|Distance in km||143.6|
|Elevation in m||368|
|Amount of newly ridden kms in Berlin from wandrer.earth||68.3|
Today was going to be an interesting ride. It was a weekday (Wednesday), but because of the Coronavirus/Covid-19 outbreak I was expecting lower vehicular traffic than usual. This was certainly the case and it felt more like a Sunday ride but with the occasional truck passing by (trucks are not allowed to transport goods on Sundays). This was also the first day with proper spring weather – a high of 17°C was forecast – so even with more people staying at home, there were plenty of other people outside. At least it was great to finally be able to wear cycling shorts outdoors for the first time this year!
Because of this spring weather, I decided to do a long Stage that would focus on some of the bus and tram routes that service the wider Müggelsee (the large lake in Berlin’s East) area. Knowing that it was going to be a long day and based on my experiences from Stage 22, I did not inject any basal insulin and slightly reduced the bolus amount for my breakfast before heading out.
The first port of call was Leopoldplatz in Wedding for the start of the 142 bus route. This bus route heads through the Sprengelkiez on the way to Hauptbahnhof (Central Station) before heading eastwards along Torstraße. Because of the reduced traffic, cycling on Torstraße was much nicer than during Stage 16 which was great especially since one lane is closed due to construction works. The 142 bus route then passes along the Volkspark Friedrichshain (Friedrichshain public park) before heading towards its terminus at Berlin Ostbahnhof.
The next bus route started all the way out in the city of Erkner, east of the border between Berlin and Brandenburg, so I headed that way along a deserted East Side Gallery. I have never seen so few people here so that was pretty bleak. The mural of the African proverb is always poignant but perhaps more so at the moment. I then passed through Rummelsburg which is full of large industrial buildings – some used for industry but also some clubs too.
The upscale Friedrichshagen district with its houses facing the Müggelsee indicated that for the next few hours I would be in the land of water and forest! This eastern part of Berlin, plus the adjacent Oder-Spree district of Brandenburg, is full of natural and manmade waterways as well as large forested areas.
Once arriving in Erkner, I could start following the 161 bus route. This bus route starts right next to the Historische S-Bahn e.V (Historical S-Bahn Society) where there are a number of old S-Bahn trains just asking to be photographed. I especially like the one jutting out of the building! The 161 bus route heads back into Rahnsdorf and into the Hessenwinkel area which borders the Dämeritzsee (Dämeritz Lake). There are numerous houses with their own lake jetties here.
After this stretch, the 161 bus route heads up towards the Wilhelmshagen S-Bahn station. This station is currently being renovated into a barrier-free station. Also noteworthy on this stretch is the Taborkirche (Tabor Church) that is part of a roundabout – firstly, roundabouts are rare in Berlin and secondly, a church in a roundabout has a distinctive Maltese feel to it.
The 161 route then services another residential section of Rahnsdorf before heading out to Schöneiche through the Berliner Forst (Berlin Forest). This section crosses the 87 tram tracks that I visited in Stage 15. The bus route takes some turns to avoid cobbled roads in Schöneiche before terminating at Lübecker Straße.
I continued on northwards through Schöneiche until I got to its centre, the Dorfaue, which houses a very modern Rathaus (Town Hall) as well as the starting point for the 420 bus route. I had a homemade energy bar in the sun here and removed my gilet since it was getting pretty warm in the sun – the cool (and at times strong) wind meant I kept my arm-warmers on for the whole ride though.
After that little food break, I started on the 420 bus route. This route heads back south into the Fichtenau area of Schöneiche where I passed the Kleiner-Spreewald-Park (Little-Spree Forest-Park) and its ornately decorated dragons! The bus route then passes through a single road that is part of Berlin (only forest though) before circling through some modern residential housing of Schöneiche.
The 420 bus route then heads out towards Woltersdorf along the same roads that I followed during Stage 15. Instead of turning towards the canal lock, this time I continued southwards along the Flakensee and towards Erkner, as the final terminus of the 420 bus was at the Erkner bus station opposite the train station. With the 420 route done and dusted, it was time for a coffee break at the Erkner train station before heading towards the town of Gosen for the next bus route.
The way to Gosen was along some great dedicated bike paths next to some picturesque and swampy forests/meadows. Once I got to central Gosen, I was greeted by the lovely historical building of the Freiwillige Feuerwehr (Voluntary Fire Service) right next to the small bus terminus. This was the start of the 369 bus service between Gosen and the Müggelheim settlement, south of the Müggelsee in Berlin.
