4.5.2015: Ückeritz -> Zinnowitz (+Train back to Berlin) and Conclusion

Today I had a long sleep in, as I wasn’t in a hurry to get going. I cycled another 30km to Zinnowitz, where I enjoyed a sunny but windy mid-day on the Pier and then headed to the train station.


20150504_111910Luxurious homes on Usedom


The train connection worked flawlessly and less than four hours later I was back at Berlin Central Station. Funnily enough I met two girls in the train that had done the same tour, we had been passing each other a lot in the three days prior. 


I really, really enjoyed my first bike tour. I managed much greater distances than I had hoped for and found the route to be very enjoyable, letting me concentrate on pedalling, instead of having to worry about the track and the next signpost.

Follow the signs

It was doable for me as a beginner, although I’d recommend slicing down the daily miles to make it even more enjoyable. All in all I achieved 300 Kilometres in three days, plus another 33 on the day of departure, bringing the tally to 333km all in all.

There were quite a few campsites along the way, so the only problem was choosing one to my liking.

My bike did what it was built to do, although it was probably transporting too much weight. Not even a puncture stopped me from riding. Only thing I really missed on that tour was padded bike-shorts, something I bought right after my return to Berlin.

I hope you enjoyed reading about this journey and perhaps will consider the Berlin-Usedom bike path. I for one was hooked on bike touring, as you will be able to see in further described tours by bike on this blog.









3.5.2015: Bellin (Stettiner Haff) -> Ückeritz

Last of three proper cycling days. Got up early and hit the road. First the track went along an amazing stretch of burnt forest, half submerged in the lagoon, even complete with a viewing tower.


After that came the only hard to ride bit of the tour, with a two kilometre long stretch of sand and gravel that had me pushing my bike at some parts.

There is the option to take a small ferry, which takes about 10 Minutes on the water and shaves around 40 kilometres off the total tour, as it crosses straight over the lagoon instead of having to ride along the lagoon and then back the way you came on the other side of the lagoon. But I kept on pedalling, deciding I wanted to complete the full tour. So I went the long way round and soon was driving through the tiny villages of Usedom.


The bike path leads away from the main road, which is a good idea as the main road had me hunker down and pedal for dear life as caravans and lorries passed me with A-Road speeds. The small roads never seemed to run in a straight line, instead weaving back and forth, the quality of the tarmac being quite shoddy in places but at least it was much more relaxing then the main road.

As I hit the east part of Usedom (near the polish boarder running dividing the island) I only had to drive a few kilometres north in order to finally stand looking at the Baltic Sea. But the last kilometres really got the best of me, as the road turned into a muddy track running through the woods. Never thought an island could be that hilly but I fought my way up and down a dozen inclines.

Finally I arrived at the town of Seebad Ahlbeck and headed for the Pier to have a nice view out to sea.


After taking an arrival picture I cycled west along the coast, steep in some parts to head to my campsite for the night, which I found at the Naturcampingplatz near Ückeritz after a 100 Kilometres of biking that day.

This was a huge campsite, very narrow but long, and I set up my tent far away from other people and headed off to the beach to christen my bike with some sand and salty air. I even had a treat for myself, bought in the supermarket in Prenzlau.




20150503_191948Pretty good G&T, although it really gets to your head after a day of active pedalling.


To treat myself even more I hit the fish restaurant on the premises of the campsite and had a well-deserved fish-supper after the disgusting ready-meals of the previous evenings.

2.5.2015: Oberrucker Lake -> Bellin (Stettiner Haff)

Another sunny day awaited as I collapsed the tent, had a small breakfast and then got going. The first kilometres were pretty agony. My legs were stiff, my knees were hurting and especially my behind gave me a bad time, as I hadn’t bought any bike-trousers with padding yet and was only wearing normal trousers throughout the trip. Well that added a utensil to my “got to buy when you are back in Berlin”-list, that’s for sure.

I quickly arrived in Prenzlau, the biggest town on my way to Usedom and stocked up on food at the local supermarket, especially knowing I’d arrive on Usedom on a Sunday, so I needed to shop for two days.

20150502_120051The big church in Prenzlau’s city center

After that the ride was nicely signposted, and not incredibly intense, so I could peddle the day away and arrived at my designated campsite earlier then the day before.

