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BUB23: Ready to go
The scouting is over - the track for Berlin-Usedom-Berlin 2023 is set! And we are super satisfied. The Graveltrack has become a bit longer, but we have retained the flowy character with some nice challenges. In addition, the wild track has become even wilder. Especially the trails around Szczecin and on Wolin are really tough new challenges. At the same time, the steppe is starting to come alive and bloom. This is going to be great.
Thanks at this point to all the scouts who took a lot of work off our shoulders and helped shape this year's Steppenwolf.
Melina, Mario, Suse, Gerrit, Oskar, Dennis, Nis, Jack, Sascha, Ludwig and Kili!
We remember Sven W.
Yesterday we received the news that a dear person and friend of Steppenwolf has passed away. We had the pleasure to welcome and meet Sven last year at the BUB as well as in the snowstorm at the BAB. For some he became a friend at Steppenwolf. He had also signed up for this year.
Last Monday he had an accident in Berlin in Kantstraße at the corner of Weilandstraße, when the guest of a cab suddenly opened the right door. He had no chance to react. Sven was seriously injured in the head. On Wednesday, February 22, he died as a result of the accident. He is survived by his wife and daughter in Neustrelitz.
At the site of the accident, a ghost bike has been commemorating him since yesterday. If you pass by there, see if the bike is okay. We will also remember him at the BUB in May.
Rest in peace Sven
You'll never ride alone.
Why we actively support WLINTA* cycling and a few words about BUB registration
The registration for BUB23 really exceeded our expectations by far. After the interest in Steppenwolf had grown and grown over the last two years, when registration opened for everyone, we found that our server could no longer cope. For a few minutes, suddenly nothing worked - because apparently hundreds of people tried to register at the same time. After a few minutes all 150 places were booked and we had to close the registration. 450 registrations for a bikepacking challenge - maybe this is unique in the recent history of bikepacking in Germany (feel free to correct us!).
What is unique and special for us is that among the starters are 83 WLINTA* (women, lesbians, inter, non-binary, trans or agender people). For us, this is a great success of our concept.
We think it is important to actively promote WLINTA* cycling. Because in our society this happens too little from childhood on. How often is the classic repeated that boys* are put on the bike and girls* should stay at home? How many exclusive men's races are there still today, from youth to professional level? How often do men start while WLINTA* take care of the kids at home, support on the sidelines and patch up the exhausted starters afterwards? Our whole society is structured according to the interests of men, care (meaning care and household tasks) is unequally distributed and WLINTA* are exposed to greater risks - why should it be any different in cycling? It's not - and that's why we had only men at the start of the first BUB.
Because we want to change this, we have changed two things: 1. we have set up secure checkpoints, which reduce the disproportionately higher risk for WLINTA* to sleep outside and 2. we have changed our registration. So for BAB22 and this year for BUB we opened the registration for WLINTA* earlier. As a result, the 75 places on the Graveltrack were booked out super fast, for men only 10 extra newly created places remained on 04.01.. Because you don't create diversity with a few phrases and nice words - but quite practically in which in this case men have to make room for WLINTA*. It was clear to us from the beginning that not everyone who didn't get a place would like it.
However, we are pleased that the positive feedback far outweighs the negative. And we are mega happy that the BUB is more diverse than ever before.
We want to build on this in the coming years and continue to learn. How that will affect registration in the future - that's still up in the air. For now, we look forward to welcoming you to Steppenwolf in May!
For all those who can not be there, we also have something: For the first time, we want to make the track freely available to everyone on our website directly after the BUB. This means that you can already ride the track completely unsupported on Ascension Day.
See you in the steppe.
New Route // New Tracking
The preparations for the #BUB23 are in full swing! So that everything is ready for the start on May 11, we have already started scouting with the help of a few people from the community. The betaversion of the route is already clear: From the start in Bernau, Wildtrack and Graveltrack (formerly Shorttrack) head east across the border to Poland. There some new adventures, challenges and beautiful places are waiting. You can see some impressions of the scouting on our Instagram account.
