01 Berlin – Piła (284k) “Muddy Waters”

You are now at post Nr. 01 out of 06 of this trip.
If you want to read the posts in order, voilà:
01 Berlin – Piła (284k) “Muddy Waters”
02 Piła – Zelenogradsk (428k) “Nightrider”
03 Kaliningrad – Riga (402k) “Paved New World”
04 Riga – Valga (EST) (190k) – Narva (275k) “Winds of Change”
05 Narva (EST) – St. Petersburg (RUS)(165k) “Russian Roulette”
06 Vaalimaa (FIN) – Helsinki (200k) “Finnished”

So, the tour started! After having my proper “last meal” together with my dear cousin Constanze, who hosted me in Berlin, I left the house at 5.45 am. Straight to the Brandenburger Tor to meet my good friend Katharina who decided to join me for the first stretch of the day. Great to start the adventure in company! As you can see above we celebrated our anticipated victory already!
After 70km Katharina headed back home and I continued. Not much later, at the polish border, it started raining… For the the rest of the day… Heavily.

The above picture was taken ca. 10km into Poland while I was in the process of learning the following lessons:

A) IF [(a road is not covered by street view) AND (under no circumstances Google will suggest it as a route) AND (even the official R1 bypasses it on a main road) = TRUE, THEN (it is probably a sandy mud and gravel road). Avoid! If it’s also raining: AVOID!!!11!!!

B) If your body is mainly made up of water and/or your bike is mainly made from metal, better do not cycle in a thunderstorm on an elevated dyke: it doesn’t make for a comfy ride. Especially when you’re in a remote location where no one except the crows would find your lightening-struck body.

Btw: instance A and B had the same time-space coordinates and vector.

C) bring enough tissues to clean your glasses in the rain.

D) be careful with who you share the shelter in case of rain. This might end up as trading the exposition to rain for the exposition to a xenophobic rant by some stump-toothed Brandenburger grandma.

List of the day: The layers on my head:

  1. Bandana
  2. Glasses
  3. Rain cap
  4. Helmet

Soundtrack of the day: (links will follow)

  • Joshua Redman Elastic Band – Yaya cubed
  • Mezzoforte – Anniversary Edition (yes! There are good reasons for this choice!)
  • Nate Wood – Another Time

Sometimes I like music on my ears on long stretches and when I need a distraction from exhaustion. Of course always: safety first.

Gear issues: Apparently the B&M IQ-X lamp was not designed to stand a day of rain. It failed often and quickly and only sometimes came back to life. Very disappointing. Also: the mount doesn’t keep the lamps position when riding on more bumpy roads. Had to use my emergency light. Luckily the backlight still worked like a charm. Also: when it’s working the IQ-X gives unimaginably strong lightning (<- that was freudian)

Here are some more visual impressions of the day – in chronological order:

Author: Malte Cyclingtourist

Hi, I'm Malte, cyclo-hedonist, endurance traveller, occasional bikepacking-racer (mostly road) – www.cyclingtourist.com – Strava: Malte Cyclingtourist – Instagram: @maltecyclingtourist

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