|Distance in km||100.0|
|Elevation in m||386|
|Amount of newly ridden kms from wandrer.earth||40.8|
A glorious spring day was the perfect opportunity to complete another Stage and tick off seven public transport routes! The construction site next to our apartment has been revived so I was woken up earlier than usual. Despite the beauty sleep being cut short, I was feeling motivated to head out through Berlin. The usual insulin preparations of a reduction in both bolus and basal insulin were made before leaving the apartment.
The first public transport route was the newest and shortest U-Bahn route – the U55 – between Berlin Hauptbahnhof and Brandenburger Tor. There are currently works going on to extend the U5 (tackled in Stage 21) by linking it to the U55. Building the U55 was also pretty complicated due to Berlin’s fiscal troubles in the early 2000s. The U55 was originally planned to join the northwestern underground line (U7) to the eastern underground line (U5) but these plans were scaled back due to financial difficulties. The Berlin government would have had to pay back a loan to the federal government if there were no trains running on this line. Despite the projected low passenger turnout for the U55, it was cheaper than repaying the loan so the U55 was built!
The U55 crosses under the Spree towards the government sector at the Bundestag station. Here the impressive Reichstag, Bundeskanzleramt (Federal Chancellery) and the Paul-Löbe-Haus – plus the Swiss embassy – are found. The Brandenburg Gate is the next and final stop of the U55. It’s still pretty empty due to the lockdown measures which makes photographing it much better!
The next public transport route was the number 12 tram that started at Am Kupfergraben which is opposite the famous Pergamon Museum on the banks of the Spreekanal (Spree Canal). This tram route heads northwards on Friedrichstraße before heading eastwards on Invalidenstraße. The reduced traffic meant this section was nicer to cycle than during Stage 12 which I appreciated given what was about to come during the next section!
The 12 tram cuts through Prenzlauer Berg on Pappelallee before reaching Weißensee where it would terminate at the Pasedagplatz terminus. The trams (and many buses) use the Berliner Allee to pass along the Weißer See (White Lake) which gives its name to the district. Berliner Allee is a major throughway for northbound traffic that doesn’t have a cycle path at all. This makes it awful for cyclists as you have to contend with cars, vans, double parked vehicles and cut across lanes to take the correct traffic light without impeding vehicles while maintaining your own safety! Quite a challenge but at least drivers are aware that cyclists are about so the majority give room to the cyclists – much appreciated.
This tram route ended at the Pasedagplatz and by this point I hadn’t seen a cycle path in the Weißensee district. I cycled towards the bus terminus at Stadion Buschallee/Hansastraße for the start of the 156 bus route. The first stretches of the 156 bus route along Falkenberger Straße actually had a bike path! This predictably ended right before this road intersects with Berliner Allee – where I think a bike path is absolutely needed. The 156 route loops back towards Prenzlauer Berg using the Gustav-Adolf-Straße before getting to Prenzlauer Allee.
This whole section was on narrow two-way roads that also have parked cars and no bike paths. I lost count of the closepasses from accelerating cars. I wonder whether these types of streets encourage this as cars don’t want to be stuck behind cyclists so they speed up to overtake in the fraction of time before a car in the opposite direction comes by. I hope that the Weißensee district can improve this for the benefit of all road users.
The 156 bus route circles through Prenzlauer Berg including the Michelangelo terminus for the 200 bus route from Stage 32. The final stretch of the 156 bus route was along Storkower Straße before ending at the bus terminus right next to the Storkower Straße S-Bahn station.
I crossed the train tracks using the overpass and was contemplating injecting some insulin before carrying on. My blood glucose was higher (~160 mg/dL) than I would’ve liked at this point in the Stage but I wanted to give it some more time. So I made my way to the Lichtenberg train station – the start for the next bus route. My blood glucose was still stable and it was time for some food, so I ate a homemade flapjack and injected 0.5 units of bolus insulin to jumpstart my body into using the carbs properly.
