Your profession? Road Berlin
I am just filling out the visa application and I'm stuck in the field: PROFESSION. After the past weekend, I will probably write there: Berlin by road bike. For people who are horrified or bored to read, the answer to the question from the title is: do not take the highway there!
As a declared road cyclist who runs a blog, theoretically road, I have to write it: Berlin fails. Where did this idea come from - I do not know. Two days before the long weekend, we decided that we do not want to fight the mountains and you can try something new. It fell on the capital of our western neighbor - the perpetrators, the invaders. This is probably the last years when it still makes sense and there is so-called high prosperity. Soon, they will start paying us post-war reparations and will stop being so funny there. Berlin is located about 6 hours by car from Warsaw (so ideally to leave after work and get there before bedtime) - it would probably be closer, if not for the perfect ice cream from Oreo in Burger King and McD, which we pass every now and then. Besides, since we have already tasted the world's most expensive highway, from Łódź to the border, I drive it slowly and accurately. Since I paid, I use it!
I do not know what I expected when going there, it's as if someone came to drive around Warsaw. People would recommend him the famous Gassy loop, a visit to the splendid Zegrzyński reservoir, and maybe a loop around Kampinos, which he would not see anyway, because he would have died in the weekend traffic jam before Nieporęt the day before. Anyway, I was expecting something more. Since Strava Local presents the best road routes for Berlin, they must be great! Ass.
Berlin has almost twice as much space as Warsaw. This means that if we assume that the city is round, the line from the center to the outskirts is longer by just 4 kilometers. There are also twice as many people in it. To be honest, we try the 3 most representative loops, in three completely different directions, moving from the vicinity of the center. Departure is a massacre. It takes 60-90 minutes to get to the place where it makes sense to scatter and when we get there, I'm stressed by the fact that I will have to come back in the same conditions.
Berlin, a cycling city
Any internet guide will tell you that. I am sure that Berlin is one of the best cities in the world for cycling - especially considering its population. Finding a street without a bike path is a miracle, and the drivers on the right hand are letting me through before I think that I will go that way. And not even - otherwise. Passing would mean that they are doing me a favor. A bike in this city is just a full participant in the traffic and cars do not make favors stopping, just everyone goes as it should. Separate belts for different driving directions, paths marked out by intersections, lights for bicycles and so on ...
Only that it does not work for the road bike. Paths sometimes go on asphalt, sometimes on the pavement, sometimes on the ankle, and sometimes on the slabs. The lights are every 200 meters and somehow unluckily arranged, that after 500 kilometers, which we passed there, my brake pads look like after a visit in the Alps, and blocks in shoes as after running a marathon. It takes some time before we discover that you do not have to use the path at all, but only light suggest who has priority. At least this suggests the behavior of locals.
Formally, Berlin consists of 620km of cycle paths, of which 150km is obligatory, 190km of off-road bicycle routes, 60km of bike lanes on roads, 70km of bus lanes available for bicycles, 50km of pedestrian paths for pedestrians and cyclists. Aha and most importantly: if you want to turn left at the crossroads at the intersection, it means you have to cross the street twice - you can not do it at a 45-degree angle, ergo - you always stop at a red one.
Brandenburg is beautiful ... but not here.
But this is nothing, because the huge lakes, beautiful villages of Brandenburg and green fields will reward us. Well, unfortunately not. Yes, there are great (for local, flat conditions) roads such as the Potsdam and Wannsee or the far north - Eberswalde. Only that it is still boring there and saying it will get worse than it is in our place in Kashubia, Świętokrzyskie or Mazury. In general, the farther we leave Berlin, the better it is, but making a loop over 150km is troublesome, because our average gross speed does not usually exceed 20km / h - at the Warsaw loop it is half as high. After those few hundred kilometers, I would find 40 km of roads to recommend. It turns out that even locals ride here by making circles on short loops. Those who are the most desperate can fall into Tempelhof Airport, which was closed some 10 years ago. It was adapted to the park, but the runways remained. A bit like driving on the track, only longer and without band.
