Today Button, Charlotte and I started our tour on the Leine-Heide-Radweg. Well actually, we only cycled a few km on it today. Because I began in Norderstedt, I had to get through Hamburg first, which was surprisingly easy. I did not get lost, but I also only followed big roads. 😉 So this way I crossed the river Elbe the first time, or lets better say a part of it. And on the other side, I took my first break.
19.1km in 1:21:19h.
Did you notice the sign saying bicyclist should not go in this direction over the bridge, and the arrow on the floor? Well, while I was sitting there eating and resting, a lot of bicyclists ignored that sign. Some parts of that bridge-bike-lane were quite narrow. I am just happy, nobody ignored it while I was cycling there, considering how wide we are with all the panniers on Charlotte. Until this point, one other cyclist (he had 3 tires) asked about Charlotte at a traffic light, and one other guy just said: have a good trip!
Now came one of the tough parts of this trip. By the way, they did not have signs for the Leine-Heide-Radweg on this part, I followed the ones for the bicycle-route from Hamburg to Bremen, which is the same for some time. But the signs are not everywhere, and so I missed a turn, leaving me at a busy shopping street starting to feel desperate. So I started pushing to see if I can find someone to ask, luckily I saw a DHL-delivery-guy and thought, he probably knows the area. He stared at my map a very long time… I already was losing faith, when I told me where I was and how to get back on route. And he was pretty correct. When I was just checking up if I was one the right track a little later I got first asked buy a black guy about Charlotte and if her frame was made in Ghana and then some other guy stopped and offered his help and talked to me about how cycle-touring alone would be boring for him. 😉
Shortly after I found the bicycle-route signs again… and lost them again. I must have crisscrossed that park quite a few times until some explained to me that I could not find the street I was looking for because that street did not exist anymore. And she also kindly helped me to get back on track. So when I finally crossed the Süderelbe (south part of the river Elbe) and reached Harburg, I took another break. A short one, because I was getting anxious over all the lost time and km.
32.51km in 2:26:35h
For now, the signs were there, and I still ignored some to take a more direct route and save some time and km… and then I found the first Leine-Heide-Radweg-sign:
It is the colourful sign on the right. So this right turn was the beginning of some forest roads. Uphills I had to push, and lots of sand, gravel, mud and stones. I still did not do any more breaks, because I wanted to reach the camping ground before 6pm. Which I missed by 20 minutes. Partly because of the conditions of those so-called bicycle routes, partly because I lost so much time before, and partly because I was just getting exhausted. Oh, and getting wet 3 times because of the rain also did not help. I also left the Leine-Heide-Radweg and kept going on the Hamburg-Bremen-Route, because of the camping ground location… so tomorrow will be interesting as well.
Well, I am in my tent now and after I finished this I will go to sleep.
My neighbours are here with bicycles and a tent as well… and already reminded me why I do like to cycle alone: they just keep fighting…
The day on a map and in numbers:
69.39km in 5:35:18h, which means my average speed with all the pushing and searching was only 12.41 km/h.
I do not know what this camp spot will cost me yet since I will get checked in and out tomorrow when the office is open again.
Buttons favourite part of the day: getting noticed by the guy who wanted to help me, and could not imagine cycle-touring alone
Charlotte’s favourite part of the day: this wonderfully paved bicycle lane going downhill we luckily followed for a few km.
My favourite part of the day: Every time I found a bicycle route sign… and it made sense.
I did not notice anything different because of the pandemic today… beside seeing a few masked people… :O
I will write again tomorrow, so you can pedal this adventure with me.
keep exploring and smiling