Saturday, February 27, 2021

A visit to the Kiel Canal



An entry to HaLaRa: Hamburger Langstrecken Radtouren (rules)

For today (27.02.21) the Audax Club SH/HaLaRa had again prosed a route - unfortunately hard to reach for me, both, by car, and on-axis by bike. But with a rather optimistic weather forecast I went riding nevertheless on a route of my own which I would then submit as a free entrant. The idea was to scout a route to the Breiholz Ferry at the Kiel Canal including a number of promising fast rolling sections on deserted back roads. For me, this somehow bridged a gap in the terrain covered from home and the Brevets starting form Kiel which frequently coast along and cross the Kiel Canal.

Virtual control card. 222 km Start 10h42, Arrival 18h55, 8h13
on the road.

After a somewhat moist morning I was treated to a sunny arrival at the Canal Ferry in Breiholz (which is part of the traditional 400 km Brevet from Kiel), beautiful weather along the river Stör, the gentle warm glow of the winter evening light around Elmshorn, sunset in the marshlands close to home, and a giant moon on the last meters.

The track. 222 km.

A route I am certainly going to re-visit after weeding out some (rather short) concrete slab two-track farm roads.

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Operation daylight: Rund um das Dorf Berlin

HaLaR - Hamburger Langstrecken Radtouren - Hamburg long
distance cycling tours. 13.02.21: "Around the village of Berlin."

HaLaRa (Hamburger Langstrecken Radtouren = Hamburg long-distance rides) provides an alternative offer of informal long distance rides in addition to the ACP-sanctioned Brevet calendar.

Pessimistic forecast of glazed roads - it turned out
the road conditions were actually perfect.

I was happy to find out about this, as it offered the possibility to get some exercise in times of home-office, to commit to a long ride on a given date - whatever the conditions, and still -even though only later- share the experience and adventures of the day with others who did the same. All while staying within the strict rules of the lockdown. 

I started 3 minutes after sunrise from the village Lentföhrden.

This ride was based on a specific route proposal "Around the village of Berlin", to be ridden as an individual time trial and everybody with his own starting-point and -time on the round-trip track. This is probably as close as we can get to a Brevet-style ride in these times. 

Morning light on the Stör bridge.

Speaking of conditions, they were simply exceptional: a perfect sunny winter day with snow across entire northern Germany, without wind, but also very cold. In anticipation of difficult road conditions and a warning of glazed roads, I had shod with the Challenge Baby Limus which already provided good service during a wintery ACP ride starting from Kiel in 2018.

Winter landscape.
This precaution turned out entirely unnecessary - the roads were in perfect condition and with the exception of two tiny stretches entirely free of snow and ice.
Ice sailing in Eutin.
I started out from Lentföhrden- which I reached by car. When handling my luggage, there was this distinct noise and feel to the fabric which I only know from mountaineering and polar trips. Only some time later I dicsovered that the themometer of my GPS read -13.9 C! No surprise. The actual surprise was that I managed to keep my feet warm during the entire ride, thanks to the Pearl Izumi 'Amfib' overboots  I had ordered last minute and which arrived just in time for this ride.
Eutin castle.
I had started at 7h47 three minutes after sunrise, and enjoyed the winter landscape in the orange glow of the morning sun. The bushes and trees around  Wulfsmoor were spectacular cladded in a translucent layer of hoarfrost.
On the lakes behind Preetz ice-skaters enjoy the perfect winter day. I reached Eutin - for me about the halfway point and took a short break. On the lake below the Eutin castle I contemplate the rare sight of ice yachting.
Wind park at a standstill - with temperatures plummeting
close to -15 centigrades I am happy its a calm day.
Todays highlight is the passage through the village of Berlin (Wikipedia), a curiosity complete with 'Potsdamer Platz' and 'Kuhdamm' I ought to research its history some day.
Bakery Michely in Hartenholm - apparently famous for its 'Berliners'
and a pilgrimage site for some.
I continue towards Hartenholm as the next Landmark of interest in my discovery of the 'real north'. For many Hartenholm is famous for its races, where the Werner comic universe met reality at several occasions. ... and for some personalities from the Velomobilforum its apparently a pilgrimage site providing an excuse for Berliner runs to a certain bakery.
Arrival at Lentföhrden with 15 minutes to spare until sunset.

On the final stretch, the daylight rapidly turned back to orange, and after 193 kms and 9h24 on the road, I finally arrive at Lentföhrden at 17h11 with only 15 minutes to spare until sunset. 'Operation dayligh': mission complete.

Proof of participation: virtual 'brevet card'
Virtual 'brevet card' as proof of participation.

Some say: 'if its not on Strava, it didn't happen'. I disagree. And the HaLaRa-rules are a little different. While a track is fine, a ride-report and a few pictures are even better. Thats more to my liking: 'If there are no pictures, the ride was probably too difficult'.

Thanks to Gerald for the route, and for Morten to make me aware of HaLaRa!