It has been a while since I blogged about cycling tours I have done around Bremen recently, but I thought that this would be appropriate to do on the occasion that we have reached 30,000 hits on the Positivo Espresso site.
I had planned to visit a congress in Hamburg which I did on Wednesday to find out the city is more advanced than Bremen as Japanese speciality stores are opening there at breath-taking speeds.
Hamburg is about 100 km away from Bremen and can be reached by regional trains within one and a half hour. If everything goes smoothly but I never does if you are travelling with Deutsche Bahn. This time if felt more like taking the train from Lumumba to Maputo as everything stopped somewhere in the absolute nothing and after waiting for an hour the passengers were forced to evacuate and walk along the rails for the next exit.
On the positive side, this gave me the perfect opportunity to escape work and spend the rest of the day on the bike. There were blue skies over Bremen which used to be common in June and July but a rare occurrence in recent weeks. There are red skies over paradise, blue skies over the Southern states and even liquid skies over New York.
But over Bremen the skies are generally grey, patched with dark grey clouds.
So yesterday could have been the last beautiful autumn day in Bremen. Yes, it is autumn already as we are some degrees closer to the North Pole and temperatures have dropped into single digit ranges during the night. Farmers are pulling pumpkins from the fields and displaying them on wheelbarrows in front of their houses and the general atmosphere is one of winter coming closer.
So I jumped on my bike and took off riding through the high-tec park close to the university, stimulated by hundred of academic brains working hard in the buildings lining up the street. A right turn brought me to the restaurant Platzhirsch, where the first climbing challenge of the day awaited me that usually brings my pulse into the 170 – 180 range: A short and brutal climb leading up to the bridge crossing the federal highway. Approximated 10 meter elevation gain. Normally I try to accelerate up to 40 km/hr on the ascent and keep the speed until the highest point so I can cruise down in the same speed range. Yesterday I felt like Mosquera riding up the Bola del Mundo with Nibali on his heels.
The road then leads along the river Wümme and is a very pleasant ride for about 20 minutes. Not too much traffic, a wide asphalt road and many roller skaters riding along this very curvy and technically sophisticated road. Great. But very short. And 100% flat. And done already a hundred times, so this is like riding along the Tamagawa between Noborito and Sekidobashi. One knows every pothole, every speed bump and every turn already by heart.
So I took the road further on to Lesum and Vegesack, the Northern quarters of the fee and hanseatic city of Bremen. Finally some hills, not too high but at least one goes out of the saddle and the addition of cobblestones is nice as well.
Ritterhude, Osterholz-Scharmbeck, the further to Worpswede. Now I was in the middle of the lower-saxony landscape. Below is a photo taken of the landscape just out of Osterholz-Scharmbeck and then we see one of the landscape shortly before Worpswede.
Did you notice the difference? No? Well there is almost none, so it’s hard to compete against all the beautiful photos of mountains and roads in Gunma and Nagano pasted on this site. Riding on a bike one gets easily bored therefore. Out of boredom comes anger, frustration and despair. So the government has installed a series of „SOS-Landscape“ communication modules at extremely boring spots where one can dismount from the bike, pick up the receiver and start complaining about the dull environment. Calls are picked up by the SOS landscape call center in Chennai, where a group of German-speaking Indians listen sympathetically to the flood of complains, never complaining themselves even if abused heavily and urging the hapless riders to re-mount and do some more miles…
Which I did. The good thing about riding in this stimulus-lacking, flat landscape is, that one is fast. I can easily do averages of 30 km/hr over distances of up to 100 km/hr whereas I was in the 18 – 25 km/hr range when riding even over smaller bumps in Western Tokyo. Not even riding behind David at the start of a trip along the Tamagawa I was able to go that fast. But here, there is only a wide road, nothing to look at except the speedmeter and so one goes fast. Yesterday I was averaging about 32 km/hr.
Quelkhorn, Fischerhude, Borgfeld, here is where what remains of the German emperors family is living in Germany, so the newspaper said. I was now back in the federal state of Bremen and after a few more turns I was back at the university, shortly before the 100 km mark. Not so much distance but a nice quickie, considering that the whole ride took about three and a half hour and fitted in nicely in the afternoon before attending a congress later in the evening.
Honestly, 100km is nothing to blog and boast about given the standard of the Positivo Espresso team, but this is reality in Bremen now. Today I look out of the window and it is raining again. Perfect weather to commute with my new Gazelle, but not for any longer rides. Rain is also forecasted for the weekend. I guess I need to travel more with Deutsche Bahn to get riding opportunities.