I had so many travel plans this year: I wanted to fly to Japan with my bike or cycle from Augsburg to Portugal. I was planning to take a really long break from everyday life. Then came the pandemic. So without further ado, I changed my plans, and decided to visit a dear friend in East Brandenburg instead.
I made the decision at the beginning of July, when I finally got my head around everything and realised two things: I won't be making a big trip this year, no matter where. Plus, there are currently no bikes available to buy which would be suitable for such a trip. Cycling is booming worldwide so almost all manufacturers have massive delivery problems. So, I took a look at my beloved everyday speedster which I also sometimes take on longer gravel tours and even the odd trail, and set about a super fast conversion to make it touring-ready. I wanted to set off by the end of July.
Meanwhile, in the evening, I sat at the computer with the multi-day planner from komoot open, planning my Tour. There were to be nine stages which wouldn’t completely test my limits but would still be a challenge. I had to weigh up whether I prefered covering more altitude or more distance in one day. In retrospect, I’m more than happy with my planning. The stage up the Rennsteig was a rather gruelling affair, but I knew that it would be before I set off. I was already familiar with the ascent to the inner-German border from previous rides – it's never fun.
On the way, I was once again able to see for myself how beautiful Germany is. The idyllic Donau-Ries district, the impressive limestone cliffs of Franconian Switzerland, the challenging but grandiose panoramas in the Thuringian Forest, the gentle meadows of the White Elster, the lake paradise between Leipzig and Wittenberg where the Ferropolis industrial museum was my personal highlight, the wild forests of Brandenburg and, of course, the metropolises of Nuremberg, Leipzig and Berlin which don’t allow for a second of boredom.
I did the Tour with camping equipment in my panniers and I also slept in accommodation or at friends' houses on the way. Camping is almost never a problem, except on the Rennsteig, where the Frankenwald trekking site was unfortunately fully booked (it's worth booking early). It is very important that you take enough snacks and water with you. Although I usually found an inn at mealtimes that kept my stomach full, I was often surprised by how far off-the-beaten-track you can be, even in densely-populated Germany. Time and again, fruit bars and crackers saved my life.
In the end, it took me ten days to ride from A(ugsburg) to B(rodowin). I miscounted by one day and took the opportunity to take even more breaks in a lake. The mixture of relaxation and sporty challenge was perfect and I was almost sad that it was over so quickly. When I got off my bike at the finish line, I was overwhelmed with joy to see a dear friend again and by the prospect of a well-deserved chill-out in the countryside idyll.
Sun, a mild breeze and no technical problems! For the last two weeks I felt like I was in the Bikekitchen Augsburg every other day to convert my old Bianchi everyday bike into a touring racer with the energetic support of my mechanic colleagues. Above all, this meant converting the entire drive to a…
I hate the second day. You can really feel the first night in the tent and at the end of the stage you have serious doubts about your own mental health that you give yourself such violent tours over and over again. Why don't I just go to the Mediterranean?
Well, now I'm here and after a nice breakfast…
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Today I start with a bit of screwing because my (criminally assembled) luggage rack is sitting on my rear tire. What was actually a ten-minute affair turns into a gigantic act due to my underground multitool, which throws me back in my schedule by almost an hour. Despite the unsatisfactory end result…
Today's section is the shortest of the tour, but I just can't imagine that it can get any more strenuous. I practically only drove 45 kilometers uphill. And before that there was a ramp over about four kilometers with a gradient of up to 12%.
Since this stage doesn't look as grueling as it was in pure…
The day begins with a small meltdown: After nine hours of death-like sleep, I wake up and just feel powerless. In addition, a look out of the window reveals that it is raining. How am I supposed to survive today's monster stage through the Thuringian Forest?
At breakfast I complain to the two hikers of…
After a quiet night by the gurgling Mühlbach, while having coffee, I notice that I have made a mistake in my travel planning: I firmly assumed that I would not arrive in Leipzig until Tuesday. But that's not true, it's tonight. That surprisingly gives me a whole day longer that I can need to get to Brodowin…
After what is probably the most idyllic breakfast of the tour at the jetty of the Kanujugend Leipzig, I pack up and go on the first stage of the section of the A-B tour that I have declared as a holiday part. That means fewer kilometers and more bathing lakes with an insignificant gradient.
I curve through…
Milk is just useless. It's the second long-life milk that spoils me on this trip. For this reason, among other things, I only drink oat milk at home - it lasts much longer and tastes better to me (I'll save the sermon about animal welfare and the dying planet at this point). Unfortunately they are only…
After one last look at the impressive antlers of the fallow deer that lives on the Springbachmühle, I drive on, now finally heading for the capital. The headwind is getting on my nerves again today, but I quickly get into my rut and drive to Ferch am Schwielowsee, where I have a coffee and a sponge cake…
I don't know if I should be happy or if I think it's a shame that my tour from A to B actually comes to an end today. On the one hand, I'm really looking forward to my girlfriend and the picture-perfect idyll of East Brandenburg, on the other hand, I have the feeling that I am only now slowly growing…
Bike Touring Collection by Bahn und Fahrrad
Bike Touring Collection by Reiseland Sachsen-Anhalt
Bike Touring Collection by FrankenTourismus
Hiking Collection by Luc Gesell