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.