It’s 21:43 right now as I start typing the daily roundup of this year’s edition of the Bikepacking Trans Germany… and what an eventful day this day was!
The number of finishers grew to 18, 7 made it to Cape Arkona today. Among them is Peter Felten, who continued riding without his tracker (a.k.a. the Easter Egg) and became the first Stealth Easter Bunny to ever finish the Bikepacking Trans Germany. The other finishers of today are Peter Scheerer, Detlev Rabe, Shane Little, Patrick Otto, Fatih Eroglu and Anja Marwitz.
Lukas Eger, Tim Zeelen, Sven Brommann and Rolf Nöllenburg (who is riding without at tracker) are going for a night shift to keep their total days in the saddle under 10. Good luck with that and keep on pedaling, fingers are crossed for you guys!
Yesterday evening we got some news from Christoph Wittmer that he ended up in a hospital after a crash. Radiography showed that he broke his collarbone and he already underwent surgery. Thomas wanted to mark him as DNF as we got another message from him… he wants to try continuing his ride with a steel plate in his shoulder! Let’s see what his final decision will be. Whatever it may be, we wish him the best of luck for the road of recovery!
Then Tim Zeelen’s tracker had some problems today that may have been caused by interferences with “the Easter Egg”. Thomas Borst and Achim Walther made all everything efforts to make them work again, from remote rebooting to dressing up as human antennas to enhance the GPS signal.
The sand in the woods of Brandenburg generated some mixed feelings among the participants of the #btg18 today… while some were complaining about the double tracks being newly reclaimed with tons of fresh sand (Hey, this year the riders were way too fast, so the board needed to do something about that issue…) others enjoyed the sand as a concrete-like surface after some heavy rain. These others were namely Andreas Kunze (yes, that guy that got invited to the pool party yesterday)… so what’s the moral of that story? Sometimes it pays off to accept an invitation by some random girls and go partying with them.
Generally speaking, Brandenburg seems to be a part of the track that takes the best of the participants with quite some miles in their legs. Besides the deep sand fallen trees hamper riding through the parts of the 66-Seen-Weg which are included in the BTG route. There’s nothing to do about that, so just keep smiling and carry you bike over those logs, just like Marita Ritter did today.
What else is to say about today’s events?
Elder stateman Klaus Meyer dropped out of the race today and informed us the following message about his decision: “Everything’s fine, but I’m too old for this shit. I quit.” Maybe his decision has something to do with the struggles of Jaap K-bike who decided to drop out of the race due to some technical issues. They were the dream team of the second edition of the BTG in 2017, so they just might have had a hard time riding without their soulmate. Or maybe Klaus just wants to celebrate Jaap’s birthday which happens to be today. Cheers to that and happy, happy birthday, Jaap!
Falk Diefenbach, who planned on going ITT and who has tackled the route with a 7 day delay, picked up a tracker today and is now listed in the ranking.
Last but not least a great photo had been sent to the PR office…Dieter Helbing and Peter Wöhler rode past checkpoint #3 today. While Dieter looks like he spent the last couple of days at an everlasting pool party instead of participating in a self-supported bike adventure, Peter‘s face expression left us wondering if he ever saw a camera lens before. Maybe that photo isn’t a selfie and was taken by a camera trap instead? We might never know…
But what we know: This has been my last roundup for this year and every single one of them was a pleasure to write. It was an honor to follow the adventure of every single rider participating in the Bikepacking Trans Germany. Thanks for records, premieres, anecdotes and the great spirit among the group that made me almost feel like being out there myself.
So it’s one last time “Stay safe, sleep well, good night and happy riding!” See you around, at the latest when the BTG 2019 starts rolling!