Kempen-Usedom-Berlin-Kempen Day 5: Grevesmühlen to Ribnitz-Damgarten

Today was to be a new cycling experience for both of us. On Klaus’s last tour he had been to Lübeck and seen the Baltic Sea at Timmendorfer Strand but had not cycled further east. I have cycled to the UK from Berlin but had not cycled on the Baltic coast at all. This was our planned route for the day:

After another good night’s sleep we managed to find the breakfast room (on the top floor of the hotel) and ate a hearty meal before gathering our things together, extracting the Velomobiles from the garage and getting ready to leave. We were on the road at 8:20 and I turned my Lichtkanone on to see how many hours it would last with my new batteries. As I wrote yesterday, I was guessing about 2 hours.

Klaus felt his leg muscles since yesterday and wouldn’t have minded a rest day but that will not be until Friday. He said again he would probably ride a bit slower today – you can guess if he actually did! 🙄

Today’s route would take us early on through Wismar which is a very lovely old town. First of all, however, we had to ride there on the Bundesstraße B105. Without our muscles being warmed up and with lots of trucks on the road this wasn’t the most relaxing cycling but we managed it without too much stress. We were much slower than yesterday though, but I think this was also down to the slightly rougher road surface.

We arrived in Wismar and were following the track which would take us on a tour of the old town but we stopped that almost straight away because of the cobbles.

The cobbles look nice and they work well to slow down cars but with skinny tyres with 110psi (8 bar) and fairly firm suspension they aren’t very comfortable. Velomobiles can be noisy and rattle over bumps and Millie’s luggage also added to the cacophony so we turned around and did a small detour. Which was nice as it went past the harbour.

Today’s track was only 116km but we decided to keep to our schedule of the last few days of cake break after 40km and soup lunch after 80km. We weren’t sure where we would be at those distances, we decided to allow ourselves to be surprised with what we found.

We knew that after Wismar it would be hilly and indeed it was. However, these were mostly rolling hills so I was able to get up them at a reasonable pace. This has been the real discovery of this tour – I am not such an awful climber in a Velomobile, I just need to be going fast enough when I get to the hill. I was able to ride up a lot of these hills at around 25km/h. The downhills were great fun of course!

Fortunately after Wismar we were no longer on the B105 but this time the L12 (Landstraße) which had very little traffic and was in a reasonable state of repair. Up and down we went, travelling through Blowatz and Boiensdorf. And on some of the high points we could see the Baltic Sea.

I was riding almost entirely on the road but Klaus was using the cycle paths more, in order to keep to a more comfortable pace for him. For me the cycle paths can be problematic as they might have a very sharp turn that Millie can’t manage with her 14km (it is a supertanker) turning circle. (The 14km was a typo that I had to keep – it is really ‘just’ 14m. And Klaus added the supertanker comment). They also often have slopes for driveways and kerbs which can scrape on Millie’s underside. Celeste has a higher undertray. If I knew I was approaching a slow uphill then I would try for the cycle path but there wasn’t always one – we held up a few other members of traffic but such is life.

The tree in the photo below was leaning. This is not surprising as it was dead windy – but, hallelujah!, the wind was a tailwind for us. There were some buffeting sidewinds again but we were really relieved not to be slogging into this as a headwind as it would have been very hard work. As it was, Klaus’s average heart rate for the day was 144 and mine 129 which is probably accounted for by the different in windage for the two Velomobiles.

We headed into Neubukow at 42km so found ourselves a bakery and enjoyed some small portions of cake.

The name Neubukow displays the common feature to loads of place names in this region – ending with ‘ow’. This is not pronounced ‘ov’ as you might expect but more the English ‘oh’. Neubukow has a claim to fame – it is where Schliemann came from.

We were back on the B105 after Neubukow so this was speedy riding again and hoping not to have too many close passes.

One thing I noticed was that each tree directly beside the road had a crash barrier around it. It makes you wonder how many people had head on crashes into trees to make them build these ugly and presumably not cheap protective measures. 

After 9km we rode through Kröpelin which had the most appalling mountain to climb in the middle of the village. I somehow got to the top but it took a lot of energy! 

We carried on along the B105 to Bad Doberan where we turned off onto a quieter road again, phew! On the way into this town there had been a fantastic downhill where I was doing over 60km/h for at least half a kilometre. I look forward to uploading my track to Strava when I get home to see how fast I actually went!

Back on the L12 we skirted the coast, our destination for lunch as Cafe Röntgen in Warnemünde which had been recommended to us by someone from the Velomobilforum. In due course we found it and parked our bikes opposite.

You can see in this picture the signs that we hang on the bikes when we leave them in a busy place – “nur gucken 👀 Nicht erfassen ✋🏻”. And lots of people were looking.

It was a very nice cafe and we started with soup and then had a cake course.

We spent an hour relaxing at the cafe. I discovered that my calf muscles had got very tight again, this also happened yesterday when stopping after riding fast. This made it tricky to walk the first steps after standing up from the chair. But it soon loosens up and after five minutes of cycling all is well again.

We went to have a look at the Baltic Sea but it was quite cold and windy and I was a bit chilly with just my light cycling clothes on.

It looked like we might be caught by the rain as ominous clouds were visible in the distance. We set off out of Warnemünde which involved a small ferry crossing. The ferry had to wait for a giant cruise ship to go past.

After the ferry we had just a 30 km ride to Ribnitz-Damgarten and this was pretty much flat. The road quality was very good so we made good progress, apart from two bits of roadworks with traffic lights. The black rain cloud was chasing us but we managed to arrive at our hotel before the rain started.

The hotel was a bit tired inside and not as fresh-seeming as the others but our room would be fine for the evening and it was quite spacious. There was a parking area out the back for cars and we installed the bikes there but there was no cover so Klaus lent me his motorcycle cover for Celeste and he just closed her with the Schaumdeckel. 

Our dinner was at a fish restaurant just 100 metres away. We looked out onto the rainy marina as we enjoyed our food.

Klaus had salmon with pesto tagliatelle 

I had a very tasty fish ‘n chips

And then an extremely yummy banana split for dessert. 

The rain had stopped as we left the restaurant so we walked a bit closer to the boats for a look. Klaus took this atmospheric photo.

It has been yet another very enjoyable day. We look forward to arriving at Usedom tomorrow and will probably visit Klaus’s friend Tim who lives there.

Here is the Strava screenshot of Klaus’s ride today. He got two KOMs (means he is the fastest rider on that segment). As you see, our average was 27.4 which is very good considering we were slow riding around Wismar and Warnemünde. 

And here is his short report:

Tag Fünf unserer Tour. Der gestrige Ritt steckte mir noch ziemlich in den Muskeln. Die beiden Hauptdarsteller (meine Beine) begrüßten mich heute morgen mit einen “och nöö…nicht schon wieder…wir haben keinen Bock”. Aber was haben Beine schon zu melden😀. Ab in die Rappelkiste und flux nach Ribnitz-Damgarten radeln. 

And the Lichtkanone? Well, it was still shining brightly as we arrived in Ribnitz. It had been on for 5.5 hours so the battery is clearly lasting well. It does make me more visible so I think I will ride with it on in the future as I know it will last the day’s ride, and I do have a second battery if necessary.

The weather forecast for tomorrow is also now better than expected so if we’re lucky we will stay dry on our ride. Tune in to my report tomorrow to find out!!

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