Grand Tour de Öffentliche Verkehrsmittel Stage 15/59 – Tram in the Woods

Date08.02.2020
Strava Activityhttps://www.strava.com/activities/3082686058
BikeBolt
Distance in km117.9
Elevation in m397
Amount of newly ridden kms in Berlin from wandrer.earth63.5
Blood glucose values throughout Stage 15 of the Grand Tour de Öffentliche Verkehrsmittel

Today there was an opportunity for a longer day in the saddle that I definitely had to take up since Storm Sabine was forecast to bring bad weather in the coming week. With that in mind, I decided for the Stage that focused on the historical tram 87 between Woltersdorf and the Berlin district of Rahnsdorf. Obviously, this tram route was not the only one scheduled for today – there were another six bus and tram routes to complete too!

The bus and tram terminus at Berlin Hauptbahnhof / Central Station

I headed out towards the central train station, Hauptbahnhof, for the start of the 147 bus route. This bus route passes through the Mitte campus of the Charité, which is one of the largest university hospitals in Europe, and onto Friedrichstraße. The bus route crosses the famous Unter den Linden road and continues until turning left at Französische Straße (French Street). All that was left of the 147 bus route was to follow Französische Straße, past Gendarmenmarkt and the huge Foreign Office building until the bus terminates on Breite Straße. 

Next up was the 240 bus route starting at Ostbahnhof. So I followed the main streets from Breite Straße to Ostbahnhof and since this was a Saturday morning, I really enjoyed the lack of vehicles on these roads. The 240 bus route passes on the same roads in Friedrichshain as the N40 bus route from Stage 14. While waiting at a traffic light in Rummelsburg, a car driver complemented Bolt (my road bike) and wished me well on my way – always nice to have such interactions with drivers!

Lichtenberg housing and mural

The 240 bus route was now heading north into the Lichtenberg district through the Weitlingstraße and then up the incline that is Atzpodienstraße. The Sana Klinikum Lichtenberg is on Atzpodienstraße where I went to the ER a few years ago after I cut my left index finger pretty deeply when cutting some cheese (as you do). On that day, we had to go to the Treptower Park, on the other side of the Spree from Lichtenberg, to pick up Nadja’s accreditation for her first Berlin Triathlon. I was hoping that the bleeding would stop before we had to go back to Charlottenburg but it didn’t, so we went to the hospital in Lichtenberg to patch up my finger. Nadja now regularly reminds me of the time I tried to stress her out even more before her first triathlon by cutting my finger and ending up in the ER! It’s funny now. 😀

Highrise residential buildings at Storkower Straße

I continued on further north in Lichtenberg past the huge tram depot before passing through the vehicle repair and sales centres on Josef-Orlopp-Straße. The final stretch of the 240 bus route was along Storkower Straße and ended at the shopping centre where there were some colourfully painted Plattenbau residential housing.

Sculpture at the Alt-Friedrichsfelde intersection

The 398 bus route, starting at the Elsterwerdaer Platz U-Bahn station, was next on the list. So I cycled through the Friedrichsfelde and Biesdorf districts of Berlin until I arrived at the bus terminus next to the modern Biesdorf shopping centre right behind the Elsterwerdaer Platz U-Bahn station. The 398 route runs through the residential part of Biesdorf – including an old people’s home –  before getting to Mahlsdorf (the one and only Pi-strict). I passed next to the Kaulsdorfer Lakes including the cute Elsenteich (Alder Pond) before circling through a housing area and ending on Wodanstraße behind the Mahlsdorf S-Bahn station.

Mahsldorf creations behind the S-Bahn station

It was time to leave Berlin and head into Brandenburg to Woltersdorf for the historical 87 tram route. I also planned to have a coffee stop at the Woltersdorf Schleuse (canal lock) which was also the starting point for the 87 tram route. In order to get to Woltersdorf, I passed through the towns of Münchhofe (full of horse farms – this area is famous for horse racing) and Schöneiche bei Berlin. The Woltersdorf Schleuse was really picturesque with the reflections of the houses on the Kalksee water. I had a quick coffee break for a caffeine boost, that also allowed me to warm up and eat one of my energy bars. I injected a single unit of bolus insulin as my blood glucose was a little higher than I would like after 3 and half hours of cycling.

