|Distance in km||118.1|
|Elevation in m||443|
|Amount of newly ridden kms from wandrer.earth||37.7|
A few rainy days enforced another mini-break of the Grand Tour de Öffentliche Verkehrsmittel after the previous Stage. This did lead to a drop in temperature which was quite nice although I did put on a base layer to prevent feeling too cold. Interesting clothing choices in the middle of July!
I opted for a Stage that would cover bus routes in some of the easternmost districts of Berlin – including the district of Müggelheim which I had only briefly visited during Stage 23. I determined that the new brand of porridge was causing the high blood glucose from the previous Stage, so I didn’t reduce the amount of bolus insulin before heading out. I did slightly reduce the basal insulin though.
After these preparations, I was ready to set off towards Hermannplatz for the start of the 194 bus route. This was a Saturday morning, so I really enjoyed the reduced amount of traffic while passing through the typically busy roads of central Berlin. I also cycled through the Hasenheide (Hare Heath) park which has a small petting zoo. I couldn’t see any of the animals but I sure could smell them!
The 194 bus route headed from central Neukölln towards Treptow by first crossing the Neuköllner Schifffahrtskanal (Neukölln Shipping Canal) and then the river Spree. Elsenstraße was closed off to traffic due to construction works but bicycles were allowed to pass so that was nice!
Next up were the districts of Rummelsburg and Friedrichsfelde for the 194 bus. The 194 bus made a beeline towards the Friedrichsfelde Ost S-Bahn station before circling back towards the Marzahner Chaussee. Once this road met with Allee der Kosmonauten (always fun to reach my favourite street name), the end of the 194 route was nigh. The final stop was at Helene-Weigel-Platz, named after the famous actress and artistic director.
I cycled through the “villagy” part of Marzahn – very unexpected as all you tend to see are the distinctive skyscrapers of this district! I continued northwards until I reached the Seelgrabenpark (Seel Ditch Park) which is just before reaching Ahrensfelde.
My blood glucose was trending downwards, although it was still a little high, so I decided it was time for some carbs. So I stopped at the Seelgrabenpark for a Clif energy bar. This meant that I made the right decision not to reduce my bolus insulin for breakfast. Always great when these decisions pay off!
The next bus route – the X69 – started at Köthener Straße, which was not far from the Seelgrabenpark of my food stop. I was not particularly looking forward to this bus route as I knew it passed through many trafficky roads and I would be proved right in being apprehensive.
The X69 headed towards Märkische Allee and then immediately turned left onto Mehrower Allee. As there are no cycle lanes on Märkische Allee, this left turn is pretty awkward. I saw that I could cross the lanes and use the traffic light for left turning traffic so I didn’t have to use the pedestrian crossing like I did during Stage 55 (which technically cyclists are not allowed to). A car stopped next to me to also wait for the light to turn green and when we both headed off, I apparently was in the “wrong lane” so I got honked at and yelled at. If only there were clear instructions for cyclists here!
Next up was Blumberger Damm – another trafficky road – where a right turning van was giving mixed signals as to whether it would stop and let me pass (I had right of way). While wondering what on earth this driver was doing, I strayed slightly out of the bicycle lane so a car beeped at me. I was feeling pretty pissed off at this point.
I followed the X69 all the way along Blumberger Damm past the main entrance to the Gärten der Welt (Gardens of the World) and then into the district of Biesdorf. I then crossed the river Wuhle to reach Kaulsdorf and then continued further southwards until reaching central Köpenick. Köpenick – especially Bahnhofstraße (Station Street) – was pretty busy with lots of people. I appreciated the improvements to the cycle lane that were part of the construction work that I had encountered earlier on in the Grand Tour, like during Stage 22.
