|Distance in km||128.9|
|Elevation in m||578|
|Amount of newly ridden kms from wandrer.earth||34.1|
Some perfect weather for cycling meant that I could take on the longest remaining Stage of the Grand Tour de Öffentliche Verkehrsmittel. During this Stage, I would take on another five bus routes and the penultimate tram route of the whole Grand Tour.
In preparation, I followed the same thought process that worked well for the previous Stage – i.e. no reduction in bolus insulin for breakfast (as the porridge was causing inexplicably high blood glucose) and a slight reduction in basal insulin. True to the experiences of all people with Type 1 Diabetes – what worked so well one day, did not work well another. Spoiler: I ended up having too much insulin on board and needed to eat a lot to avoid getting hypoglycaemia. This is another Stage where I am very grateful to use a CGM which definitely helped me get through the whole Stage without serious incident!
I cycled towards Theodor-Heuss-Platz for the first bus route of this Stage – the N42 night bus route. From Theodor-Heuss-Platz (named after the former German president), the N42 bus headed towards Kürfurstendamm by passing the large Messe (Fair) grounds that also house the large Funkturm (Radio Tower).
Once I got to the roundabout at Rathenauplatz, my CGM alarm indicated that my blood glucose was dropping. Not a good sign this early in the Stage! So I took on an energy gel that should quickly reverse the blood glucose trend.
The N42 route continued through the main streets of the Wilmersdorf and Schöneberg districts heading in the direction of Platz der Luftbrücke. The lovely brick building that housed the Verband der Deutschen Buchdrucker (Union of German Book Printers) which was founded in 1866 and then disbanded in 1933.
At Platz der Luftbrücke, the N42 route turned onto Mehringdamm and headed straight towards the Landwehrkanal (Land Army Canal). Next up was Lindenstraße, where the Jüdisches Museum (Jewish Museum) is located.
The remainder of the N42 route was in the direction of Alexanderplatz. Along the way I passed the Mühlendammschleuse (Mill Embankment Lock). The N42 bus took a short detour to Hackescher Markt before reaching its final stop at Alexanderplatz.
A check of my blood glucose showed that the gel had successfully increased my blood glucose. But this was not enough to continue on without taking on further carbs, so I ate an energy bar to help boost up my blood glucose.
After refuelling, I cycled from Alexanderplatz towards the U-Bahn station of Mohrenstraße (Moor Street). This U-Bahn station is due to be renamed due to the racist connotations of its name – about time to! The Berlin senate has agreed to rename this street to Anton-Wilhelm-Amo-Straße, after the Ghanian philosopher who was the first African-born person to attend a European university in the 1700s. This was the start of the M48 bus route.
The M48 route headed from central Berlin towards the southwest district of Zehlendorf essentially using all the main roads that head in that direction. This was not particularly fun to cycle on as these were also full of traffic and not all of them have separate bike lanes. This was especially true for Hauptstraße (Main Street) but at least the speed limit is 30 kph rather than 50 kph so that made it slightly safer.
While cycling through Steglitz, especially on Schloßstraße, there were also many vans and cars that double parked in the bike lanes. Before this was made illegal in April, before someone could stop in the bike lane for a short time. Unfortunately, this hasn’t really changed much in terms of preventing vehicles stopping in bike lanes.
The final stop of the M48 bus route was in central Zehlendorf at Busseallee close to the lovely Gemeindewäldchen Zehlendorf (Zehlendorf Community Wood). This was a green oasis in the middle of a very residential area. I ate another energy bar as again my blood glucose was in need of some more carbs.
After the lovely break in this wood, I cycled towards the Krumme Lanke U-Bahn station for the start of the X11 bus route. This is an express bus route that services most of the southern districts of Berlin and complements the M11 bus route that I covered in Stage 19.
The X11 route headed out from Zehlendorf and into Lichterfelde using Drakestraße. This street is named after Friedrich Drake, a German sculptor who created Viktoria – the statue atop the Siegessäule (Victory Column), and not Francis Drake, the British pirate, sea captain and slave trader – although that would have been surprising!