20150502_125039Easy riding

20150502_154916Unpleasant sight as soon as I hit the federal state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Seemed to be the village’s Nazi meeting point.

That was the right decision, because after cycling 80 kilometres that day I found a Campsite directly at the shore of the Stettiner Haff (A lagoon made by the Island Usedom stretching into the Baltic Sea and thereby creating this inland saltwater lagoon.)

After having placed my tent and had another ready-meal of noodles I sat at the beachfront, watching the sun sink beneath the reeds.


20150502_183250View of the lagoon


A few more cyclists had arrived, all around my age. But as they were celebrating a stag-weekend of one of the guys, I kept my distance with them unpacking bottles and bottles of alcohol and other recreational drugs, deciding to tend to my sore legs instead and hit the sleeping bag.

1.5.2015: Berlin -> Oberrucker Lake

As early as possible I loaded everything onto the bike and set off leaving Berlin on this beautiful, sunny May Day.

20150501_103335That’s what you call a tail-heavy bike!

Eager, fresh and motivated!

The official bike path started only 5km from my flat, so soon I was on the dedicated route and making good progress. After a relaxing lunch near a little pond I kept on pushing northwards.


Comparing my notes to the distance I had travelled by mid-afternoon I realized I had two options. Either stop now at 4 o’clock after around 80km feeling strong and fit at a nearby campsite or push on for another 40km, to get to the next one. Having never cycled more than 55km at once (and that had been a tour with no luggage on the bike) the option to choose should have been straight forward. But something propelled me to go for it! So I buckled down for another 40km, hoping to make it by 6 o’clock to the further away campsite. It all went ok, until I hit the little village of Steinhöfel. This being the last stop before tonight’s campsite, everything seemed set for a victorious arrival at the overnight stop. But alas, suddenly the road decided to play rollercoaster, and the last 5 Kilometres turned out to be the most strenuous stretch of the day. After conjuring up all energy left in my body and creeping up all the steep inclines I finally approached the campsite at Oberrucker lake. And what a beauty that was. Located right at the shore I watched a wonderful sunset. The tent got erected as fast as possible, then on to a satisfying meal of noodles, which I wolfed down in no time.


20150501_194510What a sunset!

As said, never before had I ridden 60km in one day, now the final reading for this first day showed an impressive 120km. I must say, I feel rather proud of my achievement. My legs were aching as I crawled into my sleeping bag, as was my behind 😉 I lay there, wondering how tomorrow will turn out.

20150501_190749_HDRThe workhorse, functioning flawlessly until now.


Berlin – Usedom 2015 – Preface

Since moving to Berlin in autumn 2014 I had taken up riding bikes again. I had been in possession of a bike in Munich, I just never took it out for a cycle-ride. But in Berlin my daily commute to university was easily feasible on two wheels and much quicker than taking public transport. After a while I had obtained enough knowledge about bike parts to actually buy a used trekking bike in good condition, with it being quite a good deal.

I started using the bicycle in my spare time too, not just in the matter of getting to university. It helped me discover Berlin without spending all my time in a subway carriage, and slowly but surely I found my way around town. The tours on weekends grew, the first 30km tour, a week later my first 50km tour. After two hiking tours in 2014, the idea of doing a multiple day bike trip started creeping up on me, especially as it now seemed feasible that I’d actually arrive somewhere and get beyond the city-limit sign. 😉

I began by buying two Ortlieb Backroller Panniers for my luggage rack, whilst racking my brain about a possible route to cycle. As I only had a few days free over May Day, having just finished an Internship and before returning to university, my options were limited. I wanted 3-4 days of riding and had not the faintest idea of how far I could go in that time.

My research finally led to the bike path from Berlin to Usedom, an island off the German coast in the Baltic Sea, directly on the boarder to Poland. At round about 300km length it seemed perfect for the designated timeframe I had. Also it was a dedicated path, so all I would have to do would be to follow the signs. I could start at my doorstep, without having to transport my bike somewhere and the tour passed through enough medium sized villages to catch a ride home, should my bike or I give in to exhaustion.

For anyone interested in the route, please have a look at this website: http://radreise-wiki.de/Berlin-Usedom

The usual organizational feats took place, deciding on which items to take with me, how to stow them in the three Bags on my luggage rack, and finding the best campsites to go to during the tour, especially as I wasn’t sure which daily distance I could achieve.