So that you can reliably see where the other riders are at the moment and so that your friends and family can follow along even better, we have decided this year for a professional tracking via FollowMyChallenge. For 30 € you will get a tracker at the start, which will show your current position on a pretty fancy map with all the others. You'll get all the info a few weeks after registration.
#NoBorders: Berlin-Usedom-Berlin 2023
In May, the Steppenwolf goes into its third round to the Baltic Sea. We are looking forward to a new chapter that will take us to areas that even we hardly knew before. The Steppenwolf crosses the border and crosses the river Oder over to Poland: Wild gravel roads, rutted sandy sections, small villages with sweet corner stores - the BUB23 will be even more of an adventure than it already is. We are mega happy that we could already plan a rough route with the help of local bikepackers from Szczecin. Also the way back over the Mecklenburger and Templiner Seenplatte is currently already scouted. Thanks to all who support us!
On 01 January it is then so far: The registration for Berlin-Usedom-Berlin starts for women* and non-binaries. Not like last year at midnight, but at 6 pm. On 04 January also at 6 pm it then opens for all. There will be 150 places, 75 for wild and 75 for short track. From experience they will be fully booked after a few hours. There is no waiting list.
We are looking forward to see you.
"I'm lying in the street. I'm cursing. What a stupid fall. Unfortunately already the second today. The first fall was some time ago. Maybe an hour, probably more like two. What time is it exactly? I have no idea. Time is relative in this snow flurry. A hand reaches out to me, paired with words of encouragement. Both come from Jannes. A few hours ago, we didn't know each other."
Meanwhile, the BAB is more than a month ago and most of the bruises are gone, the toes thawed and the pain in the hands healed again. Ben from the BikeBash144 collective from Potsdam told his story of the #BAB22 to the Gravel Collective. Here you can read it in german.
We are also very happy that some friends of Steppenwolf, who missed the BAB because of child care or technical defect, were able to make up for it in the last weeks. At -5°C Dennis was on the 200 track with a friend, his video of the track is really worth seeing.
BAB22: What a comeback
"Tour of suffering" - "the hardest 200 km I've ever driven" - "this BAB remains unique": Berlin-Angermünde-Berlin is back. And how! Minus degrees, cobblestones and snow from all directions could not stop the starters. But let's start at the beginning.
Actually, we just wanted to try our hand at a new idea. We wanted to revive an old classic (from 1910 to 1990), but on original ground and in Steppenwolf manner. Maybe thirty people, more would probably not find themselves around 30 or 60 km of cobblestones to give. When we then gave out the registration, we quickly realized: We could have easily given 300 starting places.
The route was ready in mid-October. In the days before the BAB, the weather forecasts then became more and more interesting. A cold snap, light subzero temperatures were to be expected. As the days went by, the forecast became more and more crisp. Finally, we stood with a good 100 starters at -5 ° C at the Bernauer Steintor at the gates of Berlin. From Bernau we started on good terrain, but already on the first cobblestone sector to Eberswalde the snow started to fall. At the first checkpoint in Chorin Monastery, the water in the water bottles was already frozen. After that it really started on the way to Angermünde, over several four-star sectors both on the 146 km and the 200 km track the participants struggled to the turning point. In the café at the market place of Angermünde they warmed up. A few had to strike the sails here. Because it was going to be even tougher. On the way back, the Brodowiner Wald and the Oderbruchkante awaited with some short but crisp climbs on pavement and several five-star pavé sections.
At the third checkpoint at the Barnimer Brauhaus, it was possible to warm up once again at the fire - before the last tough kilometers lay ahead. As darkness fell, these became a real challenge: With a headwind and sleet, the route led back to Bernau over open flagstone paths. Warm tea, vegan paella and good beer were waiting in the "Alte Post".
