Day 01, Tour09, Hamburg to Timmendorfer Strand, DE

I started my riding day heading north from Luneburg, Germany

I wasn't planning to ride from Luneburg, but from Lubeck, and, in a way. I really screwed up, but, my screw up led to a very good day of riding on the first day of Tour01.

I had been planning to ride from the northen end of Hamburg, after taking the S-Bahn - local train - from Harburg, at the south edge of Hamburg to some 30 km north to the north edge. Then that plan changed to ride from Harburg. Then, due to a truly lousy weather forecast - bad storms with heavy rain, high winds, and hail - I was going to take the train all the way to Lubeck , which is less than 10 miles from my final destination, the Hotel Vila Mowensein in Timmedorfer Strand, a very nice town on the Baltic in Northern Germany. My friend Dirk had made a resevation here for me because his friends run this place. It is lovely, in a neat town, and it was great fun to meet Dirks friends.

My hotel in Timmendorfer Strand - my room is the one at the front of the second floor

I really wasn't looking forward to only riding ten miles today, so when I discovered that I was in the wrong place and over 100 km from my destination instead of 15 km, I decided I would ride and hope the weather forecast was wrong. I lucked out and rode for six and a half hours with only a small amount of rain in the last half an hour.

I rode using my Garmin 270 GPS to provide my route. I had set it for a bicycle route and it did pretty well, putting me on good roads for bicycling essentially all day. However, its routing added at least 20% to the distance I had to ride today and led me down several dead ends. In Lubeck, it go so confused that it locked up and I had to reroute - which meant backtracking several miles - multiple times.

There were several aspect of using the Garmin for routing that I didn't like. The biggest one was the extra distance added to my riding day. Another important issue is that I don't know what my route was. If you go by GPS, it is all about getting to your destination. There is, with the Garmin, no way to review the actual routing and, even if you could review it, it has far too many segments to keep track of. It was fun - except when it led me wrong - to not have to worry about routing, but blindly following instructions from a GPS isn't my kind of riding. It also did really work since their were several time when I had to force the GPS to fix bad routing.

I spent most of the day ridng on bike paths like these

or small roads like this one.

About 20 miles into the ride, I crossed the Elbe river

The early part of my ride was with the wind, but as I got farther north, the wind shifted to the west and it was a fairly stong cross wind for most of the ride. This part of Germany has the best wind for energy generation and their were lots of windfarms along my route today.

A small wind farm in northern Germany

Because I had been sick for the last few days, I had to push myself pretty hard to make it to my destination. Moreover, the extra distance and frustration added by the GPS meant that I had to push harder than I would have if I'd done my own routing. The GPS told me I would arrive much sooner than I did and even told me I'd be arriving earlier than its current clock time! I'm not impressed with Garmin. However, one of its dead end routes was quite nice. It took me down to a canal that connect to the Elbe.

A big dam with locks on a canal that goes to the Elbe

I stopped in Bucher for a light lunch and in Lubek for a big Donner. I had coffee with the Donner, and that gave me the boost I need to get to Timmendorfer Strand. After I got to the hotel and cleaned up, I had good visit, and a beer, with Dirks friend. Then I went back to my room and worked on this web page. It was late - 11 PM - and I had just about decided to call it a day, when my body started shaking. I think this is a nasty flu - I spend most of the night huddle under a duvet with almost every muscle in my body contracting and relaxing in an effort to get my, already very feverish, body hotter. It was not fun and, since I spent another half a dozen hours shaking today, it will probably delay my, already very delayed tour by at least several more days, if not a week.

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