It’s 09:15 p.m. right now as I start typing the first daily roundup of what had happened at the 2018 edition of the Bikepacking Trans Germany. After a nice and welcoming get together (at least it looked like that on the photos) yesterday and the Grand Depart today the first day of #btg18 is coming to an end… slowly yet steady. As things look at the moment (remember, I’m typing this at 09:15 p.m.) a foursome of riders has made it past Zeller Horn, the first of five checkpoints including the finish. Ch. Beyer is leading the pack and went big on the first day, riding a total of 248.42 km so far. (Btw: Dear Mr Beyer, if you’re reading this: I’d be happy to know your full first name if you don’t mind sharing it with me… and the rest of the BTG universe. 🙂 ) Roughly 10 km behind him is Ben Steurbaut, followed by Thomas Go-Ride Taut (at km 230,94) and Clem Shovel (expect a pun with “digging” at some point of the race) at km 220.66. Olaf Haensch, who finished second at the first edition of the Bikepacking Trans Germany in 2016 is currently in the 5th spot and at km 205.47.
Just now (09:34 p.m.) I have received a voice message from Achim Walther informing me about the events the live tracking doesn’t show. Thanks to this message I heard that the first night in Basel was comfy yet everything but silent because of a techno party nearby. Nevertheless, the riders left in time the next morning and headed out into a day that was hot right from the morning with accordingly pretty dusty trails. The first part of the route included quite some climbing, so some of the participants struggled with the water supply. Luckily, the beekeepers around the Hoher Randen had their open day and could help a lot to keep the riders going by offering several free refills to those with empty bottles. But that was only one part of today’s trail magic… after suffering a flat tire, Jonathan got a spare tube from an owner of a local bike shop on a Sunday(!). The BTG board (Achim & Thomas) found a nice shelter at km 125.
Good night everybody, stay safe out there!