North Sea? Bikepacking? Isn't that mega boring? Nope! Especially not in such beautiful company. Actually, Jule (@Radelmädchen) and I wanted to join the Dead Ends & Cake cycle event, but for various reasons it didn't work out. Nevertheless, the week was blocked out and when the invitation from vsf fahrradmanufaktur to visit the in-house exhibition in Oldenburg arrived, it was clear that we were going to ride up north. Spoiler alert: while there was a wall of rain over most of Germany, we had sun, wind and 30 degrees celsius! It was crazy. But I won't go into the climate here.
We got down to planning straightaway. We were in the mood for relaxed stages of around 100 kilometres (60 mi) with a mix of asphalt and gravel, plus nice cakes and ice cream breaks; just the way Jule likes it. Personally, I'm always up for ice cream, of course, but it's rather difficult to get vegan cake on the road. When I do find some though, I eat three times the amount!
From Hamburg we went to Bremen and from there on to Oldenburg, where the Cycle Union in-house trade fair was taking place. We had two very nice days at the show before continuing on to Butjadingen. After, we went via Bremerhaven to Glückstadt and then from there back to Hamburg.
This was the first long adventure with the new GX-1200 gravel bike, which I developed together with vsf fahrradmanufaktur. And I have to say, steel is simply a very comfortable frame material, just right for our expedition. If you're interested in the details, take a look here: fahrradmanufaktur.de/en/gx-1200.php.
If you're curious about what we experienced, take a look at the individual stages.. Jule also published a great article about our ride on her blog, which you can find here: radelmaedchen.de/von-hamburg-an-die-nordsee-zu-besuch-bei-der-vsf-fahrradmanufaktur (in German).
“Fast and nice to Bremen” was the motto for day 1. Jule had broken the gear cable during the train ride to Hamburg, which is why we stood on the mat at Pagel's bike at 9 o'clock in the morning and hoped for a quick repair. Without going into details, it was more than just the shift cable, but it …
Basically we weren't really in Bremen because we didn't want to go any further into the city due to the delayed start the day before. This had the advantage that we could now circling Bremen to the north and rolling on beautiful paths - including a ferry crossing towards Oldenburg. We were expected there at noon at the fair. I …
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On the second day of the fair, the Cycle Union invited to a gravel ride. And with all the trimmings: single trails, gravel paths, meadow, up, down, thorns, nettles, bridges and tunnels. Orbit style, so to speak. ;) It was great fun and the rest of the day was great too. I was able to get to know other employees …
After two days in Oldenburg at the trade fair (work), we went on to the North Sea (vacation). How well that connected. ;) The goal was the Butjadingen peninsula, which we wanted to see. We started with a good breakfast and the weather was definitely on our side. Sun, wind and cycling. What more do people want? Oh yes, french fries of course. We found it and enjoyed the wonderful North Sea view.
Glückstadt is a place of the heart. One of my very first night trips went there. Together with a friend I drove off in Hamburg at night over dark streets, through the morning fog to Glückstadt and with the first ferry to Wischhafen and back to Hamburg. "Happy in Happytown" was the name of my Stravaride back then and memories of this adventure keep coming back.
The first look was on the cell phone. What's the weather like? In fact, the rain and thunderstorm shouldn't start until noon. We going to make that! A quick, delicious breakfast (if you are vegan, just let us know beforehand) and we were already on the bike. Since the barriers are only open in summer and at certain times (make …