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part 1

The first part of my journey is over and I am sitting in a holiday apartment in Maasholm-Bad on the rest day.

So far everything has gone more than well, there was only real rain at night and the wind was mostly at my back.

On the first day of my adventure, my dad rode the first 10km with me, on roads and trails I remembered from my youth, then it was north for me.

From the third day the wind picked up, but – as already mentioned – mostly came from a positive direction for me.

The third day was also the first day that I rescheduled, I had overlooked a ferry connection that I wanted to avoid on a holiday.

Day four was also rescheduled, on the advice of my uncle I (tried) to move the tour further to the dyke, since the dyke was unfortunately closed, it was not meant to be and instead it was more of a zigzag course.

On that day I was also overtaken by a completely bright (neon) yellow (bags, trailer, helmet, clothing) e-biker, who came back towards me again about 15 km later and appeared at the campsite some time after me in the evening. We got talking, he (Tim from E) also wanted to ride along the dyke, but then overdid it a bit with the "back" (as well as with his equipment - way too much stuff with him 😉)

Since my power bank including charging cable was stolen from me at the campsite that evening, I also had to reschedule day five, but Tim caught up with me after about 5 km and we rode the 95 km to his campsite together, my tour then went on for about 15km further. Unfortunately, both the snack bar at the campsite and the only restaurant nearby (company holidays) were closed, so there was BiFi & cookies from the gas station for dinner. That night I had a wonderful concert at the frog pond.

On the sixth day I took the ferry across the Weser. My uncle advised me to reschedule this afternoon, this time with more success. In the evening Tim surprised me who had done a few extra kilometers to get to the same campsite. In the evening we were - after all other places to eat were closed too - in the Ahoi, with fish & beer.

On day seven, I continued with two ferry trips, first across the Elbe and then (even free of charge) via the Kiel Canal. The campground here was a bit strange and I was kept awake half the night by a “german Schlager” party, whose "music" echoed from far away to the campground (then I prefer frogs).

The eighth day then took me north, where I briefly considered whether I should make a detour to St. Peter Ording and the lighthouse in Westerhever, but decided against it. In the afternoon I had to really fight for the first time, the last 30km against the wind.

The last stage of the first section was relaxed again, with a tailwind to the east.

Even if this section went better than I thought, I have to say that I was happy to have reached my destination just after three o clock that day and to be greeted with a kiss 😉

part 2

After the recovery of the first restday, things got a little bumpier than expected, the first few days with more than 500 vertical meters.

Of course, I also made some rescheduling in the second section:

Stage 10 because I really liked a few bonus kilometers along the coast, Stages 11 & 12 because I was made aware of a much better (not near the motorway and closer to the "border"/sea) campsite and thus the goal of the stage 11 and the start of stage 12 was in Travemünde instead of Lübeck.

The campside Topcamping Kühlungsborn deserves a separate entry: showers and toilets really great, but the mini-tent hill without a spot that was really level is a joke and the price of €24.50 (1 person, bike, small tent) is absolutely outrageous.

On stage 13 I caught up with Andy, who had stayed at the same campsite in Kühlungsborn, in Rostock (Warnemünde) who was looking for the ferry. After we crossed the canal (Unterwarnow) together, Andy persuaded me (relatively easily) to take a detour to the island of Zingst. With the best cycling weather and originally only planned 97km, I really wanted to cycle 20km or 1 hour extra and have company for it; It was then 33km and about 2 hours extra, the price, if you drive according to signs and gut feeling instead of a planned route, it was still worth it.

After I said goodbye to Andy, stage 14 was less comfortable, at about 30°C it was 117km south-west, especially the section Stralsund - Greifwald deserves a mention, 25km of cobblestones, on a designated long-distance cycle path, a dream ... Uh nightmare ...

Fittingly, stage 15 didn't get much better, even a few degrees warmer than the day before, more cobblestones and, as an encore, several passages through sand.

In the evening the weather changed completely, wind, rain, cold. Stage 16 at 15°C and rain showers.

Stage 17 was then rescheduled a bit with the best cycling weather (blue sky, 20°C), a few bonus kilometers along the German-Polish border.

But since the weather seems to be happy to changing quickly at the moment, there was another 118km at the end of part 2 at almost 30°C, but with a great bike paths and a kiss again in the evening.

part 3

I'm sitting in the sun in Aschau, waiting for my laundry to finish and thinking about the ups and downs of the last section. Where section 2 was bumpy, the third section started straight away with real meters of altitude and many small, steep ramps. The first six stages of this section all had over 1250 meters in altitude, many of them in the forest or on gravel paths. A particular low point was stage 22, on which there were so many almost impassable passages over gravel, which prompted me to reschedule all other stages at short notice in order to remove as many of these passages as possible, not always successfully. On stage 23, I had to push a steep piece of gravel twice because I just didn't have any grip.

Of course, stage 24 must also be mentioned, the climbs here were mostly on asphalt, but they were tough, among other things, 8.5km with 5% on average, 5.5km with 3% (this climb was long, but very good to drive, because quite evenly) and then the two highlights (1.5km & 1km) with 7% on average and a maximum of 20%, or 27% (yes, I pushed...) The weather had everything to offer again. Stage 19 started at 30°C and ended with a thunderstorm. Stages 21, 22 & 25 all had a good 30°C (sometimes more) and in the end I was freezing on stage 26 at just 12°C, rain and wind. Another low were the possibilities to get something to eat in the evening. Not only that some of the options were very far away from the campsite (I knew that beforehand), some had closed in the meantime or appropriately had a day off. But there are also two (further) highlights to report.

