Cold morning with some blue sky. The room was very quiet, warm and dry and I slept well.
After some breakfast I load up and get going. The loading and unloading is easier than with 4-6 separate bags. Now there is just one big bag, a shopping bag and a drysack.
I ride a few kilometers to get the feel for the adjustment needed and then I stop and adjust the grips a few millimeters. I had a slight pain in my left hand yesterday, but today’s adjustment toke care of that.
The weather yesterday and today is what I call transport mode weather, it’s no fun to stop and take a break, it’s cold and wet. After a while I find a supermarket with a bakery for some pre-lunch, it’s really a great idea to have a bakery in supermarkets.
The first 50 kilometers or so to Bremen just flies by, lots of wind, side and headwind. But I still manage an average of 16.7 km/h. So the wind did not slow down the Bullitt.
The Bullitt handles slightly better than a normal touring bike with hard side wind. With a normal bike there are bags on the front wheel, when the wind hits that you have to hold on to the handle bar. The Bullitt doesn’t have any bags on the front wheel and it’s half the size of a normal bike. So strong side wind grabs the box but not the wheel, which makes it less of a hassle.
Today’s brilliant plan was to visit a laundromat in Bremen, armed with the GPS coordinates of the place I saw that it was way off my track so I skipped it. Bremen was not Bullitt friendly, tram tracks and cobble stones, not the friends of bikes with 20" small wheels in the front. But riding slowly and taking care not to get stuck in the tram tracks worked just fine.
Just north of the tourist epicenter of Bremen I start to look for lunch, not wanting yesterdays failure in that department to happen again. After a few kilometers of going north I found a "Bavarian" restaurant that served the typical Bavarian dish of Gyros. It was a nice lunch and it was nice sitting indoors and watch the rain.
The wind had picked up now and as I entered the green ring around Bremen I had a strong tailwind and smooth roads. This was indeed the perfect road for the Bullitt, I had a few very fast kilometers.
I remember this great ring road from 2013 when I biked it the other direction, then it was warm and summer, thousands of people were out biking, walking, running, rollerblading and so on. It was really great.
When riding the road virtually alone it struck me that I have not seen any other long distance/touring cyclists in the about 160-170 km I have been riding. Very odd. I am riding big and popular bike routes, not ones I have made up myself, but perhaps the weather has scared all the other cyclists away.
After Bremen I am following the route called D7, it is more offroad than the Bielefeld-Bremen one, so I get to try the Bullitt in mud, sand, soft forest trails and so on. The going is a bit slower when the surface is soft and uneven. The problem is not that it is a very long and low cargobike but that it has been designed with to little tyre clearance. The 47mm tyres I have on now are no good on a heavy bike of any sort carrying this much weight. The Bullitt could easily have been designed with 55-60 mm tyre clearance without changing much.
The Bullitt is so fast so I wanted to stop early today, but Bremen felt to early and after that I only find accommodation that feels like it’s not run by people in the hospitality business, so I keep going, later I start to get hungry so I decide to skip the D7 route with it’s soft and uneven surfaces and use the smaller sealed roads.
I travel very fast between the small towns on the proper roads, I have found a ADFC Bett+Bike "minihotel" and while I am zooming there I see another hotel and they have a room free so I decide to end the day at 106 km.
So the average for the whole day is 16.4 km/h, given slippery Bremen and the state of D7 I would say that is very fast for being me. I still had good tailwind today, I am sure that I unfortunately one day will find out what my average for a full day of headwind will be.
The forecasts still talk about cold nights with ground frost, but also there is this big promise about a heatwave, it has been moved from Sunday to Monday so I remain skeptical.
So with less than 100 km to the next even bigger city, Hamburg, I have to do some planning. I hope to stop south of Hamburg tomorrow and pass trough Hamburg on Saturday morning instead of Friday evening. But if the winds are as strong tomorrow it will be a challenge to stop early.
Today’s lesson learned is that when crossing German streets there sometimes is an island in the middle where you have to wait for traffic or green light, crossing a street with a long bike requires planning as it doesn’t always fit on the small island between lanes.