The X11 crossed the Teltowkanal (Teltow Canal) and headed through Lichterfelde and into Marienfelde. I would now essentially be following one long straight road through Buckow and Johannesthal, although the name of this road changes at various points. The final stop of the X11 route was at the Schöneweide terminus.
I decided it was time for a longer break, my blood glucose was once again in need of carbs. I couldn’t face eating a third energy bar in such a short amount of time so I decided to buy a cheese sandwich and a coffee from a Café at the Schöneweide terminus. It was nice eating something a bit more substantial and savoury than dense energy bars!
After the lovely break, I cycled towards the tram terminus in central Johannesthal. This was the start of the tram 60 route. During this Stage, this tram route actually started at Schöneweide due to repair works on the tram tracks. But the Grand Tour takes in the official routes, so I had to start at Haeckelstraße.
The tram 60 headed past the Schöneweide station before crossing the Spree and into the Oberschöneweide district. The tram tracks followed the Spree into Köpenick before turning right on Seelenbinderstraße (Soul Tying Road) towards Friedrichshagen.
Friedrichshagen is a picturesque district that borders the Müggelsee – easy to see why this is a popular area for day trips. The final stop of tram 60 was at the Altes Wasserwerk (Old Waterworks) tram terminus near the Müggelsee. The Altes Wasserwerk is now a museum but was originally built in the late 19th Century to provide clean water to the area.
I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to take in the gorgeous Müggelsee on such a lovely day! So I cycled to a nearby park and enjoyed the lovely views of the Müggelberge (Müggel Mountains) on the opposite side of the lake. My blood glucose was finally on the high side after all the food I had eaten, but now there was the risk that it would continue rising since the insulin from breakfast would be wearing off. With this in mind, I injected 0.5 units of bolus insulin before heading towards Plänterwald for the next bus route.
I cycled back through Köpenick and Oberschöneweide, this time though I tried to pass through as many parks and back roads as possible. This was a nice change from cycling on main roads! Once I reached the Plänterwald station, I had to eat another energy bar as my blood glucose was yet again trending downwards.
Plänterwald S-Bahn station was the start of the short 377 bus route. This route headed towards Grenzallee, which is a major junction of the Berlin Autobahn so lots of cars were around, and then crossed the Neuköllner Schifffahrtskanal (Neukölln Shipping Canal).
Here I got lovely views of the Neuköllner Schleuse (Neukölln Lock) and the inland harbour. The final stop of the 377 bus route was near the Hermannstraße S- and U-Bahn station not far from the inland harbour.
With this short bus route complete, I cycled towards Daimlerstraße in Marienfelde for the final bus route of this Stage. I cycled along the Teltowkanal and could properly take in the impressive Ullsteinhaus opposite the Tempelhofer Hafen (Tempelhof Harbour). I especially liked the stern owl statue!
I also cycled through the Marienpark which is an industrial park in Marienfelde. Some of the buildings, like the Alter Wasserturm (Old Watertower) were built in the early 20th Century. A new water tower was also built as well as large spherical gas containers. The gas was stored here to power the street lighting in the area. A very interesting area to explore!
Daimlerstraße was the start of the 283 bus route that headed for a loop around the Marienfelde S-Bahn station before heading towards Lankwitz. Unfortunately I have to report that the bike lanes of Lankwitz have not improved since the last time I was here during Stage 44.
At this point of the Stage, my tummy was not happy with me. I think that I had eaten too much throughout the Stage and now my tummy decided it was time to start cramping! I don’t normally eat this much while cycling but I had no choice. This also meant that once I got home, I wouldn’t be able to stomach eating a raspberry brownie that I bought the previous day. I was so looking forward to that reward but I knew that I wouldn’t be able to enjoy it properly so better to postpone eating it.
The 283 bus route crossed the Teltowkanal and circled near the hospital in Steglitz, similar to the 386 bus route from Stage 54. The final stretch of the 283 bus route was along Wolfensteindamm before terminating at Rathaus Steglitz.
Those were all the public transport routes of this Stage. Thankfully my blood glucose was high enough for the remainder of the cycle home that I didn’t need to eat anything else. This was a lesson in insulin sensitivity after the previous Stage, since I needed to eat so much to keep up my blood glucose levels throughout the Stage.