Is it too late to wish everyone a happy new year? It probably is … however, today’s quick update is supposed to be a summary of my first 8 weeks of cycling in 2023.
The picture above shows my offseason offroad machine: The Breezer Radar X, basically a non suspension 29 inches wheeled mountainbike with drop bars, on which I spent all of my outside time in the super cold, dark and wet time of year. The highlight so fdar has been the 100km tour I did early in february, mainly for the strava badge, but also because I felt good enough to do so. Put together with my daily bicycle commute to work, I did about 40 rides this year and crossed the 1000km mark a week ago. I think I’ve never pedaled so far this early in any year before, however, if I want to reach my season goal of 10000km I’ll have to “eine Shüppe drauf legen”. This is what you tell everyone, who is obviously not doing enough right now around here.
I’m back in my hometown, Dortmund. Back to the old daily job / ride routine and back to good old german summer. Right now, I’m sitting at my desk and I can’t hear anything except of the rain drops hitting the rooftop windows and the wind blowing against the rooftop. That’s basically how the weather has been for the last couple of days. Rain, sun, wind / rain, sun. They said, it’s going to stay like this for the rest of July. Some districts and cities around Dortmund already did have problems with flooding. Luckily, I didn’t run into problems yet, but who knows what’s going to happen in the next days and weeks. I got a small water pump for times like this, that I already set up just to be prepared and be ready for whatever’s going to happen. So, yeah, I’m going to keep my fingers crossed for some nice and dry summer weeks ahead, even though the forecasts predict something different …
On days like this, I’d like to think back to my time at the North Sea coast some weeks ago. What a great time that was! I was able to ride bicycles on nearly empty roads, meters away from the ocean, just me riding roadbikes and noone else in sight for a huge part of the time … and all of that for dozens of kilometres! The bike path right along the ocean between Cuxhaven and Otterndorf was a real highlight. I never rode my roadbike straight through herds of sheep and cattle before, that was awesome. And I’d like to go right back to the benches that were placed metres away from the shore. I could sit there for hours and watch all the cargo ships and fishing boats go by … There’s a video on my YouTube channel, in which I ride a huge part of the bike path at the ocean. The video should be able to show you what’s so special about this path. So, take a look at it, if you’ve got a spare minute left … or ten!
However, right here, right now in Dortmund, I can’t do anything else than take every chance I get to get out and ride my local route. You gotta be spontaneous these days. Not long anymore until I’m going to be the local legend on nearly every Strava segment that is on my favorite local route. That’s seriously keeping my motivation up at the moment!
The start of June was also the start of my first holidays from work in 2021 and since travelling to certain areas and under certain circumstances has been possible again, I decided to do a much needed one week get away to the North Sea coast. Of course I took my Creme Cycles singlespeed roadbike with me. There were a dozen places and spots I wanted to check out during that week and the roadbike was the perfect choice for me to get there.
The weather was on my side the whole week long, but of course it’s the North Sea we’re talking about – the weather conditions could change from hour to hour, however I was prepared for whatever awaited me. I always dressed up for cold and wet conditions, so I could pack a rain jersey in my bag, whenever it got too warm. That strategy paid evident!
Cycling at the North – Sea coast is so much different from riding roadbikes in Dortmund. One day I cycled about 50 km and only gained about 50 m of elevation (!) and although the wind really can be a huge factor on at least one way of the ride, the flat terrain at the coast is so chill to ride. The countryside at the coast is also really quiet, there are no highways, only some bigger roads and the bicycle infrastructure is so much more developed than the one in Dortmund, so riding bicycles can be extra relaxing when you’re coming from a crowded area like I do.
