The road to Munich (1) – commitment

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Well, that was unexpected. About two weeks ago I was first told about the Radmarathon Berlin-Munich-Berlin. Little did I know, the idea planted itself into the back of my mind, where it has since then been been developing slowly and quietly. Yesterday it presented itself into my consciousness, fully developed as the cycling equivalent of a butterfly. I had to register.

What is the BMB? It is a bike race which occupies the same world as ultra-distance cycling events, known as “audax” or “randonneuring”, including Paris-Brest-Paris, London-Edinburgh-London, and the mighty the Transcontinental. A simple enough idea: ride from point A to point B (usually over 200 km) within a set time, pass through several checkpoints on the way, and make sure you pick up a stamp at each in a “brevet” (stamp book).

This is the first time I have ever done anything like this, so I have decided to register for the shorter Berlin-Munich. This is however still a respectable 750 km, and my longest ride to date was 120 km.

COVID restrictions notwithstanding, the BMB will start on 29 July 2021 at 8am at Berlin Olympiastadion, head down to Munich and then back again to Berlin, all within a maximum of 128 hours. The half route, Berlin-Munich, is also an option which must be done within 64 hours. This isn’t a race against other participants, but rather a long time trial.

So, what does this mean? I have no experience of audaxing. I have no experience of bike-packing. I have no experience of sleeping rough (I alway tend to find myself in a rather comfortable bed). Last year I rode my first 100 km. And now I’ve commited myself to ride 750 km this July.

Dear reader, I will take you along on my adventure of discovery. Regardless whether or not the event is postponed due to COVID, I plan to develop a training schedule in parallel to my work to prepare myself physically and mentally. I will plan the stages, routes and timing strategy. I will plan my bike setup and my equipment.

With any luck and some effort, in 6 months I hope to be in Berlin astride Hamish (my bike) and set off down the road towards Munich.

– MT

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