The first part of the 87 tram route was a construction site and similar to the tram at the Wendenschloß in Stage 13, I followed the official diversion before rejoining the tram tracks. The 87 tram route passes through the main square of Woltersdorf and the Schönblick (Beautiful View) area before passing through the Köpenick Forest. The forest path was not exactly comfortable on a road bike so I rode through the forest very carefully and successfully avoided a puncture. The final terminus of the 87 tram is at the Rahnsdorf S-Bahn station not far down the street once the tram emerges from the forest. 

With the end of the 87 tram, I was back in Berlin and ready to take on the 61 tram route between Rahnsdorf Waldschänke (Forest Tavern) and Karl-Ziegler-Straße in Adlershof. This tram line is one of the least used lines in Berlin and most of it is currently being reconstructed so there are buses servicing the route instead of trams. The 61 tram route heads inbound to Berlin parallel to the huge Müggelsee – one of the main lakes in Berlin, along with Wannsee in the west. 

Strandbad Müggelsee / Public Bathing Lido at Müggelsee

The 61 tram passes straight through the historic and picturesque Friedrichshagen district and then follows the path of the Spree river towards Köpenick. The tram keeps on the path of the Spree river until it merges with the Dahme river right next to the old town of Köpenick. I crossed the Dahme using the Lange Brücke (Long Bridge) before heading towards Adlershof on the Dörpfeldstraße. On this street, the bike path does strange things – first it sends you straight into the tram stop where unless you notice a small ramp, you’ll head into a barrier. So obviously you take the ramp which leads you to a section of road best described as “moon-like” before being spat out onto the road, I think next time, I’ll get onto the road before the moon section.

Friedrichshagen Christophorus Kirche / Church

The 61 tram route then crosses the Adlergestell road and into the modern “City of Science, Technology and Media” area which houses part of the Humboldt University campus as well as some modern residential housing. I found the Trudelturm (Spin Tower) which is a concrete memorial to the aviation research that was performed in the area during the early 1930s. I was starting to get hungry once I arrived at the end station in Karl-Ziegler-Straße of the 61 tram so I ate a Clif Bar. This was also good timing as my blood sugar was trending downwards but I knew that one of these carb-heavy bars should be enough for the rest of the Stage.

With the 61 tram route complete, I cycled back towards Köpenick for the start of the 162 bus route. This bus route starts opposite the Köpenick palace and ends at the Rudow U-Bahn station. I once again passed through Adlershof, but this route passes on the Glienicker Weg which is further south than the route for the 61 tram that I had just cycled. I crossed the Teltow canal which separates the Adlershof and Rudow districts on the Wegedorn Bridge. The 162 bus route then passes under the Autobahn and through one of the many Mercedes-Benz depots in Berlin. The bus route continues on Neudecker Weg until reaching the terminus at the Rudow U-Bahn station. 

Schloßplatz Köpenick / Palace square in Köpenick

The final bus route of this Stage was the M46 bus route between the Britz-Süd U-Bahn station and the huge terminus at Zoologischer Garten. I cycled through the residential Britz district before passing through the more industrial sections of the Tempelhof district. The M46 bus makes an important stop at the Südkreuz train station before heading through Schöneberg towards Zoologischer Garten. 

Rathaus Schöneberg / Schöneberg Town Hall

Just before I got to Südkreuz, I was actually stalking an M46 bus in its bus lane since this also doubles as a bike lane. This dance of M46 bus and cyclist continued until I got ahead of the bus on Kleiststraße. Here the bus route follows the main shopping streets of Tautzienstraße, including the famous Kaufhaus des Westens, and Kürfurstendamm. The right turn after the Gedächtniskirche leads straight to the bus terminus at Zoologischer Garten, which was the main transportation hub of the former West Berlin. And that was the end of the M46 bus route and today’s Stage. 

Kaufhaus des Westens or KaDeWe, the famous department store

Today’s Stage was a lot of fun in the sun, I was pretty happy with my blood glucose levels throughout, so all in all a great day on the bike! I hope that there will be the opportunity to ride outside in the coming week despite the forecast storm – fingers crossed.

The % distance I cycled in each district during Stage 15 of the Grand Tour de Öffentliche Verkehrsmittel

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