Earlier this week I decided to give it a try, again. My idea was to cycle up to the Baltic sea, which would have been a rough distance of 700kms.
Preparing the bike with a new chain (wippermann connex 11sb), adjusting the flexible mudguards (mk3) and machining a small metall piece for special mount of my front light. Packing some cloths and the sleeping bag for the night, preparing myself with the embrocation cream for deep winter rides.
I left home around 0200 and found my way up north smooth and comfortable. I cycled into a regular Monday morning which meant that after a while I found myself in pretty solid traffic. Tried to to avoid it and rode on cycleways as much as it was possible, this is always slowing myself down so much, also in motivation and staying in the flow. Crossing the road here, crossing there, waiting for pedestrians, dogs and so on. Meanwhile it was a really nice ride, although I had to pay big attention not to produce a bigger amount of sweat as is was freezing immediately and this was bringing the cold back.
Drinking is a major issue during winter rides, as I already discovered before. For short rides I never take something woth me, for longer ones I do. But my bottles freeze and until today I did not find any reasonable thermo bottles that can manage a reasonable time of keeping drinks from not getting frozen. Any recommendations are more than welcome. Elite and Camelbak are not qualified.
Making several shorter stopps for warm drinks do not really bring me forward. It was just cold, as usually after a break it takes rough ten minutes to be back in cycling mode.
When it became dark, I entered the southern part of middle German hills, Harz. Snow got more and more, temperature dropped more and more. My idea was to climb the highest hill of Harz, the Brocken. As I arrived so late, I cancelled this idea. In parallel I also cancelled to continue during snow storm in the late evening!
So sleeping in a bus stop at temperatures around -7 degree celsius. Next and pretty much last missing component of my selection is going to be a tiny mattress. Did not dig into this section yet, it was okay but a proper protection against the cold from the floor will definitely bring another major amount of comfort.
Comparing my planning values -based on summer cycling- I have to admit that the had been around 150-200kms missing. So app. 60% of what I had planned had actually been pedaled. More breaks and winter sleep speed.
As I gave myself a time limit for my arrival, I had to take the train for a good portion of the way. So, this had been a closer preparation for transcimbrica by mid of march. It was so good to be back on the bike.