|Distance in km||126.2|
|Elevation in m||439|
|Amount of newly ridden kms from wandrer.earth||39.7|
The main aim of this Stage was to tick off another S-Bahn route from the list. The S-Bahn routes are easily the backbone of some of the longer Stages since they cut across Berlin and typically have termini in a town outside of Berlin. But we’ll get to that later – I had to follow some bus routes to get to one of the termini first!
I was ready to leave after eating breakfast of champions (porridge and coffee) for which I slightly reduced the bolus insulin. I also reduced the basal insulin as well since this would be a long day in the saddle. The weather app led me to expect a lot of cloud cover but pretty warm temperatures so I headed out in full summer cycling kit. I’m really enjoying this after the cold and grey Stages at the beginning of the Grand Tour!
The first public transport route was the N84 night bus that started at Alt-Tempelhof. I headed out in the direction of Tempelhof and cycled through Tiergarten since it’s particularly nice in spring. There were lots of bunnies about including some adorable baby ones too. Just before I got to Alt-Tempelhof, my CGM alarm alerted me that my blood glucose was falling. Not ideal this early in the Stage so I ate a Clif bar right before starting the N84 route.
The N84 bus route headed from Tempelhof and crossed over the Teltowkanal (Teltow Canal) into the district of Lankwitz. I will not miss cycling in Lankwitz when this Grand Tour is over. The cycle lanes are in a terrible state of repair and during this Stage the bicycle lane spits you out into the traffic before magically reappearing some kilometers further down on Kaiser-Wilhelm-Straße.
The N84 then passed through the Lichterfelde district and over the Teltowkanal again. From this bridge, I could get a decent (and safe) view of the Heizkraftwerk Lichterfelde (Lichterfelde Thermal power station). Next the N84 passed along Goerzallee where the McNair Barracks that were used by the American forces until 1994 are located. The barracks are now being redeveloped into apartments.
The final sector of the N84 route was to head along Teltower Damm and into central Zehlendorf. This was a nice road with lots of parks around. The final stop was at the Zehlendorf Eiche (Zehlendorf Oak) which is a the Zehlendorf village green and the picturesque Standesamt Zehlendorf (Zehlendorf Registry) is found.
The next bus route – the N12 – started from the Zehlendorf Eiche bus stop and headed out of Zehlendorf directly into the neighbouring town of Kleinmachnow. The streets of Kleinmachnow are pretty narrow for cyclists and single lane traffic, but they are wonderfully paved and the lack of cars on the road made this thoroughly enjoyable!
The N12 bus route crosses the Teltowkanal parallel to the impressive Schleuse Kleinmachnow (Kleinmachnow Lock) which is the symbol of this town. I also noticed a historic tram nearby which also houses a small museum. Once over the Teltowkanal, the final stop of the N12 was at the nearby bus terminus of the neighbouring town of Stahnsdorf.
With these two bus routes complete, I cycled the short distance from Stahnsdorf to its neighbour, Teltow. The Teltow Stadt station was the start of the S25 S-Bahn route. I was once again greeted by the cute mini S-Bahn benches outside of the station – I enjoyed them in Stage 18 and I enjoyed them again today. 🙂
I took a narrow off-road path along the Lessinggraben (Lessing Ditch) to get from Teltow and back into Berlin at the district of Lichtenfelde. Unfortunately, the kiosk in front of the Lichterfelde West station that I stopped at during Stages 5 and 20 seemed to be closed down. I did have to cycle through Lankwitz again, but I avoided the bicycle lanes by using cobbled side streets – not necessarily the lesser of two evils.
The final stretch of the southern section of the S25 before getting to the central Berlin Ringbahn at Südkreuz was through mainly residential streets. I also enjoyed the fantastic direct cycle path next to the train tracks between the Priesterweg and Südkreuz stations.
This direct cycle path continued northwards into the Gleisdreieck (Track Triangle) park. The new graffiti is really cool – Nadja particularly enjoyed the Hulk and Elsa art work when I showed her! I was feeling a bit hungry so I decided to have a lunch break and eat a Power Bar energy bar before continuing to tail the S25 northwards through central Berlin.
Trains travelling in the north-south direction use the Nord-Süd-Tunnel (North-South-Tunnel) between the Yorckstraße and Humboldthain stations. I made a quick pit stop right before Potsdamer Platz to take a photo of the former watchtower without the Santa hat, as was the case in Stage 7.