For the first time in a long time, we no longer want to drive on the 3rd day (although of course we go), but the 4th would have to put us on force. The only option is to leave the city by train / train (the metro has 473km of routes here, and 120km trams), but we went to check Stravy routes. She let us down.
Berlin, the greatest city in the world dot
If you survived reading here, you probably think I'm a good noodle. It just so happens that life is not only a road bike and not only a MTB bike. Say whaaat?!
I say Berlin, I think about Berlin Calling movies (and a brilliant album), Atomic Blonde and Run Lola Run. The reality is similar.
Well: Berlin is one of the best cities in the world. In enclosed spaces, it smells of peeing in open marijuana, people have strange hair and earrings in strange places. Maybe that is why every second inhabitant of this city has no wife / husband. On average, 70% of premises are stuffed doner kebab or Asian food stuffed to the brim. Museums are bursting at the seams, there are more of them than anywhere else, and the exhibits are more original than those in places from which they are
they stole they took. Bah! Museums here are more than half the rainy days of the year!
In every possible place there are references to war, divisions and huge columns, golden statues, castles and other impressive buildings.
And if there is no impressive building somewhere, then probably there is at least a piece of the famous wall somewhere nearby. Probably even painted in nice graffiti. The longest fragment is called Ease Side Gallery and it is 1.3 km making it the longest open gallery in the world. Man is looking at it and he wants to do something nice afterwards ... the city authorities spend 35 million euros a year to wash those that have not come out or suggest that the supporters of Arka Gdynia mix bigos with their elbow.
No matter what you like, everyone will find something for themselves. During the evening-Saturday ride we pass the square in the center covered with people on buses with throbbing techno among leaflets, on how to recognize which drug is best to take. 3 minutes away are already museums and multimedia shows about the Berlin Wall and thousands of ordinary tourists running between the shops and the main attractions of the city. I do not know how long it would take to see everything - we come back with a larger list of things that we would like to do than we did. Every weekend in the local clubs is played with 50,000 people.
Where the highway can not, Folder will send
Anticipating that Berlin may not be the best city to explore using the highway, as well as any large city in the world, we took decathlon decks with us. One ordinary, one electric. The latter of course, I broke down immediately, as it happens regularly with the things I take for tests. So you can say that one ordinary, the other also ordinary, but heavier. My observations about them will be in the next entry, but I can say one thing: there is no better way to explore the city than a small, urban bike!
Most people probably do not go three days in a row for a few hours of a continuous ride as soon as they return from a road trip. We are not like most. The Berlin Terror Museum could learn from us by looking at how we spend our free time. Moving around them makes us realize that in fact: Berlin is imperfect if you are moving on two wheels. You will reach the paths everywhere, you will leave the equipment on every corner. You are a normal participant in the movement, only faster than walking, more handy and more agile than a man on an ordinary bike and you travel more pleasantly than a car.
There are relatively few cars in the center of Berlin, and the drivers are calm. It's not enough that there are not many ecological zones, that's why the old stinks do not go there (before leaving, it's worth reading about stickers on the glass and strict parking rules). For several dozen hours of driving, I was honored once - as I got out of habit on red straight under the car on the right hand. In the evenings, we happen to go down the streets that are empty to the horizon. No matter if narrow, local or triple.
Add to this the fact that the city gives the impression that there are more parks in it than buildings and we have a recipe for success. It's a bit funny, because the parks occupy the same space as Warsaw (~ 10%). They differ, however, in that we have mainly trees, and under them mowed lawn, and there the vegetation looks like a meadow in the suburbs. Parks are needed in a city with over 100,000 dogs. If we add to them generally called "green areas" and water, it will turn out that they cover almost half of the city!
There are also lakes and rivers for this. 1700 bridges within the city are more than we find even in Venice, and 180 km of water routes, where you can swim, allows you to explore a large part of the city from the water level.
