Kempen-Usedom-Berlin-Kempen Day 6: Ribnitz-Damgarten to Usedom

After a good night’s sleep went down to check on the bikes. All was well and the weather had improved a great deal. We now had blue sky and sunshine.

The hotel owner had said breakfast was from eight, but there were several tables of people eating when I was there at 7:30 so we decided to go for our breakfast early as we were ready. We helped ourselves to some food and I noticed there was no hot water for tea, which was strange, just coffee.  Five minutes later the hotel owner arrived and said that breakfast was from eight, we were too early. It was provided earlier for the other people as they needed to leave sooner. She said it was not nice for her. Classic German customer service!

We were not particularly impressed by Hotel Perle am Bodden but it’s often a bit of a lottery when cycle touring and you can’t always find great options. 

This was our planned route for the day. 

At 08:30 we were extracting the bikes from their overnight resting place. The motorcycle cover that Klaus had lent me worked well to keep Millie dry. 

The forecast was dry for today and we had blue skies. We set off at a fairly relaxed pace – I tend to find I am not very strong for the first hour of riding. We started to increase the pace after 20km as we enjoyed fairly quiet roads. I managed to get a photo of the crash barriers round trees that I mentioned yesterday.

Today was very much a wander through the map of towns ending with the name ‘Hagen’. We had Weitenhagen, then a town named after Millie…

We also rode through/near Papenhagen, Hoikenhagen, Prützmannshagen, Bartmannshagen, Kreuzmannshagen, Levenhagen, Boltenhagen and Friedrichshagen. So quite a lot of Hagens!!

The roads were straight without too many crossings and junctions so our speed gradually increased. They had used rougher tarmac than some of the other roads which does slow me down a tad, but we weren’t in a massive hurry and were really enjoying the riding.

We had scoped out a café in the town of Grimmen and we arrived there after 50km. We parked the bikes in the town square and sat outside eating cake and drinking tea/coffee.

Whilst we were sitting outside a young man with a camera round his neck came to talk to us. He said he was a journalist for the Ostsee-Zeitung newspaper and would like to interview us about what we were doing here. He said his newspaper had received a phone call from a citizen to say that there were some weird bikes in town and he should take a look. We had a good chat with him and posed for a couple of photographs and low and behold the article appeared online this afternoon. It will be in the print edition tomorrow, apparently! Here is the online one.

And here is Klaus’s comment about our experience:

Naja…Grimmen ist jetzt nicht der Nabel der Welt. Da kommen zwei Plastikbomber in die Stadt und schon drehen alle durch…vor 30 Jahren fuhren da Trabbis durch die Gegend

  • Fast gleiches Material
  • Genauso schnell
  • Gleiche Reifenbreite
  • Gleiches Geräusch (bei Kopfsteinpflaster)
  • Ähnliches Raumangebot

Okay wir stinken nicht nach 2-Takt Gemisch und unsere Fahne ist nicht blau 😊

It was a bit fiddly getting out of Grimmen because of the cobbles and also a bit of a hill but it was a very nice town.

We were riding on some really fast roads now with virtually no traffic. This was especially the case when we arrived at a section of road works which said the way through to Neuendorf was closed. We thought we’d try it as we didn’t know a good alternativ and it was fine – we had brand new asphalt to ourselves for 5km.

At one point whilst I was cycling ahead Klaus came over the radio to say “look above you”. I looked but didn’t see anything – it turned out there had been a stork flying above me! We saw lots of storks today, including one in a field beside the road about two metres from me and another field with 7 or 8 standing around. They are impressively large birds!

We continued on, following our track through various Hagens, pedalling uphill and freewheeling downhill, loving the fresh air and freedom.

As we approached the town of Greifswald we were both on the road and pedalling really well. We were holding nearly 40km/h for long stretches and Klaus’s tracking software tells him that he maintained an average of 43km/h for a 7km segment. I was cycling just ahead of him for this segment so I assume I have similar numbers too. Cool! (I can only download my tracks from my Garmin when I am home again).

We had half a plan to stop for lunch in Wolgast but when we got there after 106km we didn’t feel desperate to stop and decided to carry on to Zinnowitz where Klaus’s friend Tim lives. However the Peenebrücke was closed so we had a short break waiting for the bridge to reopen and eating some crisps and nuts.

In due course the bridge was open to traffic and we rode across.

We were now on the island of Usedom!

Almost immediately we noticed a difference in the volume of traffic (lots) and cycle facilities (paths a bit variable). We road on the cycle path beside the road as there were so many cars but the cycle path wasn’t always suitable for Velomobiles.

We arrived in Zinnowitz and went to Tim’s hotel, the Baltic.

Sadly Tim had been called away for work purposes so we were unable to see him. We hope to catch up with him tomorrow. We had a cup of tea/coffee, rather amazingly eschewing the cake, and then headed off again.

We were on the cycle path on the way to Ahlbeck and it really wasn’t good for Velomobiles. It was a bit narrow with some sharp turns and one section was elevated on a Deich with sharp drops each side. With lots of traffic from bicycles it was a bit nerve-wracking negotiating it in a Velomobile.

When the opportunity presented itself we returned to the road, trying to cycle quickly enough not to annoy the traffic. This was not always possible but we pedalled hard and the final remaining kilometres until our destination gradually reduced.

Ahlbeck was also full of cars but fortunately our Guest House was up a quiet side road with only the noise of a cuckoo to disturb us.

Our room was lovely and the host was a very pleasant chap who showed us a place to put our bikes.

Here is Klaus’s Strava screenshot for the day.

And here are the bikes in their parking place.

After showering and washing our clothes it was time to visit the beach…

This boat picture was taken by Klaus.

The last picture is looking at Poland which is just a few kilometres away.

We have a rest day tomorrow and hope to visit Tim and another friend of Klaus’s in the next village and also set foot into Poland as I have never been. The weather forecast is perfect – 26 degrees and sunny.

We feel very proud to have reached Usedom after 6 days of cycling and 850km. We will enjoy our time here, and then on Saturday we are off to Berlin!

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