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With the longest Stage of the Grand Tour complete, it was time to relax and complete the shortest remaining Stage. The relaxed nature of the tour was further enhanced with my special guest, who also rode Stage 22, joining in on the fun. This would also be the first Stage that would take on public transport routes that end and start in the northern district of Frohnau.
I was expecting cloudy overcast weather during the Stage so I went out with leg and arm warmers. Quite a difference from the warm weather during the previous Stage! After the usual breakfast and reduction in basal and bolus insulin, I was ready to head off to Hauptbahnhof (Central Station) for the start of the N20 bus route.
The N20 route is a night service running between Hauptbahnhof and Frohnau. The first section took me along the main thoroughfares of Wedding (Chausseestraße and Müllerstraße) that are not much fun to cycle. In particular Müllerstraße doesn’t have a dedicated bike path for a particularly trafficky section, so it’s great when the bike lane does eventually show up. Having said that, it appeared as though bike path markers were being put in this section so maybe this problem will be solved – fingers crossed!
I turned onto Barfusstraße (Bare Foot Street) where I met up with my special guest. We continued on along Aroser Allee which is fun to cycle on. Plus the Weiße Stadt (White City), an original Bauhaus residential estate, is located here so it was nice to take in some culture as well.
We were now following the N20 through the northern districts of Reinickendorf, Wittenau and Hermsdorf before finally getting to Frohnau. Wittenau was pretty tough to navigate as there is a large construction site leading to traffic jams and little space to cycle on.
We turned onto Burgfrauenstraße (Castle Women Street) which was a nice street to cycle on after the bumpy bike paths in Hermsdorf. This street took us directly to Zeltinger Platz in central Frohnau and we cycled past some lovely houses and an impressive Wetterpilz (Weather Mushroom – a weather shelter) before reaching the end of the N20 route at Hainbuchenstraße.
Frohnau was founded in the early 20th Century as a garden city with the layout being decided by an architecture competition. The Kasinoturm (Casino Tower) near the S-Bahn station at Zeltinger Platz was also built as part of this competition. So Frohnau is only just over 100 years old, a positive baby compared to Berlin which was first mentioned in the 13th Century!
Before starting on the next bus route – the 220 – we had a little break close to the bus terminus at Hainbuchenstraße. I needed to take on some carbs since my blood glucose was getting a little low so I had a gel for a sugar boost and a homemade flapjack for some slower acting carbs.
The 220 bus started at our current spot and followed the same roads as the N20 out of Frohnau and into Hermsdorf and Wittenau. The 220 route stopped heading southwards at Am Nordgraben (At the North Trench) and here headed westwards towards the district of Tegel. The final part of the 220 route snaked through some backstreets before reaching its final terminus at the An der Mühle bus stop near the Tegeler Hafen (Tegel Harbour).
With the 220 route complete, we headed back eastwards towards the Märkisches Viertel for the final bus route of this Stage. We cycled parallel to the Nordgraben, which was built in the 1920s to ensure that the Panke river didn’t overflow during heavy rainfall. Unfortunately it wasn’t really properly planned and the Nordgraben negatively affected the groundwater level.
The path along the Nordgraben was fun to cycle but it does involve crossing a lot of streets which doesn’t help the cycling flow. Shame because there is real potential here for an amazing cycle path that would keep cyclists away from the main streets and provide a direct connection between the districts of Tegel and Märkisches Viertel.
The final bus route – the 221 – started from the main bus terminus at the Märkisches Viertel, right next to the Berliner Mauerweg (Berlin Wall Trail). The 221 bus services one of the many large residential estates within the Märkisches Viertel before returning to the main road. We once again had to navigate the large construction site near the Wittenau S- and U-Bahn station before heading towards Reinickendorf.
The Rathaus Reinickendorf (Reinickendorf Town Hall) is a really impressive building and there is some interesting architecture in this area. Firstly the Ernst-Reuter-Saal (Ernst-Reuter-Hall) is retro looking theatre but the Finanzamt (Revenue Office) is even better! The brown and yellow colour scheme is maybe a bit too much though.
The final stretch of the 221 route passed through Wedding along Afrikanische Straße (African Street). My special guest and I parted ways at the intersection of Müllerstraße and Afrikanische Straße – a fun ride as usual and maybe he can join for another Stage! The 221 services the Beuth Hochschule für Technik (Beuth College of Applied Sciences) before ending at Leopoldplatz.
All that was left for this enjoyable Stage was to cycle home. I did take a bit of a detour through Charlottenburg-Nord (North Charlottenburg) before getting home for a yummy lunch – a leftover enchilada that I had made the day before. My legs were feeling great so I’ll plan for a longer Stage next.