The 369 bus route is a straightforward one since there is only one road between Gosen and Müggelheim. This is a densely forested area with the Gosener Kanal (Gosen Canal) passing perpendicular to this one road. There were quite a few cyclists on this road and I could see why – little traffic and surrounded by beautiful nature! The 369 bus route terminates at the village green of Müggelheim where there are many historical buildings around.
The next bus route, the N68 night bus, started at Alt-Schmöckwitz which is south of Müggelheim. Normally this would be straightforward but there is the little matter of the Dahme river between these districts. I gambled on there being a ferry service on the Krampe peninsula which would save me around 20 km so I headed through the Fischerheide section of the forest. There is a fantastic paved road through this forest – the only problem was the huge cobbles on the residential street leading up to the road!
The ferry jetty is located right next to a campsite and was closed for winter. So that plan was scuppered and I had to complete the detour around the Seddinsee (Seddin Lake) which was next to Gosen. I followed the same lovely road of the 369 bus route from earlier back to Gosen and this time continued south. I could cross the Oder-Spree canal using a pedestrian/cyclist bridge and now was in the Schmöckwitz district of Berlin. This area is again full of forest and waterways – really quite beautiful on such a lovely spring day!
I reached Alt-Schmöckwitz which is the bus and tram terminus of Schmöckwitz for the start of the N68 bus route. Before starting this route, I was getting a bit hungry so I ate an energy bar. Again I didn’t inject any insulin for this energy bar as my blood glucose was behaving itself very well.
The N68 bus route is another straightforward bus route, essentially just following the Adlergestell road towards the Adlershof S-Bahn Station. The only detour from this road is to pop by the Karolinenhof settlement. This is the only night service to this area and only when travelling between Schmöckwitz and Adlershof – not the other way round, so there is a door-to-door service that residents of Karolinenhof can call on.
Again, most of the N68 route passes through forest – this time the Berliner Stadtforst (Berlin City Forest) until getting to the S-Bahn station of Grünau. From here onwards, the Adlergestell road is a major traffic route so quite a difference from the forested areas I had passed through most of this Stage. The dedicated cycle lane next to the Adlergestell could be in better shape as it is very bumpy to cycle on.
Once reaching the Adlershof S-Bahn station and the end of the N68 route, I made my way northwards towards the Schöneweide station. This was the starting point for the final route of today’s Stage – the tram 37 route. The tram 37 immediately crosses the river Spree and heads north towards the Karlshorst district.
The first section of Karlshorst was next to the large Wuhlheide park which hosts the Trabrennbahn (harness race horse track) Karlshorst in its northernmost section. After getting to Treskowallee cycling was a different matter because of the huge construction works going on. The narrow and uneven pavement is used as a multi-use path for the numerous pedestrians and cyclists. This made for very slow and careful cycling for the whole of the next 2 km, i.e. the entirety of the construction works on this road.
The next section of the 37 tram route headed into the Friedrichsfelde district right next to the Tierpark – the second zoo of Berlin. Zoos are just one of the establishments that are currently closed to stem the Coronavirus outbreak, so it was extremely empty. Here I was also cycling on one of the main North-South roads in the east of Berlin (on a dedicated bike lane) which was pretty unnerving at times but at least the major intersection at Alt-Friedrichsfelde worked well for cyclists with the green lights leading to minimal waiting time. Good planning!
The 37 tram route continues north until my favourite street – Allee der Kosmonauten. At this street, the tram heads west to service the large hospital located in the Herzberg (heart mountain) area. Once out of the hospital area, the tram heads south again towards its final stop at Gudrunstraße right next to the Lichtenberg train station.
Once I arrived at Gudrunstraße, I checked my blood glucose and it was pretty high. Since my cycling didn’t reduce the carbs from the energy bar I had eaten in Schmöckwitz, it was a sign that my body had used up all the insulin and so needed more in order to function properly. All that was left of this Stage was to make it home, so I injected a unit of bolus insulin before carrying on.
On the way home, I passed through the usual sights of central Berlin but today they were practically empty. Here it really struck me how quiet it was on the streets of Berlin today.
This was a really fun Stage visiting many new areas in the east of Berlin and Brandenburg. I’m sure I’ll be back to explore this area of beautiful nature. Despite my blood glucose ending quite high, I was once again very happy with how stable it was after not injecting my morning basal insulin. I will certainly do this more often but try to keep in mind that I need some insulin on board so that my body can use the glucose racing around my bloodstream. That’s what insulin is for after all!K