Cycling 1600km lengthwise through Germany – that’s something I’ve always wanted to do. I was born in Frankfurt and know parts of the country from the motorway at best.
Journey to the start:
July 30, as my bike the day after unfortunately would not have gotten a place on the trains, but was in vain to arrive a day earlier, too bad for the 💰…
A train journey could be nice. Book ticket for me & heavily packed bike, seat for me and standing or hanging space for my companion, board, change trains, surf the train wifi in the meantime, arrive relaxed…
Up to Innsbruck everything was as I had imagined … even though I put my foot in my mouth again. A perfectly styled woman (in contrast to me, who only has the most necessary and lightest things in my luggage and on my body … i.e. ‚torn-off type – how do you gender that???), so she asks me if I don’t know her anymore … hmhmmm kind of familiar, but the pretty curly hair, …. „MARIA???“ – guessed right 😊
Innsbruck. My IC arrives a little late. I take it calmly. I load my bike in the appropriate carriage. I manage the half-metre step. Even as I’m heaviInnsbruck. My IC arrives a little late. I take it calmly. I load my bike in the appropriate carriage. I manage the half-metre step. Even as I’m heaving up, a stern voice from above: „The bags have to come down!“ Oh dear! With bag and baggage I move on to my reserved seat. 5 carriages further on, 20 minutes walking time, until I have meandered through people, suitcases, prams. My seat is taken, of course, but it takes little persuasion and I am seated. Finally.ng up, a stern voice from above: „The bags have to come down!“ Oh dear! With bag and baggage I move on to my reserved seat. 5 carriages further on, 20 minutes walking time, until I have meandered through people, suitcases, prams. My seat is taken, of course, but it takes little persuasion and I am seated. Finally.
The somewhat annoyed composure gives way only minutes later, however, when I happen to glance at the station display board at a stop: 27 minutes late. I quickly check the timetable. In Zurich, it takes 10 minutes to change trains. What to do now? I have time to organise everything until Feldkirch… because there is no WLAN and from the Swiss border my mobile phone has to be in flight mode, the costs are immense. Reception? Only rarely and not much, the valley is deep and there are many tunnels. Mail to the hotel, check-in before 22:00 is hardly possible. I try to research for over 2 hours.
In the end, the solution is quite simple. Change to the next regional train, then just without reservations and hope that my bike has room. But it works well.
In Basel it takes me longer than average to find the hotel, navigating the rows of houses is not easy, I make a few useless loops. But then I am there. Shortly before ten. Lucky me. The day was soooo exciting. Cycling is easier.
Info BTG: Now, as the crowning glory of my sabbatical year, my wish is to be realised.
The route is that of the BTG, the self-supported Bikepacking Trans Germany. Starting in Basel, it leads across the whole of Germany to the north-easternmost point on Rügen.
Similar to the GBDuro last year, when I crossed England and Scotland lengthwise, the lion’s share is off-road and it is highly recommended to choose the MTB. I wonder what I’ll be facing? Gravel, loose ground, etc.
Unofficially, a small group will start together in Basel on Sunday, 2 July. For me, it will probably look like I’m cycling alone through the area after only a short time, and as a broom wagon, so to speak, I’ll be living up to my Dotwatcher Award as a „lanterne rouge“.
I plan to complete the route in 2 weeks at the most, with 2 nights in a mini tent and then 1 night in a structure, unless the weather plays a trick on me.
I wonder if I’ll see wolves on the way through Germany’s dense forests? Or run into a herd of wild boars? Let’s see what this adventure has in store for me …
Probably the even bigger challenge will be the return journey home from Rügen.
You can follow me here from 2 July, at 8am.
The tour in numbers:
Finish: Kap Arkona, Germany’s north-easternmost point on the island of Rügen
Length: 1660 km
Height difference: 19500 Hm
Terrain: 485 km asphalt, the rest is natural, with loose or unpaved ground.
My packed bike, approx. 26 kg