The 108 bus route was next. This route started at the Lichtenberg station and ended in Waldesruh (The Quiet of the Woods) which is a small settlement in Hoppegarten just outside of Berlin. The 108 route followed the major B1 road – which has a separate multi-use path for cyclists – due east towards the district of Biesdorf. From Biesdorf, the 108 bus headed south on Köpenicker Straße before cutting through the residential districts of Kaulsdorf and Mahlsdorf (aka Pi-Dorf).
Once through Mahlsdorf, the 108 bus was in Waldesruh – I don’t know how this section of the border between Berlin and Brandenburg was decided as it appeared to be the same road! The bus passed through the main road of Waldesruh before its terminus at Mahlsdorfer Allee. I had to make it to the S-Bahn station of Wuhlheide (back in Berlin) for the next bus route and cycled there through the woods that must have inspired the name of Waldesruh.
The woods were starting to turn green and the trails were pretty dry but in places really sandy! But that is typical when cycling off road in this part of Germany. I did see some people out walking dogs and cycling in the forest – completely understandable on such a lovely day. I passed through the roads of Köpenick and crossed the Wuhle river before cycling through the Mittelheide (Middle Heath) towards the Wuhlheide S-Bahn station.
At Wuhlheide, I checked how my blood glucose was doing and again it was still on the high side. I ate a Clif energy bar to fuel the rest of the ride and injected 1 unit of bolus insulin since the injection at Lichtenberg didn’t really jumpstart anything.
The 191 bus route started at the Wuhlheide S-Bahn station and headed directly north along Köpenicker Straße before ending at the Elsterwerdaer Platz U-Bahn station. This route nearly followed this one street the whole time – but it makes a small detour through random side streets of Köpenicker Straße. There wasn’t anything that stood out to me as a reason for this detour so I can’t explain why this route chose these streets. A mystery!
The next bus route (191 bus) started at the Wuhletal train station and I cycled there using some cobbled roads that run parallel to the U5 train tracks. There appears to be a lovely cycle path along the Wuhle river that I must do on a separate cycling trip.
The 191 bus runs between the Wuhletal and Marzahn train stations and mainly follows the same route as the 291 bus route from Stage 29. The initial section through Hellersdorf and Marzahn was pretty enjoyable – I even got to cycle on Allee der Kosmonauten for a bit. The final section – and the only difference to the 291 route – is along the Bruno-Baum-Straße (Bruno Baum was part of the Nazi-resistance and an East German politician). The 191 bus then crossed Landsberger Allee before getting to the Marzahn bus terminus along the Marzahner Promenade.
The final public transport route was the M4 tram that started at Zingster Straße in Neu-Hohenschönhausen. I had completed the other M4 tram route that runs between Hackescher Markt and Falkenberg in Stage 25. I used the wonderful cycle path that runs parallel to the train tracks to get from Marzahn to Neu-Hohenschönhausen. I made a short detour through some high-rise blocks on streets named after resorts on the Baltic Sea (such as Zingst, Wustrow, Ahrenshoop) and said hello to the Highland cattle before getting to the Zingster Straße tram terminus.
Before starting on the M4 route, my blood glucose was finally working properly! This meant that it was trending downwards which is what I would expect during these Stages. I ate a protein bar to fuel for the rest of the Stage. Since protein bars have less carbs than an energy bar, this was perfect for the final part of the Stage.
The M4 tram heads from Neu-Hohenschönhausen into Weißensee, so for the final time of this Stage I had to contend with cycling on Berliner Allee. I did make a stop to check out the Weißer See and it is pretty lovely!
The M4 continues southwards on Berliner Allee which becomes Greifswalder Straße (another nod to the Baltic Sea, where Greifswald is a city close to the Baltic Sea) towards central Berlin. Since trams were the heartbeat of public transport in the former East Germany, central Berlin in this case means Alexanderplatz. The M4 tram passes directly through Alexanderplatz before crossing Karl-Liebknecht-Straße for its final stop at Hackescher Markt.
Those were the seven public transport routes for this Stage. I cycled through Mitte and Tiergarten on the way home, enjoying the lovely spring weather and how everywhere is now turning green! I was relatively happy with my blood glucose even though it was slightly high for most of the Stage. I think I dealt with it pretty well and without compromising the fuelling for such a long Stage.