Getting over Elbe

Cycletrippin – Day 2 – Delmenhorst to Lubeck

I woke up early, actually, I did not sleep that well, lots of noise outside the hotel all night long, somehow I got an hour or two of power sleep. Got up around 8 felt stiff from yesterdays ride, I kicked off the day with a big breakfast of local produce, I was carb loading and fat loading got away on my bike around 9, first part was easy I just followed the Bremen Strasse to what else Bremen I actually went in the right direction, I also discovered that I was not that far from Bremen just 14 km. The weather was terrible most of the day with showers, sometimes really heavy showers, I kept dry the rain clothes I have worked really well.

From Bremen to Hamburg I pass through small villages no one more different the others, it was a bit of rolling hills, which was good for me to get in some hill work (tempo). Went through some heavy rain showers, going uphills water was going downhill made it difficult to bike, it seems all the water from the road I followed run off into the bike path.

Got to Hamburg, what a messy place, with harbors and industries along the Elbe, I run into some problem in Hamburg, I had followed a Google map route that would take me over the Elbe by Ferry, it turned out that the ferry did not go on weekends.

I was lucky – there was a tug boat anchored at the ferry station – the two operators of the tugboat had just started their shift and they offered to take me over the Elbe, I accepted.

Even with their kindness the problem did not stop there, the part of Hamburg they dropped me of is a river delta with a lot of islands connected with bridges, this area was heavily industrialized, only a few roads lead out of this area. I had a bit of luck in choosing my direction with the help of Google Maps.

Getting into the actual city, I had run out of battery on my phone, as you know I do not bring maps so this was a bit of blind navigation going on, I was in luck that a few bad turns turned into one good turn. I came across the Lubeck Strasse, Lubeck was the end destination for me, I turned on it heading towards Brugge, getting out of Hamburg with surrounding took some time, It was like biking in Toronto and you heading towards Hamilton, there is not much open space just one build-up area.

The Lubeck Strasse changed the name after a while, I had stopped looking at the street signs and turned my focus towards road signs. I was on road 75 that goes all the way to Travemunde via Lubeck, so I was in luck I just stayed on it – there were a few parts where there were no bike paths, you had to just go with the traffic, luckily these no bike path parts were not too long and very few.

I have to say that the bike paths in Germany are not as good as in the Netherlands, most bike paths I went on seems not that well maintained, it was worst in the cities and villages, the bike paths were bumpy and uneven.

I was not alone the whole way, I had company for a while before Hamburg, a young guy cycle trip overtook me – he tried to get away from me so I latch on to his wheels, we went on like that for many kilometers, eventually he had to let me pass and that was the last I saw from him.

With only 15 km left to Lubeck a woman caught up to me, just when the bike path ended, it turned out she was from the village a kilometer away, she told there was no alternative then ride the road to the village, in the village the bike path would start again. It started to get dark, so we decide to go together to the villages. We switched on all our lights – it was mostly uphill so again I start Tempo biking to get the heart rate up and see if I could drop her on the climb – she dropped me instead.

A little later I had an elderly couple, passing me – I was thinking why – so I speeded up and caught up with them, turned out they were on battery-powered bikes. Not the first time this has happened to me, towards the end of a ride my speed drop so that is my justification that they passed me.

Got to Lubeck after dark had set in, took some time for me to find a room, as my phone’s battery was dead, I could not use the app I normally use to find a room or a hostel.

I think half of the fun of vacationing is to have to deal with unexpected events that make you use your skills to resolve a situation. I’m not really happy with prearranged schedules and planning for a vacation – I want to get away from scheduling/planning that is for work not for vacation.

That’s all for me, tomorrow will be a rest day of sorts.






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