First day ! I had a very late start since I went to Velotop for last minute adjustments and butterkuchen.

Route day 01
Figure 1. Route day 1

At around 11 my Brunox delivery arrives and I can get going. I only make it a few kilometers before the first of many rain showers.

It is a slight struggle to get out of Bielefeld, a slight uphill for a while. Once I get to the top I see bigger hills in the distance.

Distant hills
Figure 2. Distant hills

The track I am following is great, it mainly goes between or around cities and villages, so lots of time in the countryside. The only problem is that there are no shop or restaurants around so I have some problems finding lunch.

After a while the track runs through the outskirts of a town and I find a Lidl, also a bratwurst vendor, but I pass on the bratwurst.

Dark skies
Figure 3. Dark skies

There is a constant flow of really dark clouds, followed by intense rain, the rain is so cold that fog appears when the rain hits the warm roads.

Dark skies
Figure 4. Intense rain

Since I got started late and it’s my first day on the Bullitt I wanted to make it a short day, as it turned out the Gasthaus I aimed for at 60 km was closed since many years. I then aimed for the first Bett+Bike I had in my GPS, but as it turned out it was full and so was the next one.

As the odometer passed 90 km I started to remember how fully-booked Germany can be during holiday season. I would have thought that the bad weather for the last couple of weeks would have made people fly to the sun for their holidays. But me and some other crazy people stayed here in the north to enjoy the rain.

In Sulingen I aim for the first Hotel in my GPS, sounded expensive and it was, but the rain was pouring down. There is garage to park the bike in, nice, hope it’s still there tomorrow.

So today became a very long day, it was almost 18:30 when I checked in, and I had biked 100 km. To be fair it was mostly tailwind and flat today, also some side wind and slight downhill. I had an average speed of 17 km/h, this is 3-4 km/h faster than I usually manage.

Fast bike
Figure 5. Fast bike

But I didn’t feel tired, I could have done 20-40 km more today. So even if it is very early to conclude anything yet, the Bullitt seems to deliver on it’s promise to be fast.

One lesson that I learned today is that it requires some planning to turn with a Bullitt, the bike is 243 cm long and needs about 3.5 to 4 meters wide roads to be able to turn. On narrower roads you have to get off the bike and turn it around by hand. I had an episode today on a 60 cm wide bike path with ditches on each side, nothing to do but bike to the next intersection and turn there. The obvious solution to this problem is to navigate better so turning is not required.

Another one is that the small and narrow front wheel needs watching when it’s slippery or soft, if you turn to much when going to fast the wheels wants to go straight ahead instead. This is the same as a normal bike, but since for example my Sumo XT can have 50 mm wide Schwalbe Mondial it’s much smaller problem.

The box worked just fine today, I had a dry bag on top of it with rain clothes, I had about 20-30 changes of clothes today so it was nice to not have to open to box every time.

So all in all the first day was good, tomorrow I will have to start looking for accommodation earlier.

The weather forcast for Germany over the next days included the words bodenfrost and heisswelle, sounds interesting.