One of my favorite routes during that week has been the bicycle path right along the coast between Otterndorf and Cuxhaven. It’s a ten kilometre long bicycle connection between the two cities, that’s following the coast line as close as it gets. Sometimes the water even swaps over the whole path when the tide is high and some parts of the path are also covered by sand … it’s insane! Oh, and did I mention, that the coast area is also a pasture? That means, you’re riding ride through cattle and sheeps. The animals are so used to cyclists, that they’re actually walk wherever they want. It’s there property, so you have to watch out for anything that might cross your way … it’s insane!
The bicycle path between Cuxhaven and Otterndorf also hosted my favorite spot at the coast. Two benches right in front of the ocean. I could sit there for hours and watch all the huge cargo ships pass by, let me tell you, that was the best place!
Hopefully, the pictures give a good impression of the area and the places at the coast. All of them were shot on my smartphone, so the resolution might not be the best. However, there’s one video on my YouTube channel already, that I’m going to share right below this post and I’m already working on a video about the whole bicycle path between Cuxhaven and Otterndorf. Make sure to check that out, if you’re curious to find out more about the area at the North Sea coast!
Back in the days, Sundays used to be my favorite days of the week. It felt like Mondays to Saturdays were just there to prepare yourself for Sunday. Because on Sunday I knew, I’m going to be outside for a ride … and it would be great. It would be great to meet up and chat with other cyclists at my favorite cycling spots as the km counter went from low single digits to high double digits ( yeah, I know … no triple digits for me yet!). It would also be great to ride in a silent environment, because on Sundays, you didn’t hear the highway, the train and the traffic jam during rush hour.
These days seem to be gone. I know, it’s only March and the (fingers crossed) great and awesome main cycling season is only about to start (but when???). However, there have already been like two or three nice sundays, double digit temperatures and a handful of sunrays, where I took the chance and went out for a roadbike ride across town … and absolutely disliked every minute of it.
And here’s why:
Phoenix West, the former coal factory / current recreation centre (including a decent brewery, of course…) and cycling hot spot in Dortmund looked like an anthill from the first minute I showed up. There were cars wherever I looked. Some just drove around like normal cars do, other cars blocked the roads, while looking for a parking space just to hit the gas pedal out of nowhere and drive off and some other cars did seem to care more about the sound of their car horn than about actual traffic rules…
Talking about anthills … where do all the people come from? Most outdoor places, roads and shared pathways look like an indoor cycling fair on a weekend before lunch. Crowded … this word might not be enough anymore to describe the current situation at reacreation areas on a weekend. Back in the days, Sundays used to be great to aim for strava segments you couldn’t aim for midweek (it’s better for everyone’s safety, you know…). Current Sundays are just great for practicing your slalom abilities and reaction skills (also great for everyone’s safety…).
However, I’m not quite sure, if this is the exact truth and harsh reality around here … I think my perception of reality suffered a bit too much through the last weeks and maybe I just want spring to show up already. All of this might affect this description of the current cycling situation in Dortmund a little bit.
In other news …
In case this season is going to start eventually, I’m going to show up on the streets in top condition and super ready thanks to the indoor cycling I did the last couple of weeks. I recently discovered the workout part of Zwift and it’s actually pretty cool to get an inside look at how to raise the personal fitness level the professional way. Plus … I already ordered some decent brand new tires, that’ll hopefully fit on my Fuji Roubaix so it’s going to look fresh and ready for the outside season, too! On top of it all, I’m starting a new topic on this website soon. It is going to add more depth in here, but I don’t want to spoil too bad right now…(evil laughing)
Let’s hope the next couple of weeks are going to be as exciting as they sound!
And what about you? Were you able to go out for a decent bicycle ride during the last couple of weeks? Or are you still preparing for the summer season? Tell me all about it in the comments below!
p.s: Did you know I’m on YouTube? Here’s the link to my channel :
Hey, everyone! Just wanted to quickly wish all of you a merry christmas!
I know, these are challenging times and we’re all having a lot of troubles this year more than ever. However, I hope everyone can enjoy the holidays as best as possible, find some peace and refuel their batteries for the times ahead!
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