|Distance in km||114.2|
|Elevation in m||451|
|Amount of newly ridden kms from wandrer.earth||32.9|
After a relaxed weekend, it was time for another Stage. This Stage focused on the many bus routes that service some of the districts of Spandau and even stopped outside of Berlin too. This would also be the first day of the first phase of reducing the measures of the Covid-19 lockdown. As expected, this led to an increased amount of vehicles on the roads as well as people out and about. It almost felt like a pre-Coronavirus day on the bike!
I headed out the door, after eating breakfast and reducing both basal and bolus insulin, and made my way along the Landwehrkanal (Reserve Force Canal) to the bus terminus at Zoologischer Garten. This was the start of the M49 bus route that follows the main roads heading westwards towards the Staaken district. Kantstraße is the first main road that the M49 passes through and as it doesn’t have a bike path, it was not so nice to cycle on.
The M49 then passes the Funkturm (Radio Tower) and Messe (Fair Grounds) before circling Theodor-Heuss-Platz to get to Heerstraße. The M49 bus follows Heerstraße all the way until its final stop at Nennhausener Damm close to the border of Berlin and Brandenburg. The cycle path on Heerstraße varies wildly between smooth tarmac and bumpy roots. There were some lovely views of the Havel from the Stössenseebrücke (Stössen Lake Bridge) and Freybrücke (Frey Bridge) though.
After finishing the M49 route, it was a short cycle to get to the Fort Hahneberg terminus for the next route – the M37. Fort Hahneberg was one of the last examples of Prussian-style fortifications built in Germany and is open to visitors. I haven’t visited yet but plan on doing so when the lockdown is over.
The M37 route initially passes back down Heerstraße before passing through central Staaken towards the transport hub of Spandau. This will be a theme during this Stage since bus routes tend to be planned to maximise travel between trains (U- and S-Bahns plus long-distance) and residential areas. Once the M37 is done with central Spandau, it heads towards Falkensee, but before leaving Berlin it turns towards the Waldkrankenhaus (Wood Hospital) for its final stop.
My blood glucose was trending down and I was getting a little hungry so this was a perfect time to stop and refuel. I ate a homemade flapjack before starting out on the next bus route – the 130 – that started at the Waldkrankenhaus. The 130 route passes by some houses and a large cemetery before turning onto Zeppelinstraße. On Zeppelinstraße there is a really cool estate that was built in the 1920’s – it also includes four towers at the intersection with Falkenseer Chaussee.
The 130 bus also headed straight towards the Spandau transport area and then continued over the Havel towards the S-Bahn station of Stresow. The bus route passed through the large industrial area along the Freiheit (Freedom) road before circling around towards the Ruhleben (Quiet Life) U-Bahn station. This was the final stop of the 130 bus and the first stop of the 131 bus route.
I followed the 131 bus route along Charlottenburger Chaussee towards Wilhelmstadt (William City). This also meant that this Stage featured my two least favourite cycle paths when heading westwards out of Berlin. The cycle paths on Charlottenburger Chaussee and Heerstraße are too bumpy and in desperate need of repair, especially as they are critical with both these roads being full of trucks and cars!
The 131 bus route headed into Wilhelmstadt over the Havel and then back into Staaken. Cycling through Wilhelmstadt is also not much fun since it was full of cars and no bike lanes! The 131 bus route passed through some of the same roads of Staaken as the M37 route from earlier before turning back towards the Spektefeld area for its final stops. This area includes a lovely park, lake and schools that include some awesome artwork!
The next bus route – the 137 – started close to the border of Berlin and Falkensee so I cycled along part of the Berliner Mauerweg to get there. I was hoping to see some water buffalo in the meadow close to the bus terminus at Freudstraße but none were there. The 137 bus route used the Falkenseer Chaussee to get to central Spandau with all its transport options. After that it passed through Staaken before terminating on Heerstraße.
The next public transport route was the 338 route that starts at the Havelpark in Dallgow-Döberitz. I previously visited the Havelpark during the very early days of the Grand Tour – Stage 2 to be precise. That was a very cold and grey day in complete contrast to this lovely sunny (but windy) spring day! I stopped for some food in the sun on the way to Dallgow-Döberitz to properly enjoy the weather.
Since I was using our cyclocross bike Flash, I took the opportunity to get to the Havelpark using some of the gravel (or rather sand) paths between Berlin and Dallgow-Döberitz. This was fun but full attention was needed to navigate through the sand while avoiding huge craters and horse shit!
The Havelpark is a huge shopping complex where many buses stop at, including the 338 route. This route started by following the main B5 road where there is a beautiful cycle path – very wide and smoothly paved – before heading towards the village of Seeburg (Lake Castle). This small village has a historic church and a llama enclosure nearby. While passing through the Engelsfelde (Angel Field) area, I was greeted by a true sign that spring was in bloom – fields of yellow rapeseed! The 338 bus reached Berlin again at the Potsdamer Chaussee and followed this road until its final stop at the intersection with Heerstraße.
The 237 bus route was next. It starts in the Neustaaken area which is the westernmost part of Staaken. Getting to the starting bus terminus allowed me to use a very functional tunnel underneath the train tracks! Now I was in this residential area full of houses and gardens and ready to start following the 237 route.
The main section of the 237 bus route is a loop that connects the long-distance train stations of Staaken and Albrechtshof (they run on different sections of train tracks). The route then passed through the Gartenstadt Staaken (Staaken Garden City) which is a quaint area with terraced houses built between 1914 and 1917. The 237 bus then headed directly towards Spandau along Seegefelder Straße before terminating at the Spandau train station.
The final bus route of this Stage was the X36 route that started at the Spandau train station. This bus route headed north along Neuendorfer Straße (New Village Street) parallel to the Havel river. The X36 bus then used the Spandauer Seebrücke to cross over the Havel. This is one of the more picturesque bridges in Spandau and also offered a glimpse of the Kleiner Wall (Little Rampart) island. This tiny island is full of boat houses but at least a few trees as well.
The X36 then headed along Daumstraße towards the U-Bahn station of Haselhorst. This was also its final stop and completed the last of the eight bus routes of this Stage. A check of my blood glucose showed that it was getting a bit low but not hypoglycemic. I thought that this would be fine for the rest of Stage, since all I had to do was get home.
I was wrong about that and my blood glucose continued to drop so I had to take on an energy gel only a few kilometres from home. It’s annoying when that happens as it means that my blood glucose will shoot up more than I would like later on in the day. I got home safely and other than the final part of the Stage, I was very happy with my blood glucose throughout this Stage! I did have to struggle with a strong wind during this Stage so I hope that it’s gone for the next one.