I’m back in my hometown, Dortmund. Back to the old daily job / ride routine and back to good old german summer. Right now, I’m sitting at my desk and I can’t hear anything except of the rain drops hitting the rooftop windows and the wind blowing against the rooftop. That’s basically how the weather has been for the last couple of days. Rain, sun, wind / rain, sun. They said, it’s going to stay like this for the rest of July. Some districts and cities around Dortmund already did have problems with flooding. Luckily, I didn’t run into problems yet, but who knows what’s going to happen in the next days and weeks. I got a small water pump for times like this, that I already set up just to be prepared and be ready for whatever’s going to happen. So, yeah, I’m going to keep my fingers crossed for some nice and dry summer weeks ahead, even though the forecasts predict something different …

On days like this, I’d like to think back to my time at the North Sea coast some weeks ago. What a great time that was!
I was able to ride bicycles on nearly empty roads, meters away from the ocean, just me riding roadbikes and noone else in sight for a huge part of the time … and all of that for dozens of kilometres!
The bike path right along the ocean between Cuxhaven and Otterndorf was a real highlight. I never rode my roadbike straight through herds of sheep and cattle before, that was awesome.
And I’d like to go right back to the benches that were placed metres away from the shore. I could sit there for hours and watch all the cargo ships and fishing boats go by …
There’s a video on my YouTube channel, in which I ride a huge part of the bike path at the ocean. The video should be able to show you what’s so special about this path. So, take a look at it, if you’ve got a spare minute left … or ten!

However, right here, right now in Dortmund, I can’t do anything else than take every chance I get to get out and ride my local route. You gotta be spontaneous these days. Not long anymore until I’m going to be the local legend on nearly every Strava segment that is on my favorite local route. That’s seriously keeping my motivation up at the moment!

So, yeah, that’s it for now … see y’all soon!

-Dennis


The start of June was also the start of my first holidays from work in 2021 and since travelling to certain areas and under certain circumstances has been possible again, I decided to do a much needed one week get away to the North Sea coast. Of course I took my Creme Cycles singlespeed roadbike with me.
There were a dozen places and spots I wanted to check out during that week and the roadbike was the perfect choice for me to get there.

The weather was on my side the whole week long, but of course it’s the North Sea we’re talking about – the weather conditions could change from hour to hour, however I was prepared for whatever awaited me. I always dressed up for cold and wet conditions, so I could pack a rain jersey in my bag, whenever it got too warm. That strategy paid evident!

Cycling at the North – Sea coast is so much different from riding roadbikes in Dortmund. One day I cycled about 50 km and only gained about 50 m of elevation (!) and although the wind really can be a huge factor on at least one way of the ride, the flat terrain at the coast is so chill to ride.
The countryside at the coast is also really quiet, there are no highways, only some bigger roads and the bicycle infrastructure is so much more developed than the one in Dortmund, so riding bicycles can be extra relaxing when you’re coming from a crowded area like I do.

One of my favorite routes during that week has been the bicycle path right along the coast between Otterndorf and Cuxhaven. It’s a ten kilometre long bicycle connection between the two cities, that’s following the coast line as close as it gets. Sometimes the water even swaps over the whole path when the tide is high and some parts of the path are also covered by sand … it’s insane!
Oh, and did I mention, that the coast area is also a pasture? That means, you’re riding ride through cattle and sheeps. The animals are so used to cyclists, that they’re actually walk wherever they want. It’s there property, so you have to watch out for anything that might cross your way … it’s insane!

The bicycle path between Cuxhaven and Otterndorf also hosted my favorite spot at the coast. Two benches right in front of the ocean. I could sit there for hours and watch all the huge cargo ships pass by, let me tell you, that was the best place!

Hopefully, the pictures give a good impression of the area and the places at the coast. All of them were shot on my smartphone, so the resolution might not be the best.
However, there’s one video on my YouTube channel already, that I’m going to share right below this post and I’m already working on a video about the whole bicycle path between Cuxhaven and Otterndorf. Make sure to check that out, if you’re curious to find out more about the area at the North Sea coast!

-Dennis

May has already started and I just realized, that I haven’t wrote a single word about the start of the official outdoor cycling season yet.

So, here we go … What are the most remarkable things about Spring 2021?

Let’s start with the #1 small talk topic of the galaxy:

The Weather – March and April had just a handful of overall nice days in stock and I tried to take advantage of every single second of them. Time flies and the nice times are like a lightning bolt – before you recognize them, they’re gone. That’s why it was important for me to be outside cycling as long as the weather was great.
However, the standard average March and April day went something like this:

Sunshine and no wind when I woke up.
Grey clouds and a light breeze after breakfast.
Rain, hailstorm and a decent headwind, while I had lunch.
Sunshine and no wind before coffeebreak in the afternoon, that made me dressup and get ready for cycling.
Rain, hailstorm and a decent sidewind as soon as I hit the streets on the roadbike.
Sunshine and just a few clouds, that designed a pretty nice sunset, but it’s just a trap, because the sun’s just laughing about the joke that the average spring day in March and April was!

