Berlin-Munich-Berlin is an ultra-endurance bike “race” (or audax), following in the footsteps of similar races such as Paris-Brest-Paris and London-Edinburgh-London. Some refuse to call it a race, as it is not a race between the participants. Nevertheless for my purposes, it is a race against the clock. 1,500 km across central Germany, 11,000 metres of elevation, and all to be completed within 128 hours (5 days and 8 hours).
I took part in 2022, where BMB was in its 3rd year. Until then, my longest ride was 330 km. Whilst challenging, it was a pleasure to push myself and my bike (both metaphorically and literally on occasion) and to see how I responded to the pressure and various hurdles I encountered along the route, as well as meeting some incredible people.
I decided to put my thoughts down for anyone who wants to try BMB or something similar, and spread these out over several blog posts.
Official website: www.berlin-munich-berlin.org
BMB, three little letters. For the last few months however, to me they have meant both promise and dread in equal measure. For those of you dear readers who have been following my blog, this may ring a bell. Berlin – Munich – Berlin. What is it? 1500 kilometers of unassisted cycling starting from and… Continue Reading →
Two weeks to go. Since my last BMB post I’ve been busy. A quick summary of my training and preparation: Heat acclimatisation Knowing that BMB will be in mid-August, and that in 2020 there was a heatwave which caused a number of riders to abandon half way, I’ve been working on training myself to adapt… Continue Reading →
The briefing Let’s wind it back a little. Wednesday 10 August (day -1) at the Amstel House Hostel in central Berlin. After a tour of the city on my bike that day, I arrived at the hotel for the evening pre-race briefing. I was a bit early, but eventually a small queue formed behind some… Continue Reading →
The hunt for Thomas and coffee The alarm rings at 3.30. Christian and I get up, stumbling around the hotel room and putting together our kit. Is this your powerpack? Where is my computer? Is this my phone? Despite the comfortable mattress, I had slept badly, convinced in my dreams that I had forgot to… Continue Reading →
Team time trial (checkpoint 4) The alarm rings at 3.40. I tried to count how many of my vertebrae have been displaced over the last few hours of sleep. Not too many on reflection, oddly enough I slept as well as I did on the first night, in a proper bed. Keen to keep our… Continue Reading →
The breakaway The alarm rang. Again. 4.30. This is getting tiring. The first challenge of the morning, get up off an inflatable mattress without being able to put my feet on the floor or making the damn thing squeak excessively. Back roll? Flip over and crawl? Easier said than done. The next 30 minutes are… Continue Reading →
Running on empty The alarm rings at 4.30. I’ve slept pretty well, although that’s not too surprising given the comfy bed. It’s certainly better than a bench in a shower room. The first thing I notice when I get up is my back wheel, which is lying against the radiator under the window. It seems… Continue Reading →
A stone’s throw to Wittenberg (checkpoint 8) The alarm rang, and this time I pushed the snooze button. I got up at 6am – what a luxury. After all, I only had 170km to ride today to Berlin and all by 4pm at the latest. 10 hours. Plenty of time. Time for breakfast. I took… Continue Reading →