Bikepacking Germany 2020

This year’s going to be tough. When I was thinking about the possibilities for my cycling trip this year in January, Corona was not yet an issue. So I planned a lot, which I then replanned again and again in the following months. But now it’s clear: This year I’m going to do a bikepacking tour from Switzerland through all of Germany to the Danish border and back again.

Note: I moron forgot to publish this article after writing on 25.06.2020 before my departure on 04.07.2020! I have now made up for this on 10.08.2020…

The Idea

I had to discard many of the ideas I had at the beginning of the year. With all the different and constantly changing immigration restrictions, a more or less serious planning is not possible. So I focused on two variants. If the borders are still closed, I wanted to ride different national bike routes in Switzerland. That was my plan B.

Fortunately, the border between CH and D has recently been opened again, so my plan A is coming to life. Although I live in Switzerland, I still have a German passport, so I shouldn’t have any issues when I do my bikepacking tour in Germany. In addition to that I had the idea to visit some of my friends I haven’t seen for a long time.

The Stages

This time I didn’t plan my stages by the day, but one stage is the respective distance between the visits to two friends. This can be a day trip in terms of distance, but usually several days are needed for a stage.

Stage Start Finish
1 Luzern Aarau 60 400
2 Aarau Würzburg 430 2’800
3 Würzburg Kassel 280 1’400
4 Kassel Hannover 180 1’600
5 Hannover Hamburg 200 800
6 Hamburg Schleswig 160 550
7 Schleswig Rendsburg 50 200
8 Rendsburg Dortmund 460 1’200
9 Dortmund Bochum 40 300
10 Bochum Aarau 680 2’300
11 Aarau Luzern 60 450
Summary     2’600 12’000

This time I left the route planning completely to an online tool. At Mapy.cz I entered the start and finish of the respective stage, selected “bicycle” as the means of transport and in the advanced settings “MTB” instead of “Road bike”. Thus the planned route should mostly, i.e. where possible, follow official cycle routes. This way I hope to achieve an attractive route with relatively little planning effort. Whether this was a good idea, I will judge on the way.

The Time

Since I also teach in addition to my main job, I am always dependent on the semester break for my holidays. This year it fits together quite well and I was able to take the whole of July off. So I have exactly four weeks time. I expect an average of 100 km per day. With a total of 2’600 km that makes 26 days. So I can take a total of four days off on the road, if that’s necessary (actually I have four weeks plus a weekend).

I will take one day off in Hannover. There I have reserved a bikefitting appointment at EnjoyYourBike and I will have my new bike adjusted exactly to me, so that I can ride long distances efficiently and without pain. I spend my second break day together with friends in my old home in Schleswig. I plan another break day as needed and keep the fourth one as a wild card, because then I could be back in Lucerne exactly on Swiss National Day. That would be perfect timing. At least in theory, practice will show then.

Let’s go

On Saturday, July 4th, 2020 I will start in Lucerne. On the way I will often report on Instagram and Facebook. I’ll take a video camera and a drone with me and if everything works out, I hope to be able to post some nice videos on YouTube afterwards. Here in this blog there will be a summary for reading, too.

I’m already totally excited, after all I have a lot of new equipment with me on this trip: New bike with new bikepacking bags, new tent, new mattress and new sleeping bag. It will be a very interesting trip!

Yours
Marcus

Written on June 25, 2020