Kempen-Usedom-Berlin-Kempen Day 4: Glückstadt to Grevesmühlen

Day four of the tour already!!

We both slept really well and went out to check the velomobiles first thing – they were fine. 

Breakfast was a fine spread and we set ourselves up for the day with cereal, rolls, egg, cold cuts, yoghurt and fruit. 

Friend Jochen had written a report about his 600km Audax and Klaus was avidly reading it as we drank our tea.

After breakfast it was time to pack everything into the bikes again. Klaus adjusted his front gear changer a little too as it was playing up, plus he oiled his chain. 

Here is Millie packed for the off. 

So this is what is hiding behind the seat – on the right side of the photo a big dry bag with my clothes and ipad, crocs for wearing off the bike, my wash kit, a bottle of water and my black Velomobile bag; on the left side of the photo is my toolkit including 3 spare tyres, another bottle of water and my yellow Velomobile bag. 

And here she is with the seat in place – it isn’t obvious that I am carrying any luggage. 

As usual with me and bike tours I end up setting off earlier and earlier and this time we were away by 08:30. Kevin our training partner was riding too, of course, and as the beginning of the route was cobbles we rode very slowly, by the time we had left the main section of Glückstadt Kevin was 1km ahead of us.

However, once on the open road we were able to pick up speed and Klaus managed to photograph the moment we caught up with Kevin, after 5km.

Sadly very soon afterwards we discovered our route ahead was closed and had to do a diversion which ended up being 3.5km further so Kevin was ahead again.

The area around Glückstadt was lovely and there were lots of large thatched houses. I also noticed that most of the buildings were made with red brick which is similar to where I lived in the U.K.; in the Niederrhein area where I currently live there are more dark bricks or sandy yellow.

There were a few rolling hills on our route and as we reached the top of one, 5km before our planned first cake stop, we came to some off-road which we didn’t fancy.

Fortunately there was another route on main roads but it involved going down the hill, back up the other side and added another 2km to our distance. Kevin was still ahead of us at this point.

We soon reached Lentföhrden and found the bakery I had located on Google the night before. We had a cake and a hot drink each but as it was a Stehcafe there was no loo.

We set off again after just 20 minutes and after 20km decided to stop for a convenient tree/hedge.

Just after this I noticed that my battery for my front light/indicators had gone flat. I had been testing the new electrical system Klaus fitted which had the usual battery but I didn’t know how long it would last. So I had turned on the front light two mornings ago and left it running the entire cycling day (8 hours) and yesterday (10 hours) and it had lasted 2 hours today. I think 20 hours’ running time for the front light and indicators is great! Tomorrow, with a fully charged battery, I shall check how long the Lichtkanone survives; my guess is 2 hours…

We rode on and found that it was still very early when we reached Bad Oldersloe where we had originally planned lunch. It wasn’t yet midday and we felt very strong still. We also saw signs to Lübeck 25km away so decided to keep going, although I mentioned to Klaus that my Garmin was indicating a few steep hills.

We skirted around Bad Oldersloe and then found ourselves climbing some hills and rolling down the other side. We stopped at the top of one for a drink. It was lovely and peaceful.

We carried on and soon found ourselves climbing up a very steep hill indeed. Klaus’s Garmin said it was 10%. He went ahead at his standard cadence as his front derailleur problems meant his granny ring wasn’t accessible. I schlumpfed down to my lower set of gears and started winching myself up the hill, only to hear the familiar ‘ping’ which means a Schlumpf button has fallen off. I found it in the footwell, it was the button from the right (chain) side, but I had hoped to have fixed that issue. Clearly not.

Klaus was waiting at the top of the hill so I quickly fitted the button again, using the mini Allen key that I had taped to the boom to tighten the grub screw. I have two Allen keys with me (in case I lose or break one) plus two spare Schlumpf buttons so I am hopefully prepared.

After the uphill comes the downhill and this was a whopper, really steep and fast. I was glad Klaus went ahead so he could find the best line and Millie with her more restricted steering could make use of this route finding. It was fun but we were also concentrating hard and I was a little relieved when we got to the bottom.

The ups and downs continued with lots of rolling terrain. It was good fun though!

As we progressed towards Lübeck we noticed the wind becoming stronger and the side winds were quite buffety. When I bought Millie her previous owner Ludwig told me that with side winds I mustn’t fight her but should try to go with her and that definitely works better although you use a bit more road.

Klaus was feeling the headwind more than me as Celeste has a bigger nose. He also had to work harder in the strong side winds, which was evidenced by our average heart rate for the ride today. Mine was 130, his 144; his is usually 5bpm less than mine.

The hills continued all the way to the outskirts of Lübeck but I was feeling quite positive about how Millie and I were handling them. We have hilly days between Usedom and Berlin so it is good to know that they don’t completely kill me!

We arrived in Lübeck and stopped briefly to photograph the Holstentor before continuing on in the search for lunch. The centre of Lübeck was too busy for us but a couple of kilometres outside we found a nice cafe and had some soup. We had done seventy kilometres without a real break so deserved it!

We also decided that we deserved another slice of cake each.

From Lübeck to Grevesmühlen was just 35km but a large portion of this was on the Bundesstraße 105. This is a main trunk road and it was busy with cars, trucks, HGVs, you name it. There wasn’t a cycle path beside it for large sections so Klaus and I rode on the road as fast as we could – holding a steady 50km/h on the downhills, 45 on the flat but I reduced to 15 on some of the steeper hills. But it was fun!!

When the cycle path occasionally appeared we took that. Here Klaus got a picture of me when I was still on the road – I had taken off my baseball cap again to reduce the drag.

We were flying along with Grevesmühlen coming ever closer. You can tell when you are approaching a big town because of the car number plates. Our journey had started with IZ, we then saw SE, OD, HL (Lübeck), NWM an then finally GVM.

Our hotel was a very nice building next to a Malzfabrik (Maltings). 

We were able to store our Velomobiles in a garage on the property.

It was interesting to see Klaus’s heart rate analysis today – you can spot the ups and downs on the B105 at the end.

And here is the elevation profile for today.

After showering and washing our clothes I went to Lidl to buy a few supplies for tomorrow. Then we headed out for a meal, passing the Malzfabrik.

I had a very tasty pizza.

And Klaus had a Greek meal.

I was a bit desperate for a cuppa when we got back to the hotel but there were no tea-making facilities. My attempt to find the breakfast room (there might be tea facilities there) was a complete failure. I hope we can find it tomorrow morning!

Because of our experiences yesterday with parking issues I emailed all the hotels we are staying at on this tour to confirm they have space for our bikes. The hotel in Spandau said they definitely didn’t so we had to cancel them and book another. We will be evaluating the responses and deciding what to do if others cannot provide covered parking.

Here is Klaus’s Strava summary for today:

And here is his report:

Von Glückstadt nach Grevesmühlen mit dem Fahrrad…vor ein paar Jahren wäre das eine Mission Impossible gewesen. Aber heute…nein mein Name ist nicht Tom Cruise. 149 Kilometer sind für uns schon fast Routine. Trotzdem fühle ich heute abend meine Muskeln. Aber lest selbst was wir am heutigen Tag alles erlebt haben. Mein Fazit für heute…ich muss mehr trinken.

Tomorrow is a shorter day but with more hills. Today’s average was 27.1 which we are very proud of because of the hills and headwind. Tomorrow the wind is forecasted to be even stronger but hopefully more of a tailwind. We might also get rained on, but could be lucky and miss it.

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