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Track Drew and Nuno on the Candy B. Graveller ride

Drew 11. April 2018

Follow us, as we ride from Frankfurt to Berlin along the Berlin Airlift corridor. This post will be updated daily, so keep checking in for the latest details on our tour!

The Candy B. Graveller. A ride whose route is based on the historical Berlin Airlift Corridor from Frankfurt to Berlin. Clocking in at 638 km and 7,000 vertical meters, it is no easy feat. But the best part is, it’s not a race! The Candy B. is a self-supported bikepacking tour that runs along gravel roads and forest paths. And when Ortlieb asked around if someone from bc wanted to ride, I jumped at the chance. This would be the perfect way to put my Salsa Fargo and Ortlieb bikepacking setup to the test.

Of course bringing someone along always doubles the fun, so I decided to ask the bc community if they wanted to ‘Ride with Drew’. The applications quickly started pouring in and after a week of reading through them, I decided to bring Nuno along. His application stuck out to me right from the start and his experience with long rides made him the perfect candidate to spend 638 km with.

You can also follow our ride at, www.candybgraveller.cc/tracking/, as well as on Facebook and Instagram under #ridewithdrew, #cbg18.

Video

Before the ride

To enter the Candy B. Graveller ride, I first had to write a Letter of Intent telling why I wanted to take part in this gravel ride. 

Of course, after being accepted to the ride, I had to start packing and figuring out the best way to stuff my Ortlieb bags. I have tested these bags already, but packing them for a longer trip like this was a little more of a challenge. Thankfully, the shorter trips I had been on showed me just how little I need to bring and how I can trim down my setup for optimal weight and space savings.

After tuning my setup and taking a test overnighter, all that was left to do was get riding. 

The ride

As soon as the ride gets going, we will update you on where we are and what we are doing! Stay tuned!

Day 1

Today was finally the day: after weeks of planning, the Candy B. Graveller was about to start. Last night I treated myself with the comfort of a hotel room, relaxing before my bikepacking adventure from Frankfurt to Berlin began. In the morning, I went to the Aerial Bridge Monument, where the candy bombers were waiting. The atmosphere was great and I was in Bikepacking paradise - the coolest bikes from fast lightweight bikes to subtle self-builts - and right in the middle: my salsa Fargo monster Truck! If there was a price for the fattest tyres, I would have certainly been the winner.  Only one thing was still missing, my partner for this adventure: Nuno.

Nuno and I have never met, we just talked on the phone a few times. So I was asking myself, will we get along face-to-face? The answer is YES! Right from the start, we were a dreamteam! Nuno, you rock!

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About 10 o'clock we started to roll, but not without first commemorating the riders who died tragically in the last weeks – a very emotional but also beautiful moment, which once again showed how strong the solidarity is within the cycling community. Ride in peace, friends! 

And now it was finally time to roll. Slowly but steadily we followed the track in my Garmin. The weather was just beautiful! 20 degrees, sunshine, blue sky!  A big compliment goes to Gunnar, who has planned the route: hardly asphalt, lots of picturesque fields and forest paths and many beautiful trails through the vineyards, which had to be climbed laboriously, but the downhill runs were just awesome!

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While I am writing to you now these lines, it is 6 pm, we have riddin 120km, are hungry and have just plundered a bakery before it was closing. Nuno and I have just plotted the plan to drive until about 9pm and then to look for a place to rest for the night. Stay tuned!

Day 2

Our night was spent in a barn that a farmer allowed us to sleep in. As soon as we woke, the rain began. When dry, the route would have remained fast, but with the rain we got it quickly turned into energy sapping mud. There was a lot of slipping and squealing disc brakes as we climbed and descended before reaching Fulda. There, Nuno had to leave because of a family emergency. I also had to throw in the towel because my strength had faded. Having had the flu the week before, my body was weaker than I expected.

Though we didn’t finish the Candy B. Graveller, we still enjoyed every kilometre. The route was wonderfully put together and had we continued, I’m sure it would have been a blast. A big thank you to all the people who put the ride together! What a great way to spend time on our bikes.