– Dennis The Cyclist, Spring 2021

Let’s move on to the next remarkable thing:

Construction Sites – Phoenix West – the #1 roadbike spot in Dortmund – is officially dead!
The city decided to make this place a shiny flagship project by planning a modern tech centre right there. Currently, there are three or four huge construction sites, which would not be a problem, if they wouldn’t cause the roads to be closed, torn apart and covered with dirt and gravel. Now it’s a problem and it’s absolutely no fun to ride roadbikes there and it probably might never be fun again.
The only cool thing they ever build at Phoenix West is the brewery, which is only opened for take away right now.
So, whenever I do my casual one lap at Phoenix West to make sure noone’s forgetting that this is still a roadbike spot – I also consider on whether or not I should get some beers, so I could have some delicious ice cold after ride beverages … alone in my room, because that’s what you do in spring 2021, you know?

Finally, the most remarkable and greatest thing about spring 2021:

Cherry Blossoms – Not everything was all grey and cloudy in March and April!
Luckily, it’s the cherry blossom time of year, so it was almost too easy to get some great shots of all the colorful trees outside. Taking all these pictures, which I think turned out really cool, made up a lot for all the downsides of 2021 so far!

If you’d like to see more pictures like the header, here’s the link to the seasonal content on this website:

-Dennis

P.S.: There’s a brand new video on my YouTube channel! If you got four and a half spare minutes left, you might just give it a try? It’s right here:

What happened to the Good Old Sundays?

Back in the days, Sundays used to be my favorite days of the week. It felt like Mondays to Saturdays were just there to prepare yourself for Sunday. Because on Sunday I knew, I’m going to be outside for a ride … and it would be great. It would be great to meet up and chat with other cyclists at my favorite cycling spots as the km counter went from low single digits to high double digits ( yeah, I know … no triple digits for me yet!). It would also be great to ride in a silent environment, because on Sundays, you didn’t hear the highway, the train and the traffic jam during rush hour.

These days seem to be gone. I know, it’s only March and the (fingers crossed) great and awesome main cycling season is only about to start (but when???). However, there have already been like two or three nice sundays, double digit temperatures and a handful of sunrays, where I took the chance and went out for a roadbike ride across town … and absolutely disliked every minute of it.

And here’s why:

Phoenix West, the former coal factory / current recreation centre (including a decent brewery, of course…) and cycling hot spot in Dortmund looked like an anthill from the first minute I showed up. There were cars wherever I looked. Some just drove around like normal cars do, other cars blocked the roads, while looking for a parking space just to hit the gas pedal out of nowhere and drive off and some other cars did seem to care more about the sound of their car horn than about actual traffic rules…

Talking about anthills … where do all the people come from? Most outdoor places, roads and shared pathways look like an indoor cycling fair on a weekend before lunch. Crowded … this word might not be enough anymore to describe the current situation at reacreation areas on a weekend. Back in the days, Sundays used to be great to aim for strava segments you couldn’t aim for midweek (it’s better for everyone’s safety, you know…). Current Sundays are just great for practicing your slalom abilities and reaction skills (also great for everyone’s safety…).

However, I’m not quite sure, if this is the exact truth and harsh reality around here … I think my perception of reality suffered a bit too much through the last weeks and maybe I just want spring to show up already. All of this might affect this description of the current cycling situation in Dortmund a little bit.

In other news …

In case this season is going to start eventually, I’m going to show up on the streets in top condition and super ready thanks to the indoor cycling I did the last couple of weeks. I recently discovered the workout part of Zwift and it’s actually pretty cool to get an inside look at how to raise the personal fitness level the professional way.
Plus … I already ordered some decent brand new tires, that’ll hopefully fit on my Fuji Roubaix so it’s going to look fresh and ready for the outside season, too!
On top of it all, I’m starting a new topic on this website soon. It is going to add more depth in here, but I don’t want to spoil too bad right now…(evil laughing)

Let’s hope the next couple of weeks are going to be as exciting as they sound!

And what about you? Were you able to go out for a decent bicycle ride during the last couple of weeks? Or are you still preparing for the summer season? Tell me all about it in the comments below!

-Dennis

p.s: Did you know I’m on YouTube? Here’s the link to my channel :


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Maybe you heard it (and watched it already!), maybe it’s breaking news for you: I started my own YouTube channel.

YouTube is a great platform to share my “everday” bicycle life with everyone around the world and thus, reach even more people than I do already through my blog. I’ve always been interested in making videos about cycling, but I only did short clips for social media and stuff like this.

Most of the videos so far are short three or four minute videos, about my favorite roadbike spots in Dortmund. I’m spending a lot of time everyday working on new ideas for upcoming videos and at the same time, I’m learning a lot of new things with every published video, for example I would’ve never thought I’d catch myself talking in front of a camera.

Right now though, my channel is as small as it could possibly be and I’m struggling to reach barely anyone at all. I know there’s small progress already, I can see it in the data – which is ablsoutely awesome in YouTube Studios by the way – but just like starting up this blog three years ago, starting something new always take time. Trust me when I say, that this was a tough lesson … again …

But I don’t let small numbers discourage me from sharing my bicycle life. After all, this is a free time activity, it’s my hobby, it’s part of my recreation, if you want to call it like this. I don’t necessarily need to be successful in order to have fun. But of course, I do like to get a bit of approval from time to time, you know…

So, what I’m trying to say is: If you’re into watching videos about cycling and you’ve got a spare minute or two or three left to spend, I would appreciate it a lot, if you would check out my YouTube channel:

Hope you enjoy watching this video!

-Dennis