Shortly before 4 p.m., so in a little less than 8 hours, the first riders around Rainer reached the finish line well frozen. Less than twenty minutes later Lisa was back as the first female finisher, Maya and Maren quickly followed her. At 5 p.m. Ben and Jannes were the fastest riders on the long track into the Alte Post. In the end 94 starters reached the finish back in Bernau, among them 27 women and non-binaries. An impressive performance of all starters in these perhaps unique conditions.
For us it remains a return of the BAB that could not have gone better. A challenge for all, on the hardest roads between Berlin and Uckermark, a solidary togetherness, no competition, no sponsors, no bullshit. So it can go on with pleasure.
Thanks to all supporters!
See you in 2023.
#BAB22 - Eine Legende kehrt zurück
Nach dem großartigen #Steppenwolf22 war uns klar: Lass uns noch was im Herbst machen. Schon seit Längerem hatten wir dafür die Idee, einen der berühmten Klassiker rund um Berlin wieder aufleben zu lassen. Berlin-Angermünde-Berlin reizte uns besonders: Eines der ältesten Radrennen Deutschlands, 1990 zum letzten mal ausgetragen, in einer Landschaft mit ewig langen und 300 Jahre alten Kopfsteinpflasterstraßen – diese Geschichte wollten wir wiederbeleben. Jetzt ist es so weit: Als #BAB22 kehrt es als wilder Ride auf ursprünglichem Geläuf am 19. November zurück. Die 100 Plätze waren schneller ausgebucht, als wir je gedacht hätten. Alle Infos dazu findet ihr hier. Wir können es kaum erwarten.
Das war der #Steppenwolf22
„Ca. 4 km vor der Fähre geht es über einen stillgelegten Bahndamm. Und ob das noch Gravel ist, lässt sich wirklich diskutieren. Eine Rüttelpartie ohne Gleichen – ich komme nur noch mit Mühen und schrecklich langsam voran. Herrje, jetzt bloß keinen Platten bekommen. Die letzten Meter rase ich dann auf das Wasser zu, ich kann die Boote schon sehen. Aber wo ist die Fähre? Ich rufe der Dame im Imbiss zu, dass ich die Fähre unbedingt noch bekommen muss. Sie sagt mir, ich muss noch bei ihr ein Ticket kaufen und die Fähre käme ja noch einmal. „Aber ich muss jetzt diese Fähre hier bekommen“ sage ich, „… die nächste kommt ja dann“ erwidert sie. Bei mir kommt nur noch die Hälfte an.“
Der Steppenwolf22 ist Geschichte – gut, dass ein paar Menschen sie festgehalten haben. Marei hat für uns zu Papier gebracht, was sie in den drei Tagen in der Steppe auf dem Shorttrack erlebt hat. Als erste Frau war sie bereits Samstag Abend zurück in Bernau. Ihren ganzen Blogbeitrag findet ihr hier.
Lucas war auf dem Wildtrack unterwegs. Mit den schmalsten Reifen des Pelothons hatte er auf den Wurzeltrails und im Sand einige Herausforderungen. Er hat den Steppenwolf in mehreren Videos festgehalten.
Days that should never end
At midnight on Wednesday, the #Steppenwolf22 officially ended. Seven days that flew by for us. A week in a parallel universe where there is only sand, plate roads, trails, great people, campfires, rape fields, steep hills and cold lakes.
