Week 1: Luckiest radler in Germany 

Today I’ve nearly been on the road for one week. That must be celebrated with a real blog post. So, at the moment I’m at a camping in the czech city Melnik, with a group of german students I met on the bike path along the river earlier this afternoon. And what a luck that I did, because after have been rolling with them for only a short while my chain suddenly broke. Stupid as I am, I didn’t bring all the necessary tools from the start, so the chain breaker (really necessary tool for this purpose) was to be bought in Prague. With some help from two of the students and a chef from a restaurant close to the bicycle way I got a lift to Melnik – the closest town – where I could get the tool and a new chain. But this whole project took a while so me and Link couldn’t do as many kilometers as planned today. Therefore I decided to stay with the germans at a camping place in Melnik, which was a really good choice (I’ve been talking a bit too much with myself the last days). Let’s just hope for better flow tomorrow! The bicycle way along the river Elbe/Labe has been really lazy and flat, but it might be time to get prepared for the hills soon. Maybe tomorrow already, before reaching Prague. 

And what about Germany? I can tell that I was the luckiest Radler in the world there. Radler by the way is the short word for ”Radfahrer” which means cyclist. I had the feeling that everywhere I went people helped me out with everything I needed. It started with Dirk and Jacqueline (and Teddy and Bummy) in the small village Mirow, north of Berlin. I asked Dirk about the direction and after a phone call to his wife – who spoke english perfectly – they invited me to their home. After a good night sleep (thanks!) I continued towards Berlin. Not so much more to tell about that, because I just stopped in Kreuzberg for a coffee and then moved on south. 

The next day was more interesting. I had found a really good and fast road towards Meissen, my next stop. On my map it looked like a normal road, not a highway. But I learned a new german word that day: bundestrasse. I don’t know the exact translation, but anyway it’s a road that you on which you can NOT ride your bicycle. I noticed that a little bit too late. I had already started rolling on it when I saw the 120 km/h-signs , so I just put on my visible vest and tried to roll as close to the side as possible to get out at the next exit. After a few minuted a big police truck stopped in front of me. The ”polizei” gently explained to me what I’ve already understood by that time, but they wanted me to go back about 500 meters and up on a bridge to get out immediatly. So, that’s what I did. Or tried to do. The bicycle was way to heavy to carry up the hill under the bridge. For that task two extra police men were needed (you can see their happy faces at the photo below). Good work! And I’ll never ever try to bike on a bundestrasse again. 

The same day I also got invited by two families in a small village north of Meissen. I got a real radler (radler is also a german drink), some good laughs, bicycle reparing service and a great camping spot in a garden. Danke schön guys! 

The ride to Meissen, close to Dresden, was a bit slow since I had trouble with finding other ways than the ”bundestrasse” But I finally reached my goal: Anne and Michaels home located up on a hill with a nice view over the city and the Elbe river. I got their adress from Jacqueline a few days earlier, and they made me feel more than welcome. Once again: danke! But watch out, it’s risky business to invite a touring cyclist; you never know when she/he is gonna show up next time. Probably when you least expect it. 

Now my tent is calling for me. There’s no room for Link in there, but he will get his share of love tomorrow! 

Mit liebe, 

(Sorry for the bad quality of the photos, I’m using my ipad)