Grand Tour de Öffentliche Verkehrsmittel Stage 44/59 – Chaingate

Date29.05.2020
Strava Activityhttps://www.strava.com/activities/3530775310
BikeFlash
Distance in km111.5
Elevation in m454
Amount of newly ridden kms from wandrer.earth25.6
Blood glucose values throughout Stage 44 of the Grand Tour de Öffentliche Verkehrsmittel

Another great day for cycling meant another Stage of the Grand Tour de Öffentliche Verkehrsmittel plus another attempt to cycle with Nick, my special guest, after his mechanical issues before Stage 43. I also woke up with the most perfect blood glucose – a full night’s worth of 100 mg/dL! It was so good that I felt bad having to eat and ruin the flat line.

In preparation of this Stage, that would take on two bus routes and then four tram routes, I ate my porridge and reduced both my basal and bolus insulin. I then headed out to Richard-Wagner-Platz to wait for Nick and we’d complete the Stage together – or at least that was the plan!

Nice painting on Forststraße

We cycled southwards towards Rathaus Steglitz for the start of the M82 bus route making our way from the fancy shops of Kurfürstendamm to the green residential streets of Steglitz. The M82 bus made its way from Steglitz into the district of Lankwitz, I used my experiences from the Grand Tour to warn Nick of the horrendous bike lanes along the main roads of Lankwitz. Things improved once we turned onto Gallwitzstraße – mainly because we had no choice but to cycle on the street.

Skyscraper on Waldsassener Straße

The final stretch of the M82 bus route was along Waldsassenerstraße which was full of trees and normal sized houses. Then all of a sudden there was the large high-rise skyscraper (27 storeys!) that was built in the early 1970s. Very impressive and pretty imposing too! The final terminus of the M82 was in the shadows of this high-rise building.

I checked my blood glucose levels before we made our way to the start of the next bus route. My blood glucose was higher than I would’ve liked but at least it was starting to trend downwards. One thing I did notice was that my legs were feeling pretty good from the get-go of this Stage. The previous few Stages, I have woken up with higher blood glucose levels (~170 mg/dL) – not super high – but enough for my legs to take at least an hour into the Stage before they feel like they’re working properly. It’s really incredible how much blood glucose levels can affect physical performance!

Fancy house in Alt-Mariendorf

We cycled from Marienfelde to Mariendorf for the start of the N77 night bus route. Marienfelde was founded as a village in the 13th Century meaning that it retains this village charm but also a lot of cobbled roads. We also cycled through the huge Daimler industrial park on Daimlerstraße before reaching the bus terminus at Alt-Mariendorf. 

Teltowkanal / Teltow Canal

From Alt-Mariendorf, the N77 headed northwards into the district of Neukölln. We reached the industrial area on Gottlieb-Dunkel-Straße and decided for a food stop on the Mussehlbrücke (Mussehl Bridge). I had the first of my latest batch of flapjacks and Nick had his own apricot energy bar. This was a nice spot for a break as we got some nice views of the Teltowkanal (Teltow Canal). 

Plänterwald S-Bahn station

Once the N77 route reached Hermannstraße, it snaked over the train tracks three times before running parallel to the train tracks until it turned onto Sonnenallee. From here, the N77 bus route headed into Baumschulenweg along Dammweg and then reached the S-Bahn station of Plänterwald for its final stop.

Treptower Hafen / Treptow Harbour

This was the final bus route of the Stage and we now headed towards Weißensee for the first of four tram routes. Treptower Park was a very luscious green and the scaffolding outside the Soviet Memorial was removed so it must be open to the public again. We crossed the Spree and headed past Ostkreuz station and into Weißensee. 

While cycling on Weißenseer Weg, Nick’s chain came off. Since he uses a single speed this is more critical as it indicated that the chain tension was too loose and most likely the rear wheel needed to be moved back. Neither of us had a spanner to adjust the rear wheel so we continued on once he put the chain back on. However, once we were in the most trafficky part of Weißensee, it came off again! We were on the lookout for a bike shop in order to borrow a spanner to readjust the rear wheel.

Reflections at the Pasedagplatz tram terminus

We reached the tram terminus at Pasedagplatz without finding a bike shop. While here I injected 0.5 units of insulin as my blood glucose was too high after the flapjack from earlier. We decided to follow the tram 27 route and stop at the first bike stop that we would find. The 27 tram headed from Weißensee and into Alt-Hohenschönhausen before turning onto Rheinstraße to continue southwards.

Nick was, understandably, cycling quite tentatively before the inevitable happened again. A quick search of the area showed a bike store not far from our location so we left the tram 27 route to head off to this bike shop. Once there Nick borrowed the spanner and we set about readjusting the chain tension and tightening the rear wheel. 

The Pyramide / Pyramid office building

All seemed to be well and we cycled back to Rheinstraße to continue following the tram 27 route. Just before we reached the large intersection of Rheinstraße and Alt-Friedrichsfelde, the chain came off again! Nick was understandably frustrated at this and abandoned the Stage. As there was no team car or broom wagon, he had to cycle back home all alone. Such a shame as it was fun and we had agreed upon an ice cream break in Köpenick at the end of the tram 27 route!