Already the start was surreal for us. In our second year, we stood Thursday at half past seven already with 95 Steppenwolfs in front of the ice cream factory in Bernau. We were happy to see some familiar faces and many new ones. Some came by train from Berlin, others by long-distance train from the German Wine Route, the Alps or Slovakia. At eight o'clock sharp we started at the historic Steintor. The first three kilometers we covered together on asphalt, before the first trail came. Here also the ways of short and wild track separated. Smaller and larger groups formed and so we swept over the trails at the Werbellinsee and through the Schorfheide. While the wild track meandered along the Templin, Lychner and Feldberger lakes, the short track headed towards Oberuckersee through the hills of the Uckermark. Shortly before 2 p.m. the first short track starters arrived at Checkpoint I after 120 km. For all others there was pasta later, also for the wildtrack riders, who arrived after 178 km and almost as many cross lying trees only with the night. At the campfire the stories of the first day were exchanged, while the fastest still got the last ferry to the island. At 7pm the first five finally reached the Baltic Sea as the lead group on the short track and at 9:30pm they too ended the day after 255km at the 2nd checkpoint. While most of them crawled into their sleeping bags, a few continued to ride through the night on the wild track.
At five o'clock in the morning, just in time for sunrise finally reached also the first on the Wildtrack after 338 hard kilometers. From the CP I it went for them from the Tollensesee via Neubrandenburg through the beautiful Tollensetal, where the paths are mostly flat but deep. Except for a few abandonments due to ruptured brake tubes, inflamed nerves, too narrow tires (27 mm) or knee pain, most of the short tracker riders started from CPI and CPII. The big peloton started after a breakfast in Strasburg into the Brohmer Berge and reached the ferry to the island around noon. There a bit of rain was waiting, but the Baltic Sea welcomed most with sunshine. Meanwhile, the leading group had taken the first ferry at 8:30. On time at noon they reached CP III at Hopsis Radlerglück. Also on the Wildtrack the field was already very long. At 09:00 in the morning Hannes was the first to reach the second CP, while Elke and Thomas reached the first CP in the evening. But at the checkpoints riders came together again and again. So over 30 riders stayed happy and exhausted at the 2nd checkpoint, the last meters through the beautiful but also sandy hinterland of the island has demanded a lot of them. While they strengthened themselves with vegan risotto, Robby reached the finish in Bernau at 20:37 as the first on the short track, closely followed by four companions. And for some Wildtrackler:innen it went into the second night without or with short sleep.
No rain, but a gray morning. Ramon will not have cared, shortly before sunrise at 04:56 am he was the first on the Wildtrack to pass the stone gate in Bernau after less than 45 hours. At 7:40 am Michael followed, two hours later the third, Hannes from Rostock. Meanwhile, most of the short track peloton had to hurry to reach the first two ferries down from the island. The way there led not only over the white mountain but also over a dike path, against which cobblestones seem like whispering asphalt. Except for Thomas and Elke, everyone left the island by noon. Behind Usedom it went first once on Gucci Gravel along the Haff, before both tracks separated again. The short track led via Torgelow and Pasewalk always through the valley of the Uecker, the wind played along. On the Wildtrack it also went faster after the coastal trails on Usedom, over the Helpter mountains the way led through the cobblestone hell of Strasburg. In the afternoon the sky cleared and the evening sun gave everyone new energy. While the first riders of the "peloton" arrived at CP III, Marei was the first woman to reach the finish in Bernau at 2 pm. The majority of the riders spent the last night at Hopsis Radlerglück among sheep and pigs, another part at a lake just before Angermünde.
A third of the starters had already crossed the finish line, but the majority set off for the last kilometers to Bernau on Sunday. From the last checkpoint it was really challenging for everyone. Wildtrack and shorttrack often met here and so the scattered field moved together. At Unteruckersee came the first fantastic trail, then it went into the forest to the historic center of Angermünde. The hardest part came now: In the best Sunday weather it went through the Chorin cobblestone forest and after many had a snack at the Schiffshebewerk, the trail led either to the Märkische Bergwanderweg (Wildtrack) or to the 66-lake hiking trail (Shorttrack). After a few kilometers of trail, an incredibly steep hill suddenly appeared. At the top, almost everyone first assumed that they were wrong, but the path led for a few meters over the railroad tracks of the bicycle trolley line. On the way to Werneuchen waited a few more obstacles, but then it was done for all. The main peloton of the Steppenwolf rolled on plate roads under the setting sun to Bernau. There, not only a delicious ice cream and the last stamp were waiting, but also a lot of other finishers. Until late in the evening we sat together in front of the Alte Post. When it was already dark, the impressive narrow tire fraction also reached the finish. Christine and Lena were on the short track with panniers and 32 mm, Lucas on the wild track with 35 mm. Incredible how they made it through the Usedom sand and over the trails. At midnight, the finish closed its doors.