This is not a tourist blog (yet), I will not go into details. Believe me, however, that if you want to become a tourist, catch up on the cultural after season, take your family on a weekend trip, slouch around a strange city, or finally (and above all) eat the best kebabs of the world, Berlin is a duty.
But I already went and took the road!
If you are already in Berlin, you took a road with you and are hurriedly looking for where to go, here is a list of places you should not visit, but you will not find anything better:
Teufelsberg, or the devil's mountain - 120 meters above sea level. The driveway is 600 meters with an average of 7.3%. We drive him up with folders. From the top you can see the panorama of the city or in the paid version (7 euros for visiting the former US NSA database), or free. We do not find this free.
Neighborhood of Lake Wansee and the road to Potsdam. Judging by the number of people on the route - the main place of trips for local road users. Light hills and good asphalt, a path through the forest from time to time revealing a lake somewhere between the trees.
The areas north-east of Berlin, the closer to the border, the better. Car traffic practically zero, and more elevations appear.
Round on the runways of Tempelhof airport
Round around the Schonefeld airport - taking into account the traffic in the area is an alternative to the lake mentioned above, only without tourists and Sunday cyclists, as there are no views here.
Bicycle shops. This is a difficult topic. People from the internet recommended Keirin and we started with him. The visit ended after 3 seconds. It's a bit like recommending to someone in Antimatter in Warsaw (no offense, I have recently serviced my bike there and no complaints) - you go inside and wonder where this store is. This is how most of the shops and services in Berlin look like. A small room and city bikes or sharp wheels. We are letting go of even 8bar showroom, which I enjoyed for a long time. Google suggests that there are also four frames on the wall, one table on the floor, two chairs and a man with a beard who is building a bicycle without gears.
I am mass, primitive, mainstream recipient. I like shopping and shopping. None of the stores are enjoying me anymore, they have the same everywhere. Until finally, we come to the Zweirad-Center Stadler by the name of "the largest bicycle center in Germany". The first glance - shelves for horyz and typical discount: everything in promotion and medium quality. Moments later, however, I see the pearls: Lightweight Urgestalt on Enve and Dura Ace'ach discounted from 10,000 euro to 8,500, clothing Assos, parts to Campa and everything that I normally see only in the resources of online stores. This may seem obvious, but if you want to buy at a regular price Conti GP4000 II, or the Chorus chain in our capital is a problem. Here, everything is in place at reasonable prices. Of course, we do not buy anything, but the fact that you can compare the appearance of 15 different pedals (what a bad word ?!) is beautiful.
You should notice the velodrom worth of classic objects worth visiting. This is a magical place, because we were not able to locate it, standing about 10-15 meters from it. From the outside (at least from the side where we came from) you can see stairs and a meadow. Well: the cycling track is hidden in a basin, which is excavated on a minimal hill surrounded by stairs and blocks. It does not look a bit like our impressive BGŻ Arena and track in Manchesterabout which I wrote some time ago. Unfortunately, we get to the time of renovations and we can see it only through the glass - yes, the track is visible from the outside if we enter the middle of this volcano or from the level of underground parking. Next to it, in the same building, there is also a swimming pool (exactly two olympic ones, one for diving and some smaller ones), which we can also look at as real perverts.
For an object built for 4 years and costing almost 140 million euros, which is at one time the largest concert hall in Berlin, it must be admitted that it is masked very well.
As you can see, there are not many recommended places. It's definitely better to ride buggies around the city. It is not frustrating and time is running faster. Night rides around the city are pure pleasure, and I save time saved in searching for the best doner in the city and testing whether the curry-wursty differ between the different huts. Kebab in this city goes over 60 tons a day, and curry sausages 70 million in a year!
In the end, we did not travel far enough to speak authoritatively about the Berlin area. The city itself also requires many times longer stays to see everything that is worth it. One thing is certain: we will never go back there with a road bike ...