Stage 21 and the Kama: I'm climbing my second climb of 5+km (4 or 5% on average) when a boy (16/17) on an e-bike comes up to me and calls out "can't you afford an e-bike?" I'm way too done to answer that, just thinking "asshole!" When he's about 150m in front of me, I hear a soft bang and then a hiss and the guy starts to push his bike... When I'm past him again, he calls after me "shut up..." I'm still too done to answer...

Stage 24 and the locals After a really heavy day, two days without really proper dinner, I'm in a small village pub this evening. Schnitzel was out but currywurst/fries were good. The locals are talking at the next table, I hardly understand a word. The landlord asks me where from/where to, I tell about my tour. The next beer is donated by the landlord "if you can afford something like that, you'll need a good beer". In the meantime, the table next to me has heard what I said, and they invite me to their table. I told a bit more about the tour while 2 or 3 more beers appear in front of me but the bill goes to one of the others. Of course, unfortunately, I have to end the report with the absolute low point. Unfortunately, my Baybay is in quarantine, so I have to spend this rest day alone. And since she (planned) won't be in Karlsruhe either, it will be a long time before I see her again until I reach the finish line in Wachtendonk. Miss you!

part 4

Fourth and last rest day, this time in Karlsruhe. Again without my Baybay but planned this time, she's at the Whatever Happens Festival and I caught up with one of my oldest friends last night and this morning. However, there is also time to think a bit about the fourth section. The fourth section was quite clearly divided in terms of terrain. The first three stages (27, 28 & 29) had a lot of altitude gain with long and steep climbs. I rescheduled stage 27 to remove two climbs (4km with an average of 9% and 2km with an average of 11%) from the route after a racing cyclist I met at a campground told me that this route is unlikely would be mobile. The remaining big climb of the day had it all with 13.5 km length, 4% average, an 18% ramp at the beginning and several ramps of more than 10%. Stage 28 then had everything to offer, especially due to the weather, rain at the beginning, sun and warmth at noon and thunderstorms shortly before arrival. But the path was tough too, after 80 good kilometers there was a lot of gravel and actually even a river crossing. Stage 29 then included both a small hike, since the last 1.5 km of the climb to Jungholz (first 15% on gravel, immediately afterwards 20%) were not mobile for me; but this stage also included the descent from the Jochpass, the descent with the greatest fun factor (so far).

The last four stages of this section only had occasional climbs to offer. Stage 30 initially led flat along Lake Constance (together with many other cyclists), before there were still a few meters of altitude to overcome at the end of the day. Stage 31 & 32 each had a few climbs to offer at the beginning of the day, before it became flat and relaxed in the afternoon, if you think about the fact that a "ferry" did not go on stage 31 and I took an alternative route across the Rhine had to find. The end of this section 112 km to Karlsruhe was even completely flat. There are still six stages ahead of me and (you wouldn't believe it) a lot of vertical meters as well. But confidence is slowly growing that this project will be brought to a successful conclusion.

part 5

After the rest day, I started with a relatively unspectacular stage, including a ferry ride, until the path suddenly disappeared about 3km from the finish, which led to a small detour (about 4km).

After that it got warm, very warm. Stages 35 & 36 were not that difficult either in terms of the distance (86km & 96km) or the inclines (930vm & 600vm), but both stages were still quite difficult due to temperatures sometimes exceeding 30°C. After stage 36, there was a visit to the outdoor pool to cool off.

Due to the circumstances, stage 37 was a stage at the limit. Gradients - 1600 meters of altitude were known beforehand, but the gradients were more difficult than hoped; Heat – it was warm, luckily not quite as bad as feared; wind - of course right in the face...

Stage 38 was "on paper" much easier than the previous stage, but had everything to offer that makes a day of cycling really unfunny:

  • long climb: 🗹 (up to 7.5km)

  • steep ramps: 🗹 (up to 18%)

  • drive endlessly through cities: 🗹 (the first time on the whole tour)

  • Cobblestones: 🗹

  • Gravel: 🗹

  • deep sand: 🗹

  • a path that suddenly stops in the undergrowth 🗹

  • car drivers who would rather hit a cyclist than wait 10 seconds to overtake 🗹🗹

But after I've gotten out of my frustration a bit over the last 15 kilometres, I drove to the campsite and am greeted by the cheers of my colleagues who surprised me there - I was completely sunned and the day, after all the stress, was a good one 😉

The last stage was the expected, relaxed end of my tour with 60, mostly flat kilometres.

My father and my brother accompanied me for the last 5 kilometres to the finish, where my mother and especially my Baybay were waiting for me.

My uncle and aunt also came by for a barbecue in the evening and it was a perfect end to my tour with beer, sausage and spareribs 😁

a few figures for the tour

  • distance: 4010 kilometres

  • time in the saddle: 205h 46min

  • average speed: 19,5 km/h

  • money spend: approx €2150,-

    • accommodations: €1216,12 (hotel: €736,62 / tent: €479,50)

    • food: approx €840,-

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