Grand Tour de Öffentliche Verkehrsmittel Stage 53/59 – The Final S-Bahn

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Date29.06.2020
Strava Activityhttps://www.strava.com/activities/3688492506
BikeFlash
Distance in km131.3
Elevation in m441
Amount of newly ridden kms from wandrer.earth36.1
Blood glucose values throughout Stage 53 of the Grand Tour de Öffentliche Verkehrsmittel

After the heatwave of the weekend before this Stage, it was now much cooler, meaning I could tick off the final S-Bahn route of the Grand Tour de Öffentliche Verkehrsmittel. I prepared myself for a long day in the saddle by reducing both my bolus and basal insulin and then headed off towards the Spandau train station for the start of the S3 route.

Rathaus Spandau / Spandau Town Hall

The S3 route started in Spandau and used the same route as the S9 from Stage 31 to get to Westkreuz on the Ringbahn. I crossed over the Havel and headed towards the large Olympiastadion and its surrounding grounds. The Pichelsberg station is the closest station to the Glockenturm (Bell Tower), which was built for the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. The views from the top are spectacular – highly recommended.

I cycled along roads named after British authors (Dickens, Brontë, Scott) towards the S-Bahn station of the Olympiastadion. I was interested in exploring and photographing the impressive Corbusierhaus which overlooks this S-Bahn station. This colourful brutalist structure was completed in 1958 and one example of the residential buildings that the architect Corbusier built (all the others are in France).

Weltzeituhr / World Clock at Alexanderplatz

After this cultural stop, it was time to leave the leafy areas of Spandau and Westend and get to the traffic of central Berlin. A pleasant surprise was that Kantstraße officially (and finally) has a proper bike lane! Here I followed the train tracks that run through central Berlin, roughly following the river Spree all the way until the other end of the Ringbahn at Ostkreuz. 

Betriebsbahnhof Rummelsburg / Rummelsburg Train Depot

After navigating along the S3 route through central Berlin, I continued eastwards into the district of Rummelsburg. This is a highly industrial area and the Betriebsbahnhof Rummelsburg (Rummelsburg Train Depot) has a huge storage area for trains. 

Tracks at Karlshorst station

Next up was Karlshorst. The railway line crossed over Treskowallee which (as reported in Stage 23) is a huge construction site since the tram tracks are being replaced. This made crossing this street quite a challenge but I eventually managed this surprisingly difficult task!

Interior of the Wuhlheide station

I cycled along a nice quiet back road between the Karlshorst and Wuhlheide stations. My CGM alerted me that my blood glucose was running a bit low, so I stopped here for some carbs. I ate two energy balls, made up of dates and chia seeds before carrying on.

Hirschgarten / Deer Garden station

The final few stations of the S3 meant I could cycle through the forests in the east of Berlin. This was really lovely and I didn’t see a single person on this side of the tracks. The only times I crossed streets were in the areas close to the stations. 

Historical tram at the Rahnsdorf S-Bahn Station

At Rahnsdorf, I met the lovely historical tram from Stage 15 that had just dropped off passengers coming from the direction of Woltersdorf. The final station of the S3, still in Berlin, was at Wilhelmshagen. This station is also undergoing a facelift including making it more accessible for passengers with mobility issues.

Erkner Station

The final stop of the S3 is at Erkner on the border of Berlin and Brandenburg. I was familiar with this area from the bus routes during Stage 23. And similar to that Stage, I had a coffee from the diner near the station. I also ate a large homemade flapjack to help boost my blood glucose for the remainder of the Stage.

The next public transport route of the Stage was the N97 that started at the Friedrichshagen S-Bahn station. I cycled towards this station using the cycle path on the opposite side to the one I had cycled on towards Erkner. This again was lovely and lots of fun away from traffic!

Müggelspree when crossing the Salvador-Allende-Brücke

The N97 is a night bus service that started at Friedrichshagen and headed south towards the river Spree. The bus route headed towards Köpenick and crossed the river Spree using the Salvador-Allende-Brücke (Salvador Allende Bridge, named after the former socialist president of Chile). Here the bus route headed towards the hospital in Köpenick that is also a tram terminus, as I discovered during Stage 44

Former AEG factory in Oberschöneweide

The route of the N97 bus then passed through the old town of Köpenick – where the tram rails were being replaced – and then continued along the Spree towards Oberschöneweide. This area is home to Union Berlin (Eisern Union!) and since the Olympiastadion is home to Hertha Berlin (Ha-Ho-He! Hertha BSC), I cycled by the home stadiums of both Berlin teams during this Stage!

The Schöneweide station

After passing along the lovely industrial buildings of Oberschöneweide, I crossed the Spree (again!) and saw some very unfriendly clouds in the distance! It looked like I would definitely be rained on sooner rather than later. The final stop of the N97 was at the bus terminus behind the Schöneweide train station. 

Segelfliegerdamm / Glider Dam

The next bus route – the 265 – started at the Schöneweide bus terminus and headed briefly into Johannisthal. The route used the Königsheideweg (Royal Heath Path) to reach the district of Baumschulenweg. The imminent rain hadn’t arrived yet but I was enjoying the cool wind that the weather was stirring up –  a lovely change from the heat and humidity earlier in the Stage.

Schlesiches Tor / Silesian Gate

From Baumschulenweg, the 265 bus headed through Treptow and into Friedrichshain. Once I reached Schlesisches Tor, the rain started. It was pretty refreshing and rather enjoyable as summer rain can be! 

Spittelkolonnaden / Spittel Colonnades

The final section of the 265 bus was along the busy Leipziger Straße and ended near the Stadtmitte U-Bahn station on Krausenstraße. The architecture in this area is quite a juxtaposition – there are huge residential skyscrapers overlooking the imperial memorial called the Spittelkolonnaden (Spittel Colonnades). From this central location, I cycled towards the Berlin Hauptbahnhof (Berlin Central Station) for the next bus route. 

Hauptbahnhof / Central Station

The 123 bus route started at Hauptbahnhof and snaked through many streets of the Moabit, Charlottenburg-Nord and Siemendsstadt districts. I found the distinctive artwork of Ben Wagin on Lehrter Straße and then circled towards Westhafen along Turmstraße. 

Ben Wagin mural

On Turmstraße, my CGM was alerting me that my blood glucose was in need of carbs so I stopped on the Beusselbrücke (Beussel Bridge) to eat a protein bar. This type of bar has fewer carbs than an energy bar so I was not sure whether its effects would last the remainder of the Stage. 

Beusselbrücke / Beussel Bridge

The 123 bus route serviced many of the residential blocks in the Charlottenburg-Nord area. This snaking around residential streets continued all the way into Siemensstadt. I was not feeling quite strong at this point so I decided to take on a gel to quickly boost my blood glucose. 

Siemensdamm

The final stretch of this bus route was along Rohrdamm until it reached the Berlin-Spandauer Schifffahrtskanal (Berlin-Spandau Shipping Canal). Here the final stop of the 123 bus route was at the bus terminus at the Mäckeritzwiesen (Damp Meadows).

I cycled back home very happy to have ticked off all the S-Bahn routes. This is an important milestone as the S-Bahn routes are so long that they were always part of a long Stage. The end of the Grand Tour de Öffentliche Verkehrsmittel is getting closer!

The % distance I cycled in each district during Stage 53 of the Grand Tour de Öffentliche Verkehrsmittel

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