A special chapter of the Steppenwolf was written by two riders on the Wildtrack. Elke took seven days from the beginning, on Wednesday she reached the finish in Bernau shortly after half past seven and was the first woman ever to finish the Wildtrack. Thomas had fallen ill in between. He spent two days in the woods to recover a little before resuming the ride. At midnight the time limit ended, around 10 pm he also reached the Bernauer Steintor and got the last stamp. This was the final end of the Steppenwolf22.
Das Warten hat ein Ende
Endlich geht es los! Wir können es kaum erwarten in wenigen Stunden mit 100 Starter:innen vor dem Bernauer Steintor zu stehen! Endlich zeigt sich, ob unser monatelanges Planen und Scouten Sinn gemacht hat.
Das große Interesse am Steppenwolf freut uns mega! Das liegt wohl auch an dem neuen Shorttrack, den wir eingeführt haben. Neben dem technisch anspruchsvollen Wildtrack wollen wir so vor allem Gravelbiker:innen und Neueinsteiger:innen eine Möglichkeit geben teilzuhaben. Und der Track ist großartig geworden! Knapp 500 km mit tollen Aussichten, kleinen Herausforderungen und jedem möglichen Untergrund. Gleichzeitig ist der Wildtrack tendenziell sogar schwerer geworden. Dreißig zusätzliche Kilometer im Tollensetal und ein paar frische Trails auf Usedom sind nicht die einzigen Neuheiten. Insgesamt hat sich gut die Hälfte der Strecke zum letzten Jahr verändert.
Was außerdem neu ist sind zwei zusätzliche Checkpoints! Wir freuen uns in Mecklenburg auf unfassbar gastfreundliche Leute getroffen zu sein, die uns auf ihren Höfen aufnehmen!
Auf Instagram werden wir die Tage live vom Steppenwolf berichten. Wir sind sehr gespannt, wie der Track euch allen gefallen wird! Auf eine großartige zweite Austragung des Steppenwolfs für uns alle!
Wir sehen uns in der Steppe!
Scoutingbericht: Nur noch sechs Wochen!
Wir waren an den letzten Wochenende unterwegs zwischen Berlin und Usedom um die beiden Tracks für den Steppenwolf22 zu scouten. Es war noch ziemlich kalt – das Wasser in den Pfützen war gefroren – aber dank wolkenfreiem Himmel brannte die Sonne schon ganz ordentlich.
Auf dem Shorttrack haben wir schicke neue Gravelabschnitte und Pavé-Sektoren in der Schorfheide gefunden, dazu sanfte Hügel mit Edelplatte in Mecklenburg. Der Weg hin nach Usedom sollte ganz gut wegrollen – die Schwierigkeiten haben wir uns eher für das Ende aufgehoben!
Dafür wird der Wildtrack wirklich „wild“. Einrollen ist dieses Jahr nicht. Die letzten Stürme haben außerdem viele Bäume über die Wege gestürzt, bike & hike wird dieses Jahr großgeschrieben. Von Woldegk zur Ostsee gibt es dazu 100 km komplett neue Strecke. Die Hänge vom Oderbruch kommen dieses Jahr dafür ganz am Ende. Der krönende Abschluss von ca. 691 harten Kilometern.
In sechs Wochen ist es so weit. Dann gehts für alle in die Steppe. Wir freuen uns unfassbar!
Our concept for 2022
In less then a month we will open registration for #Steppenwolf22. Time to introduce our concept for next year!
