route from Stage 9, especially the part through Lankwitz, but this time I was only on Malteserstraße for a few hundred metres. A Witz in German is a joke, and what is certainly a joke are the dedicated bus lanes in Lankwitz – really uneven because of tree roots and so not much fun on a road bike.

Like many night bus services, the N81 stops at as many U- and S-Bahn stations as possible between its terminuses. A particular highlight being the S-Bahn station of Marienfelde, where part of the station was painted just like the S-Bahn trains. Very cool indeed. Next up was Daimlerstraße, where I was expecting something Mercedes-Benz related and I was not disappointed. The street has many dedicated showrooms and a huge corporate office building.

Impressive artwork of an S-Bahn train at the Marienfelde S-Bahn train station

The N81 then travels on some of the quieter roads in the Mariendorf district, caresses Buckow before getting to Lichtenrade, the final district for this route. As I was waiting at a traffic light to turn onto Lichtenrader Damm, a learner driver attempting to turn right from Lichtenrader Damm was rear-ended by the car behind whose driver wasn’t paying much attention! Nothing serious but there was a bit of a bump. 

Gemeindehaus / Community House on Lichtenrader Damm

I made it to Nahariyastraße, the end stop for the N81 and headed towards the Bohnsdorf district for the next bus route. I cycled through Großziethen and found a dedicated bicycle street between fields that takes you directly to the Schönefeld town. I had a huge tailwind at this point and was flying along with minimal effort! But I was conscious not to go full blast with the tailwind since I’d pay later when turning around into the headwind.

Highrise apartments at Nahariyastraße

The intersection of Waltersdorfer Straße and Parchwitzer Straße in Bohnsdorf was the start for the N62 bus route which then terminates at Wendenschloßstraße in Köpenick. I decided to eat a small piece of my homemade energy bars as I was getting a little hungry. My blood glucose was well within range but slightly higher than I would’ve expected at this point during the Stage but fuelling is important. 

The N62 bus route heads through Bohnsdorf and into the Grünau district – I have never been to either district before so it was nice seeing some new roads and sights. From Grünau onwards, the N62 route straddles the Dahme river. At this point, cycling also got pretty interesting as my choices were cycle on the road with tram tracks or the uneven pavement (which was allowed). I chose the road but was extra careful with all the tram tracks about. 

The Dahme river from the Grünauerstraße Bridge

There are some really nice views from the bridges over the river Dahme, including the Köpenick Schloßinsel (Palace Island). Once crossing the main bridge into Köpenick, the N62 takes a right turn on to the Wendenschloßstraße and follows this road all the way to the end. As expected, there are many many watersport establishments along this road with direct access to the Dahme.

The last 500m of the N62 route (and the 62 tram) are currently a huge construction site so I cycled on the pavement to the end of the road and the end of the N62 route. Here there was a little park with benches overlooking the river – perfect for a food and insulin stop! I ate the final chunk of homemade energy bar and injected a small amount of insulin for the rest of the ride. I was hoping for a coffee stop but there were only houses in the area – hopefully there would be the chance during the next tram route.

Bolt posing with the Dahme at the tip of Wendenschloßstraße

Next up was the tram 62 route from Wendenschloßstraße, my current location, to the Mahlsdorf S-Bahn station. Mahlsdorf’s (only) claim to fame is being the birthplace of Pi! For the start of the 62 tram route, I took the parallel road that the replacement bus service uses because of the construction site. This was not much fun as it was laden with huge uneven cobblestones. At the two intersections there were roundabouts (already a strange sight in Berlin) where the cobblestones were laid out in a pattern – the central parts had larger cobble stones than the perimeter. Maybe that’s fun when driving but not on a bike!

I was relieved to be back on the Wendenschloßstraße and a dedicated bike path after that adventure. The 62 tram then passes through the picturesque old town of Köpenick; It really was lovely full of red brick historical buildings. Before turning right on Bahnhofstraße, I stopped at the Platz des 23 April which has a memorial to the resistance fighters that were murdered by the Nazis. The 23rd of April was the date that Köpenick was liberated by the Red Army during the second world war.

The 62 tram then goes up Bahnhofstraße which is the main shopping area of Köpenick before crossing under the S-Bahn tracks. North of the S-Bahn tracks is a quieter residential area of Köpenick before crossing through the woods into Mahlsdorf. Nadja and I had been here to pick up Pi when he was just a tiny kitten. I don’t remember the exact street but I could remember the area when I passed by it.

I carried on the main road through Mahlsdorf until the end terminus of the 62 tram right next to the S-Bahn train station at Mahlsdorf. This area is also a pretty busy shopping area with lots of supermarkets and other amenities. But there were so many people around that I didn’t feel comfortable going into a cafe and leaving my road bike unlocked outside, so I postponed my coffee break again.

Shopping promenade opposite the Mahlsdorf S-Bahn station

On the way to the start of the final bus route, I found a place for a coffee stop near the Friedrichsfelde S-Bahn station. I did have an energy gel not long after leaving Mahlsdorf for Friedrichshain as the insulin I injected earlier was working a bit too well. During this coffee stop, I also had about half a non-homemade energy bar just to make sure that the blood glucose would not dip too low for the remainder of the Stage.

Elstawerdaer Platz U-Bahn station and its wonderful paintwork

The N40 night bus route between Wühlischplatz and Turmstraße was the final route of the stage. This route passes through central Berlin and along many of the main train connections, such as Alexanderplatz and Hauptbahnhof. 

I reached the end of the N40 route right next to Kleiner Tiergarten, which I guess is supposed to be the little brother/sister of the huge Tiergarten. Finally, I just had to make my way home through the Hansaviertel for some well deserved nourishment. This was a fun stage and I travelled through many areas that I have never been to before. Seeing the GPS track afterwards made me think this was an alternative Ringbahn route! Next up is the Queen Stage of the WKG Winter Racing League – this is going to be incredibly tough but interested to see how I hold up on the Four Horsemen route.

The % distance I cycled in each district during Stage 13 of the Grand Tour de Öffentliche Verkehrsmittel

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