Lots to see in Berlin
|Travel From||–||Dusseldorf, Germany|
|Intermediate Location||–||The Autobahn…|
|Ending Location||–||Berlin, Germany|
|Miles Driven Today||–||345 Miles|
|Total Trip Mileage||–||1632 Miles|
|New Countries visited Today||–|
|Countries visited on trip||US, Canada, UK, The Netherlands, Germany|
A few minor issues with my maps
Today’s trip was a bit confusing because the map that I downloaded and installed in the PC, and in the GPS did not route properly. I noticed this about 8 weeks ago when I was finalizing the routes. To compensate for the problem, I had to insert a series of way-points, which forced the GPS to take a particular route. So, problem solved, right?
Not exactly… When I showed my route to Ingo and Anika, they said that my route was not the fastest, and that I should take a different route. Ingo then said that there is construction along the route to the Autobahn, so he offered to guide me around the construction, and get me going in the right direction. So, I followed him.
It was a very nice gesture, but because my GPS was confused a bit, it caused me to add a few miles to my trip, as my GPS strongly desired to take back roads, rather than getting directly on the Autobahn. So, it added a bit of distance, and when combined with the overall inefficiencies of my chosen route, I was showing a distance of 414 miles to Berlin. The route that Ingo and Anika suggested was only about 350 miles, or less.
So, as I rode along, I was always thinking about what my hosts said, and I wanted to find a way to save these 75 miles that they eluded to. So, after I got to the first way-point, I reset the GPS, and simply selected Berlin as the destination. This was just what the doctor ordered, and it cut the mileage considerably. So, I headed to Berlin. At about 20 miles from Berlin, I once again reset my destination, and selected the hotel. Because we were close to the hotel, this time, the GPS was able to route properly, and I arrived at the hotel, after having traveled only 345 miles, all because of the help that I got from a few friends. Thanks Ingo, Anika, well done!
Today’s breakfast needed to be Quick and easy, because I was already going to be leaving later than I would have liked, and I wanted to keep things simple. So, we had some wonderful bread, with cheese, jams, butter, and a few other goodies. Everything was delicious, and I was now ready to get the hell out of Dodge.
I departed the farm at about 9:05, but I was going to need to make two stops before I hit the highway. I needed to top off my gas, and I needed to visit a local Honda dealer to see if I could purchase a security chain and lock.
We filled up on gas, and Ingo was kind enough to also put air in my front tire. It was about 2 lbs low, due to the change in atmospheric pressure.
The Honda dealer did not have a chain, so I jumped back on the bike, and Ingo lead me to the highway, where he waved good by, and wished me good luck.
Helmet Battery problems
You may recall reading that, just prior to the trip, I purchased a new helmet. This helmet is the Sena Momentum INC pro. It has noise cancelling s/w, and a camera, all of which are fully integrated, and don’t require that I have any devices hanging off of the side of my helmet. So, this new helmet works great, but there is one danger that I’ve always been aware of; What if the battery runs low while I’m riding, and I desperately need GPS directions piped into my ear.
Well, I’ll tell you what happens. Splat; The sound of shit hitting the fan, that’s what happens.
So, there I was, riding along on the Autobahn, with about 250 miles to go before I arrive in Berlin, and my helmet announces to me that the battery is low, and that it is going to shut down. As noted, there is no way to actually fix this problem, except by charging the helmet, so I pulled into a rest area, and got out a cable, and “got myself connected”.
Actually what I did was to insert the cable into the helmet, and then run the cable down the front of me, and plugged it into the USB port on the bike. After about 2 hours riding like this, the battery was charged, and I could turn the helmet on, and receive the critical directions, as I was entering Berlin. It would have been really, really hard to get to the hotel without a little angel telling me where to turn. I’ve created a video of the final 5 miles into Berlin, and I’ll post that below.
I’m so tired, I haven’t slept a wink
Of course, that’s not exactly true. Last night, I slept very well, but nevertheless, riding on roads like the Autobahn can be quite boring, and I find that without music in my ear, I was growing fatigued, and by the 150 mile point, I was feeling uncomfortable with my state of attention. So, I used my old trick of pulling off the road, finding a place to park the bike, and take a quick catnap.
This time, I was on a street that is combined residential and commercial, and I parked in front of a Hilti office, and a factory that is closed down. I leaned against the nearest tree, and took a 15 minute nap, after which I jumped on the bike, and headed to Berlin again. The tree which is directly in front of the bike when parked, is my “sleeping tree”.
Unfortunately, the Autobahn is a beautiful, yet boring road, and after another 70 miles, I was fatigued again. So, this time, I tried something different. With about 180 miles to go, I purchased gas, and a Monster Energy drink, in the flavor of Loco Mango. As it turns out, it tasted pretty good, and it did the trick. I was fully attentive all the way to Berlin.
Final 5 miles into Berlin
The video below shows the final 5 miles of road, as I headed to the hotel. Enjoy…
My original accommodations in Berlin were an AirBnB, but for some unknown reason, they cancelled my reservation, and with just one month before the start of my trip, I had to find another reasonably priced hotel in Berlin. Not exactly an easy task. Also, this task is made more difficult if you don’t know the area, and the neighborhoods. so, that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.
As it turns out, this hotel is a perfectly nice hotel, in a not-so-nice area. But (and this is very important) they have a secure, underground parking garage, with a guard that makes the rounds throughout the night. So, I’m still going to buy a security chain tomorrow, but for now, the bike probably won’t get stolen tonight.
The video below shows the arrival at the hotel, and parking the bike.
Beer and food
Ben arrived at 7:30 and we began walking to a pub from the hotel. We’ll have a few beers, grab some food, and enjoy a reunion of sorts.
We had a few beers, ate some Turkish pizza, and called it a night, in anticipation of what tomorrow will bring.
What will tomorrow bring
Tomorrow, we’re scheduled to meet in the morning, and take in a full day of sightseeing, broken up only for sustenance (Beer and Food). Ben tells me that he doesn’t own a car, so we’ll be riding bikes the entire day. And I don’t mean motorcycles, I mean real bicycles, which you have to pedal.