|Distance in km||132.0|
|Elevation in m||682|
|Amount of newly ridden kms from wandrer.earth||64.1|
After some stormy weather, the temperatures were rising so I had the opportunity to tackle the Stage that featured the penultimate S-Bahn route of the Grand Tour de Öffentliche Verkehrsmittel. The route would also allow me to have a coffee break with our friends from Stage 45 so that was also something to look forward to during this Stage.
Knowing that this would be a long day in the saddle, I injected half the required amount of bolus insulin for my breakfast. I also reduced my basal insulin as well. I took with me two flapjacks from the latest batch and two full bottles of water. Hydration would be key since it was going to be hot!
I cycled towards Seydlitzstraße for the start of the 120 bus route. The start of this bus route followed the same route as the N20 bus route from Stage 39. This meant that I cycled from Berlin Hauptbahnhof (Berlin Central Station) through the main streets of Wedding towards Reinickendorf.
During Stage 39, I noticed that perhaps a cycle lane was being implemented in Müllerstraße. I can confirm that this is not the case. The painted markers for cyclists force the cyclists to cycle on Müllerstraße with the traffic and not in a separate bicycle lane. The taxi stand in the same corner is also not ideal since the new bicycle markings would lead you into the taxi stand!
The 120 and N20 bus routes differ once they reach the district of Wittenau. The N20 continued northwards towards Frohnau while the 120 looped around the Märkisches Viertel before ending at the bus terminus at Wilhelmsruher Damm. I have stopped at this bus terminus many times but this would be the final time during this Grand Tour.
With the 120 bus route complete, I could cycle towards Oranienburg which is the starting terminus of the S1 train service. On the way there, I passed along the Hermsdorfer See (Hermsdorf Lake) which Nadja and I visited the day before this Stage. I continued northwards through the Brandenburg town of Glienicke/Nordbahn before cycling through the very sandy Bieselheide (Biesel Heath).
The Bieselheide is also part of the Berlin district of Frohnau, which is where the lovely Hubertussee (Hubertus Lake) is located. The Hubertussee is the northernmost lake of Berlin and was artificially created for the brickyards used for building Frohnau itself.
I also stopped at the Naturschutzturm (Nature Conservation Tower) which is one of the few remaining watch towers (from a total of 302) that were erected along the Berlin Wall by the East German government. At the tower, there were also signs explaining how the border zone between East and West Berlin was fortified. Besides the concrete wall, there were barbed wire fences, a trench and the horrible spiky wire netting called “Stalinrasen” (Stalin Grass) that I saw in Stage 45. I found the sign showing the creative ways that people still tried to escape from East Germany despite all these physical barriers.
I continued towards Oranienburg through towns and forests plus some nice waterways – the Havel-Oder-Kanal (Havel-Oder-Canal) and the river Havel. Once I reached the town of Oranienburg, I ate one of my flapjacks. My blood glucose was pretty stable although a little on the high side but it was definitely time for some food! It was so hot in the sun that the foil wrapped around the flapjacks was disintegrating – I think the bumpiness of some of the paths also didn’t help. I guess the flapjacks were bounced around in my top tube bag and the heat was a bad combination! Still tasty though – just had to be careful not to ingest foil.
This was the start of the S1 line and would be the final time that I would cycle a north-south S-Bahn line during the Grand Tour de Öffentliche Verkehrsmittel! I left Oranienburg and crossed over the river Havel to reach Lehnitz – the second stop on the S1. After Lehnitz, I cycled along the train tracks through some lovely woods into Borgsdorf.
The train tracks in Borgsdorf cut across the Bahnhofstraße (Station Street) and I had to wait for two trains to pass until the crossing barriers were lifted. The next stop on the S1 after Borgsdorf was Birkenwerder. I had stopped at Birkenwerder before as this was the final stop of the S8 train line that I completed in Stage 38.
Hohen Neuendorf was the final stop on the S1 before getting into Berlin. There is a nice statue of dancing bees called “Tanz der Honigbienen auf der Wabe” (“Dance of the Honeybees on the Honeycomb”) by Christina Gersch near the station. This sculpture honours the beekeeping institute in Hohen Neuendorf.
I headed back into Berlin through the Invalidensiedling (Invalids’ settlement) and stopped at our friends’ place for a longer break. Here I ate my final flapjack – again being careful not to ingest foil – and injected one unit of bolus insulin since my blood glucose was still high after Oranienburg. It was nice chatting over coffee and getting both my water bottles refilled before continuing on the route of the S1.
The first stop of the S1 in Berlin was at Frohnau and then continued southwards along many stations that lay along the previous border between West and East Berlin. This meant that I cycled along parts of the Berliner Mauerweg (Berlin Wall Path) between the stations of Hermsdorf and Bornholmer Straße.
The S1 uses the Nord-Süd-Tunnel (North-South Tunnel) to traverse underneath much of central Berlin. I cycled past many of the sights of central Berlin – Brandenburger Tor (Brandenburg Gate), Potsdamer Platz and the Denkmal für die ermordeten Juden (Memorial to the murdered Jews) between these two important sites.
After Anhalter Bahnhof, the S1 runs on tracks separate to the other north-south S-Bahn trains – called the Wannseebahn (Wannsee Train), as it terminates in Wannsee. At Yorckstraße, these separate tracks run through different stations (rather than different platforms). This means that you have to make sure that you are at the right Yorckstraße station for the S-Bahn train you want to catch!
Now the S1 headed south through Schöneberg and crossed the Ringbahn at the station of the same name. The rest of the S1 passed through some very fancy areas in the south west of Berlin – even many of the stations were constructed to look like Italian villas!
Lichterfelde West is one of these S-Bahn stations modelled after an Italian villa, and once I arrived here, my CGM was warning me that my blood glucose was getting low. The insulin I injected earlier was working a bit too well! I stopped outside another villaesque building (that housed a company called Korona – bet they regret that now!) for an energy gel and a muesli bar.
The S1 headed through Zehlendorf and towards the lakes of southwest Berlin – Schlachtensee (Slaughter or Battle Lake), Nikolassee (Nicholas Lake) and Wannsee – these are also the final three stations of the S1. The rich Berliners need a quick route to bathe in these lovely lakes!
Now that I reached the final stop of the S1 at Wannsee, it was time to head northwards towards Oskar-Helene-Heim (Oskar-Helene-Home) for the start of the 110 bus route. I cycled through so many cobbled streets in the district of Nikolassee that my feet were hurting! Before reaching the start of the 110 bus route, my CGM was again alerting me that my blood glucose was running low! I had another gel and muesli bar to keep my blood glucose within range for the remainder of the Stage.
The U-Bahn station of Oskar-Helene-Heim, named after the institution founded by Oskar and Helene Pintsch that cared for people with disabilities and invalids from the First World War, was the start of the 110 bus route. This bus route passed northwards through the district of Dahlem – full of lovely villas and great cycle lanes! The 110 route then headed through Schmargendorf before getting to Kurfürstendamm and ending at the main bus terminus at Zoologischer Garten.
All that was left was to cycle along the Landwehrkanal (Land Army Canal) to get home. This was a great Stage in some great weather – I was very grateful that I put on sun cream beforehand, otherwise I would’ve really burnt up and turned into a lobster!