|Distance in km||91.1|
|Elevation in m||346|
|Amount of newly ridden kms in Berlin from wandrer.earth||30.4|
My legs really needed a break after the last Stage so I recovered at home whilst the weather was being very April. It even snowed one day! The temperatures were getting a bit warmer for this Stage but there was a stiff cold wind blowing about so I opted for the full winter kit. This Stage would focus on public transport routes that mainly serviced the Lichtenberg (literally: Light Mountain) and Wartenberg (literally: Waiting Mountain) districts of Berlin.
Due to the break in activity, my insulin resistivity had been creeping up, so I very slightly reduced my basal (long-term) insulin before the ride. My breakfast routine of porridge had to be swapped for toast, since I sacrificed my oats for making some yummy flapjacks as fuel for the upcoming Stages. It’s been a while since I ate toast before cycling so I was curious to see how it would affect my blood glucose throughout the Stage. In preparation, I slightly reduced the amount of bolus insulin for the toast before heading out.
I headed out through Tiergarten – the huge park in central Berlin – towards Hermannplatz, which was the start point for the N94 bus route. This night bus service runs between Hermannplatz and the U-Bahn station of Magdalenenstraße. On the way there, it passes through the district of Neukölln along some cyclist-unfriendly roads. Cycling becomes friendlier at Elsenstraße right before crossing the Spree on the Elsenbrücke (Elsen Bridge).
The N94 bus route passes by the Ostkreuz station, one of the major stops on the central Ringbahn, and briefly heads into the Rummelsberg district before getting to Lichtenberg. The N94 route stops at the Lichtenberg train station – a major train hub – before using the overpass over the train tracks to get to Frankfurter Allee. The final stop of the N94 route is at the intersection of Frankfurter Allee and Alfredstraße.
The next bus route (N56) was another night service that is a circular route starting/ending at Magdalenenstraße. This night service services the northeast districts of Alt- and Neu-Hohenschönhausen as well as Wartenberg before circling back through Lichtenberg. The first stretch heads northwards on Siegfriedstraße, crosses Landsberger Allee and then heads towards Alt-Hohenschönhausen.
The N56 route through Alt-Hohenschönhausen passes close to the Gedenkstätte Berlin-Hohenschönhausen. This was the former prison of the Stasi (the East German secret police) where they forced (i.e. tortured) prisoners to sign false confessions. I visited this just before the Covid-19 pandemic and went on a tour through the prison. The tour was very well done and I recommend doing this. Some pictures of the tour are in a separate gallery below.
In order to get to Neu-Hohenschönhausen, the N56 route passes on Malchower Weg. This was not fun to cycle on – it has one cycle path and single lane traffic with big trucks also passing through the street. I was happy to get to cycle paths of Falkenberger Chaussee. The N56 takes in the high rise blocks of Neu-Hohenschönhausen before passing through Wartenberg which has more of a village vibe to it. This doesn’t last long though as the N56 heads straight back into highrise land aka Neu-Hohenschönhausen.
Once back in Alt-Hohenschönhausen, the N56 takes in the same roads back to Magdalenenstraße that it passed through previously. Once at the U-Bahn station of Magdalenenstraße and the end of the N56 route, I headed towards the Zentralfriedhof Friedrichsfelde (Friedrichsfelde Central Cemetery) which is the starting terminus for the 256 bus route.
I quickly stopped at the Zentralfriedhof Friedrichsfelde and visited the Gedenkstätte der Sozialisten (Socialist Memorial). This houses the graves of many socialists murdered by the Nazis (like Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht) as well as prominent politicians of East Germany. I ate one of my homemade energy balls outside the gates of the cemetery before starting the 256 bus route.
The 256 bus route essentially follows the same route as the N56 route that I had just completed. The only differences are the starting and end points. From the Zentralfriedhof, it’s a short distance to get to Siegfriedstraße and the same streets as earlier. I was not too thrilled about cycling on Malchower Weg again – at least no big trucks this time so it was a bit better. The 256 route differs from the N56 route as it heads towards the Wartenberg Siedlung (Settlement) on the border between Berlin and Brandenburg.
After completing the 256 route, I headed through some fields towards the Wartenberg S-Bahn station for the S75 route. Interestingly, this station is in the Neu-Hohenschönhausen district and not Wartenberg district. I had a coffee from a small kiosk outside the station and ate a homemade flapjack. I also injected 1 unit of bolus insulin as my blood glucose was around 210 mg/dL after the energy ball before starting the 256 bus route. This high blood glucose and taking on more carbs with the flapjack meant I would definitely need more insulin to avoid a long stretch of hyperglycemia (= high levels of blood glucose).
Refuelling complete, I started out on the S75 route that would end at the Warschauer Straße S-Bahn station. I was very happy to be using Flash, the cross bike, for the first stretch of the S75 route as I cycled on an unpaved section parallel to both the train tracks and the piping that passes through Neu-Hohenschönhausen.
Between the Gehrenseestraße and Poelchaustraße S-Bahn stations, the cycle path was fantastic. The path was paved and quiet – it also passed through the Georg Knorr Industrial Park. I then passed through the imposing highrise blocks of Marzahn before getting to the Friedrichsfelde district which has many houses and fewer highrise blocks.
After briefly passing through Lichtenberg, I was now getting towards the very hip Friedrichshain district for the end of the S75 route. There are lots of lovely street art around Friedrichshain. My cycle route passed over the Modersohnbrücke which has great views of the trains and the final two stations – Ostkreuz and Warschauer Straße – of the S75 route.
I headed back home through the still empty streets of central Berlin. It’s still strange seeing how empty all the places of interest between Brandenburger Tor and Alexanderplatz are. This was a fun Stage to get back into the Grand Tour after the rest days – I’m looking forward to the next week where the temperatures should be in the low 20s. I may even get a tan!