I now continued solo following the tram 27 into Friedrichsfelde before reaching the district of Karlshorst. Here the tram 27 passed through Treskowallee on which the tram tracks are being repaired so here there are replacement buses for the trams that service Treskowallee. These significant tram track works have impacted vehicular traffic too as there was lots of traffic and cyclists can only cycle on the pavement since there is no space for vehicles and cyclists.

AEG Fabrik / Factory in Oberschöneweide

It was nice reaching Oberschöneweide where the traffic flowed better and I could cycle more safely. This is also a really nice area full of large historical industrial buildings along the river Spree. A very picturesque area of Berlin! 

Graffiti in Köpenick

The tram 27 continued following the path of the river Spree into Köpenick which is also where the rivers Spree and Dahme meet. I cycled through the lovely old town of Köpenick and then turned onto Müggelheimer Damm for the final stretch of the tram 27. The final stop of this tram route is at the tram terminus near the Köpenick hospital.

Tram 67 was next and this started at the same terminus of the Köpenick hospital and headed back into the old-town of Köpenick. I passed through the Volkspark Köpenick (Köpenick Public Park) which was really nice and quiet. 

Me and my ice cream

Once I made it back to the old-town of Köpenick, it was time for a coffee and ice cream break. My blood glucose was doing well so I didn’t inject any insulin for my scoop of chocolate ice cream. It was pretty warm in the sun so a scoop of ice cream was a welcome relief – especially in such a picturesque spot.

Alte Försterei home of Union Berlin

The tram 67 used the same tram tracks as the tram 27 to head back towards Oberschöneweide. Here I could visit the Stadion An der Alten Försterei (Stadium at the Old Forestry), home of Union Berlin who are playing in the Bundesliga (the top tier of German football) for the first time ever this season. They couldn’t have picked a more memorable season to do so!

Parkeisenbahn / Park Railway in Wulheide

The tram 67 all passed by the Freizeit- und Erholungszentrum (FEZ – Leisure and Recreation Centre) which also houses a Parkeisenbahn (Park Railway). This is a cute train that takes people through the large Wuhlheide park. 

Leuchtenfabrik / Light Factory at the banks of the Spree

Then it was back through the industrial area before taking a left turn onto Edisonstraße to cross the Spree and head towards the station of Schöneweide. The final stop of the tram 67 was at the tram terminus just behind the main building of the Schöneweide train station.

Schöneweide Train Station

The next tram route was the tram 21 that started at my current location. Here I headed back over the Spree and into Karlshorst again. This time though, the tram 21 turns onto Ehlrichstraße before reaching the construction works of Treskowallee. I was very happy with this as I could cycle on much quieter roads.

The tram 21 then reached the industrial area of Rummelsburg. Along Köpenicker Chaussee, there is the impressive Heizkraftwerk Klingenberg (Klingenberg Thermal Power Station) and further down there is the famous Sisyphos club in what was previously a dog biscuit plant. 

Frankfurter Tor

I followed the tram 21 through Friedrichshain along Boxhagener Straße and then (for the first time today) I passed Frankfurter Tor and headed towards Bersarinplatz. This tram route turns right into the district of Lichtenberg and the end of this tram route was at Gudrunstraße, near the Lichtenberg train station.

Tram terminus at Gudrunstraße

I was feeling a bit hungry at this point and my blood glucose was in need of some carbs. So I ate a Clif bar before heading off to Warschauer Straße for the final tram (and public transport) route of this Stage. 

Warschauer Straße U-Bahn station

The M10 tram route started at the Warschauer Straße U-Bahn station and is the inner-complement to the M13 tram route. Both these tram routes circle around the centre of the former East Berlin (trams were the main public transport infrastructure in the East). The M13 route was ticked off during Stage 22

The U-Bahn Station of Eberswalder Straße

The M10 headed along Warschauer Straße northwards past Frankfurter Tor and Bersarinplatz – just like the tram 21. But the M10 continued northwards along Petersburger Straße which has one of these lovely pop-up bike lanes. Very useful as the M10 route passed along roads that are frequented by many cyclists.

Reichsbahnämter / State Railway Offices

I then passed through central Prenzlauer Berg which is full of restaurants and people out and about since it’s such a popular area. The M10 continued along past the Mauerpark (Berlin Wall Park) and Bernauer Straße which is where the Berlin Wall used to run through. Obviously when these tram lines were originally built, the tram did not go past the Berlin wall – that would’ve been very dangerous indeed! The final stretch of the M10 tram was along Invalidenstraße before reaching its final stop at the Berlin Hauptbahnhof (Central Station). 

Hauptbahnhof / Central Station

That was the final public transport of this Stage! The weather was starting to turn a bit with lots of clouds and a colder breeze so I was happy to get home. It was a shame that Nick couldn’t complete this Stage due to his mechanical problems but hopefully he will be able to join for another one before the end of the Grand Tour.

The % distance I cycled in each district during Stage 44 of the Grand Tour de Öffentliche Verkehrsmittel

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