The premiere of Steppenwolf this year was an incredibly beautiful experience for us! We really had a lot of fun with all of you and that remains the most important thing for us. That's why there is no reason for us to change anything in the basics: Our codex, ethos (some lovingly call it a pamphlet) and the basic direction of the route remain the same. We want to establish the Steppenwolf as an unsupported bikepacking challenge between Berlin and Usedom, as a wild and solidary ride from the metropolis to the sea and back.
The only point where we would like to change something is the lack of diversity in our starting field. The Steppenwolf should be for everyone, so we want to make it possible for more riders to join. That's why there will be two routes next year: The Wildtrack, which will challenge all riders over 700 km with root trails, short ramps and pavé, and the easier Shorttrack over 500 km, which leaves out technical trails, rolls a bit better and can score with two ferry rides.
Whether you finish the Steppenwolf22 in 48 hours or seven days is completely up to you. However, since it is dangerous for different people to bivy wildly, we have organized three checkpoints tailored to the short track, where you can bivy safely if necessary. They divide the shorttrack into four stages from 105 to 130 km long. This is also where the wild track and the short track meet, so there is a chance to meet other riders around the campfire.
We are very happy to have already found three suitable and beautiful places for this! Don't expect much more than a soft meadow, a bath and running water, we want to keep the character of bikepacking.
In the next few days we will publish details about the tracks, the registration and everything around it. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions! Otherwise: See you soon in the steppe!
Save the date: Today we have announced the date for the second edition. Steppenwolf 2022 will take place from May 12-15. We will keep some things like start and finish in Bernau, as well as the most beautiful parts of the route. But there will also be some news. Besides the original "wild track" - which will remain at 650-700 km and just as challenging - there will be an easier "short track" over 450-500 km. This way we want to make the Steppenwolf accessible to more riders. For this we will scout some new routes in the next weeks. Stay tuned!
Incredibly beautiful premiere
Today Gerhard W., the last rider of the Steppenwolf premiere, crossed the finish line - and was one of only 11 finishers. This is the official end of the Steppenwolf. It was a wonderful premiere, where almost everyone got their money's worth in different ways. What it was for all 30 starters: A pretty tough one! Starting with the "Märkischer Bergwanderweg" over the cobblestones of Chorin and Strasburg, over the headwind before and behind Usedom to the endless root trails from Feldberg. We already knew the track was tough, but some underestimated the Brandenburg Ice Age landscape. Nevertheless, the fastest tempo bolters made it to Bernau in under 48 h, a total of seches Fahrer*innen reached by Saturday evening already the Eismanufaktur in Bernau. Others enjoyed the landscape and - if there were any - the local specialties along the way. A total of 12 starters had to stop early due to damage (derailleur hanger, navigation, broken rim) or physical reasons (knee, fall into a drainage ditch, exhaustion). Nevertheless we had a great time with all of you at the different stops and the checkpoint on Usedom.
Soon one or two reports from riders will also appear here. We only have to say thank you to all helpers, to SpotWalla, to the ice cream factory "Alte Post" in Bernau and also to all starters for the good cooperation! See you again next year!
We are ready - are you?
The route is scouted, the final preparations are underway and already almost 50 people are registered for the premiere of the Steppenwolf! We are ready and incredibly looking forward to the adventure.
Currently we are still tinkering with the roadbook, have banners printed and are preparing the start and finish location in Bernau. At the latest two weeks before the start you should get all information from us by mail.
Because we keep getting questions about the choice of wheel and tire width: The Steppenwolf is not a walk in the park. Due to the relatively dry summer, there will be some short pushing passages with under 40 mm, in addition, the trails around Bad Freienwalde, on the steep coast of Usedom and around Feldberg are not to be underestimated. The whole thing is rounded off with a few excellent pavé sections where you are happy about any comfort. We are excited to see which bikes we can welcome you with on September 23rd!
Markus & Jonathan