After Potsdamer Platz, I cycled by the other stations of the S25 within the inner Berlin ring before exiting the Ringbahn tracks at Gesundbrunnen. I crossed over the Bösebrücke (Böse Bridge) where the Bornholmer Straße station is found.
At the next station (Wollankstraße), I found a nice place for a coffee stop. My blood glucose also shot up much more than I expected after my lunch break at Gleisdreieck so I injected 0.5 units of bolus insulin here as well. While enjoying my coffee in the shade outside the cafe, I noticed that lots of mosquitoes were attaching themselves to me. A persistent mosquito had earlier (in front of the British Embassy near the Brandenburger Tor) decided to fly down my top too! I was becoming the buffet – which is not normal for me – normally mosquitoes prefer Nadja, but she wasn’t around to (unwillingly) sacrifice herself for me.
I continued through Pankow and between the Schönholz (Pretty Wood) and Alt-Reinickendorf stations noticed the lovely Siedling Paddenpuhl (Paddenpuhl Settlement). This was built after the First World War and one of the first residential estates built in Reinickendorf.
The artwork on the Karl-Bonhoeffer-Nervenklinik station is pretty confusing when approaching it. An older name of this station – Wittenau – is more conspicuous than its current name, which is bewildering since Wittenau is another S-Bahn station but on the S1 and S26 lines. The station is named after the nearby former psychiatric clinic of the same name.
The S25 was now headed into the district of Tegel, with a stop at the station of the same name, before continuing through the Tegeler Forst (Tegel Forest). It was really fun cycling through this lovely forest. I was all alone except for the sight of a man and his tiny dog. Unleashed dogs are a particular danger to cyclists and can react in many ways. So I stopped to see what the dog would do. It approached me and decided to lick my leg – probably ate some mosquitos. The dog’s owner was oblivious to this little rendezvous but eventually the dog returned to its owner.
I was now in the northwest district of Heiligensee (Holy Lake) for the final two stops of the S25 that are still in Berlin. These are the Schulzendorf and Heiligensee stations. The areas around the stations are very residential and a mixture of new and old houses.
I crossed the Havel river into Hennigsdorf – a town adjacent to Berlin – and the final stop of the S25. The square in front of this modern train station is full of shops and restaurants. I have cycled to Hennigsdorf many times along the fantastic cycle paths parallel to the Havel making for a lovely loop. But this time I would not head back to Berlin along the cycle paths but instead follow the 136 bus route towards Spandau.
The 136 bus route started at the Hennigsdorf station and headed southwards past the large Bombardier factory and over the Havelkanal (Havel Canal) into the Nieder Neuendorf (Lower New Village) area. Nieder Neuendorf is full of new housing along the Havel, the Berlin Wall used to run along the banks of the Havel so these were impossible to build before reunification. There is a border tower still standing in Nieder Neuendorf which I would like to visit in the future.
The 136 then headed into Berlin and the district of Hakenfelde. This section was pretty nice since it runs through the Spandauer Forst (Spandau Forest) – I also took the opportunity for a nature break and another food stop (not at the same time) to boost my blood glucose for the rest of the Stage. So I ate my final Power Bar energy bar.
After the joys of cycling in nature, it was back to cycling in the city since the 136 routes stopped at the main train station of Spandau. The final stretch of this route was along Pichelsdorfer Straße, this was really not fun to cycle on as there was no cycle lane, parked cars and pretty narrow single-lane traffic. I was happy to get to the cycle path of Heerstraße before the end of the 136 route at the Omnibushof (Bus Station) at Gatower Straße.
The final public transport route of this Stage was the 236 bus route that started at the Omnibushof and essentially went back the way I came on the 136 route. So I had to battle with the traffic on Pichelsdorfer Straße once again. The 236 route also stopped at the train station of Spandau and continued northwards until Rauchstraße (Smoke Street). Here the 236 route crossed the Havel using the lovely Spandauer-See-Brücke (Spandau Lake Bridge) before continuing down Daumstraße (Thumb Street) and reaching its final stop at Haselhorst U-Bahn station.
With the 236 bus route complete, I made my way home through Siemensstadt since I always enjoy the large red brick industrial buildings. I was pretty happy with my blood glucose throughout this Stage. The fuelling strategy mainly worked except for the high sugar values after my lunch break. But I corrected for this well and didn’t have issues for the rest of the ride. So that was pretty good!