The X69 bus used Friedrichshagener Straße to reach Salvador-Allende-Brücke and the final stop at Müggelschlößchenweg. Along Friedrichshagener Straße I had my third (and thankfully final) interaction with a driver. A car from a side street looked like it was not going to wait for me to cycle past, although I had right of way, so I muttered angrily for him to wait (the previous encounters still lingering on in my mood). He did wait but when he reached me, he decided to pull up and angrily ask me why I reacted that way and that he did in fact wait. He sped off angrily when I refused to give him the medal for following the rules that he obviously wanted. These interactions always turn me into a bumbling idiot because I have to react in German and not English, and then I’m always turning over in my head what I should have said.
After all that, I was relieved to reach the end of the X69 route as the way to the next bus route – the X69 – in Müggelheim would be through the forest next to the Müggelsee (Müggel Lake). I cycled on this lovely paved cycle path through the forest and enjoyed the lovely smells of the pine trees. Once I reached Müggelheim, I was in a better mood and decided to have a longer break at the shores of the Kleiner Müggelsee (Little Müggel Lake).
The Kleiner Müggelsee is a popular area for boaters, paddlers, paddle boating and other water sports. I bought a coffee from a small lakeside kiosk and enjoyed the lovely views. There were lots of groups out on the water meaning that it wasn’t particularly idyllic unless the sounds of a thumping base are your cup of tea. I drank my coffee, ate another energy bar and also injected one unit of bolus insulin. My blood glucose was still a little high and needed some more insulin to help my body work properly for the rest of the Stage.
I left the Kleiner Müggelsee and headed to Odernheimer Straße for the start of the N69 bus route. Odernheimer Straße leads directly towards the village green of Müggelheim through the many houses of this area. Next I followed the N69 along Müggelheimer Damm all the way to the old town of Köpenick. There was a lovely cycle path parallel to the road that cuts through the large forest between the Müggelsee in the north and the river Dahme to the south.
After passing through the lovely old town of Köpenick, it was back along Bahnhofstraße and then Kaulsdorf for the N69 bus. This night bus route also stops at the Elsterwerdaer Platz U-Bahn station. The final stretch was along Blumberger Damm over the S5 (from Stage 21) tracks and then towards the Wuhletal station.
Wuhletal station was the end stop of the N69 route and also the start of the next bus route, the N91. The N91 night bus route headed out from Wuhletal, passed briefly through Hellersdorf and then finally into Marzahn. The final stop was at Boschpoler Straße just before Allee der Kosmonauten – a bit of tease!
The final bus route of this Stage – the 396 – started in Karlshorst, so I cycled southwards and made a stop at the Schloss Biesdorf (Biesdorf Palace). This very pink palace was originally built in 1868 but was damaged during the Second World War. It was reconstructed to its original glory with these works being completed in 2016.
After the cultural tour of the Schloss Biesdorf, I visited the Baggersee Biesdorf (Biesdorf Quarry Pond). There were lots of kids swimming although I think it was a little too cold for my liking – the air temperature was barely 20°C! I ate my final energy bar here as my blood glucose was searching for carbs after the stop at Müggelheim.
Karlshorst is a very residential district with small green patches that randomly have statues, an air monitoring station or a playground. The Karlshorst S-Bahn station was the start of the 396 bus route. This bus route snaked around many of the back streets of Karlshorst, thankfully avoiding the construction site that is Treskowallee.
The 396 route then headed into Rummelsburg along some properly cobbled roads before making a stop at the Friedrichsfelde U-Bahn station and then turning back towards Rummelsburg. The final stop of this bus route was at the Nöldnerplatz S-Bahn station.
Those were the five bus routes of this Stage. I cycled back home and passed along the Volkspark Friedrichshain (Friedrichshain Public Park) and noticed a pretty large statue. This was an impressive Memorial to the International Brigades of the Spanish Civil War. The lunging man is well perched on the pedestal!
On the whole this was an enjoyable Stage, despite the car-cyclist tensions when following the X69 route. I am hoping for a stretch of decent weather to complete the remaining three Stages of the Grand Tour de Öffentliche Verkehrsmittel.