Bike tour from Berlin to Potsdam and back

I was out to shoot sculptures yesterday, and I caught them all – always a happy surprise. Biked west of the lakes on my way to Potsdam, and east of them on my way back.

Too many bike paths: They’re always bumpy and they often only exist for like 500 meters, after which you’ll have to cross the road and continue on the other side. On my way back it was almost tragic: The tour’s only long downhill slope (the landscape here is very flat) and the bike path so bumpy (from roots, mainly) that there were even warning signs saying it was bumpy. I find this sad! Won’t choose this route again.

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  • Total time: 13:00 – 19:30 = 6,5 hours
  • Biking time: 3 hours, 37 minutes
  • Distance: 85,6 km (53,2 miles)
  • Average speed: 23,7 kph (14,7 mph)
  • Max speed: 51,0 kph (31,7 mph)

1970s sculpture.

Unexpected find at Falkenseer Platz – from 1960.

Glienicker Brücke – famous for its spy swaps during the cold war.

Under the bridge.

Schlosspark Glienicke (the rest of the photos too).

Bike tour from Berlin to Frankfurt

A week ago I bought a new bike: Stevens Randonneur. It’s a German brand, made (or at least assembled) in Hamburg.

I love my Randonneur. Despite it isn’t a road bike it’s extremely fast. Almost too fast. Last Tuesday, just three (3) days after I bought it, I crashed into a BMW and had to repair my new bike for lots and lots of money. But I’m okay and the money is “lerngeld” – it was mostly my fault, you see. Not that I did anything technically wrong or against the law, but sometimes speed alone is enough. (That’s why I’m never gonna buy a motorbike – know thyself.)

Anyway, last night I had an idea to bike from Berlin to Frankfurt. Well not that Frankfurt, the other one of course, on the Oder. Only problem is it’s too hot. I wouldn’t normally call that a problem, but for biking it is indeed a problem. Hot days with temperatures over 30 degrees centigrade (86 Fahrenheit) are better for hanging around in parks or taking a swim. But I wanted to bike! So I figured: What if I get up really early? Before the heat has become unbearable? So I did some research and prepared a bag just in case. Yeah, just in case I would wake up really early. Haha, you silly boy, I said to myself when I went to bed at 2 in the morning. Have I ever woken up before 9 in the last months?

But guess what. At 6.28 my eyes opened. 6.28! Let’s see, I thought. The Regionalbahn train would leave at 6.59 from Ostbahnhof. That train would give me a head start on my tour by taking me to Erkner. Incidentally, that’s the very station I went to on my bike tour from Stockholm to Budapest in 2002. (I didn’t mention that one? Oh, gotta fill you in sometime.) So I got up. No shower, but a breakfast as thorough as I had time for – breakfast means everything when you bike. I packed the last things and left my apartment at 6.45. The train departed in time at 6.59, and at 7.20 I was set to start my trip in Erkner. Yiiihaaaa!!!

It turned out to be an excellent idea to bike in the morning. A Sunday morning at that – meaning almost no cars disturbed me, which in turn meant I could use the road instead of the bumpy bike path on its side. (But I must admit my heart broke when I saw how many bike paths the Land Brandenburg has built, and how they had cut the grass around them. So much work. So little appreciation from me.)

The first two hours were perfect temperature wise, as I had expected – it was “only” about 23 degrees (73 F) in the beginning. The heat was still bearable when I rolled into Frankfurt an der Oder at 10:45, but after I had taken the train all the way back to Berlin, it was almost unbearable to bike the last kilometer from the station to my door. So happy I got out early enough to enjoy my new Randonneur!

Anyway, this was today’s trip, as drawn on my new bike tour map:

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And here are the stats:

  • Total time (the hours between which I was out): 7:20 – 10:45 = 3 hours, 25 minutes
  • Effective time (time spent on the saddle, rolling): 3 hours, 10 minutes
  • Distance: 69,4 km (43,1 miles)
  • Average speed: 21,9 kph (13,6 mph)
  • Max speed: 46,8 kph (29,1 mph)

I hardly took any pictures since it destroys the rush of constant pedalling, but I’ll let you guess what this is:

Na, what do you think it is? As you can see, both weather and traffic was great.

The reason I went to Frankfurt Oder was that I wanted to document this sculpture for my ongoing outdoor art project. (This photo by Sicherlich, shared through a Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 License.) However, I didn’t find him.

Instead, I found this empty socket. But it doesn’t seem to be the same socket, does it? I have e-mailed the city of Frankfurt to ask what happened to the boy.

Update 5 July 2010: I already got a reply from Frankfurt. The sculpture is still there – I just didn’t find it!

After my unsuccessful mission in the park (so many of them), I went to Café Central for lunch. On my way there, I asked a man why the main street was closed for traffic. He said there would be a road bike competition for boys and girls that day. He said they would start at 11:00. I looked at my watch: 10:59. When God closes a window he opens a door, or whatever:

Wow, did I really take that picture with my crappy camera? Click to zoom!

Preview of the sculpture map

It’s very beta, but it’s here:

An introduction will be added, as well as contact info and more users who can post their own photos of sculptures.

I will also change the rating plugin, since Polldaddy takes 200 dollar per year if more than 100 ratings per month are made. Hello? 29 dollars feels like a sort of standard for services like theirs.

But this is a start at least. Do have a look and see if you like it!