|Distance in km||45.1|
|Elevation in m||161|
|Length of Grüner Hauptweg||7|
|Amount of newly ridden kms from wandrer.earth||17.0|
After the last Stage, I went out on many rides to try to get the hang of riding for multiple hours with stable(ish) blood glucose using the pump and algorithm. These rides were focused on gathering some new kilometres for Wandrer.earth and cycling to training locations for my volunteering for Bikeygees (https://bikeygees.org/), an organisation that teaches refugee women how to ride a bicycle.
I decided to squeeze in this final route of the Grand Tour de Grüne Hauptwege before Nadja and I went on our summer holiday to the Netherlands. After my breakfast, I switched off the algorithm so that I could control the pump rate manually. During the ride, I would only turn on the algorithm once my blood glucose was trending downwards. This is quite a lot of fiddling about but it has been working so far!
The start of the route is at the confluence of the Bullengraben (Bull Trench) and the river Havel. I had previously passed this area during Stage 12. The Bullengraben is a very old waterway (from the 7th Century!) and flows from Staaken, west of the centre of Spandau towards the Havel. In the 1960s it was used as a drainage channel and was partly covered over until restoration works on the whole green area between Staaken and Spandau. These were realised in 2007 with the funding of the Deutsche Bahn and included a wonderful paved path along the Bullengraben that is perfect for cycling and also inline skating.
The initial section near the Havel includes a lovely grassy patch and a colourful rose garden. Here the Bullengraben flows under the busy streets which I had to cross so I could fully enjoy the green route.
The path along the Bullengraben passes along some large apartment blocks and also many small nature reserves. These protected areas allow many insects and birds to flourish in the marshy lands around the Bullengraben. On this August day, it was also very clear how hot and dry the summer was – the grass was very brown after all the heat and lack of rain.
Once I reached the district of Staaken, the Bullengraben joined up with other trenches as well as some natural ponds. These ponds also serve as reservoirs for times of heavy rainfall. There are many bridges that cross the waterways making it easy for the residents to enjoy this lovely green area.
Before the reunification of East and West Germany, Staaken was split between these two states meaning that the Berlin Wall ran through this section of the Bullengraben. Near the Dorfkirche Staaken (Staaken Village Church) there is a Soviet Memorial put up by the East German government to thank the Soviets for liberating Germany from Nazi rule. The Digital Cosmonaut blog has a great post with much more detail.
With the Bullengraben behind me, the route led me through a lovely pine forest towards the Hahneberg area. I was previously here during Stage 2 of the Grand Tour but this current route only provides views towards the Hahneberg since it leads towards the border of Berlin with the town of Seeburg.
On the way back home, I cycled through the Hahneberg moor area and was happy to check out some sheep. My blood glucose was pretty high most of the ride but then started dropping pretty quickly on the way home. This meant I had to take on an energy gel so I could boost my blood glucose to get home safely. This lovely route was a great way to finish the Grand Tour de Grüne Hauptwege before Nadja and I travel around the Netherlands. Keep an eye out for a future blog on that trip.