In Mecklenburg Lakes Round - short too MSR300 called – is the German counterpart to the legendary Vätternrundan in Sweden at the summer solstice. There are many similarities but also many differences between the two events and both are very appealing. In 2017 I rode the Vätternrundan in Motala, this year I thought to myself:
Why wander into the distance, because the good is so close. ...and so in 2018 I decided not to return to the beautiful ones Lake Vättern to drive, but to Neubrandenburg to the Mecklenburg Lake District and there to drive the Mecklenburg Lake Circuit, which is yours this year 5th anniversary celebrated.
Preparation for the MSR300
How do you prepare for a bike marathon with 300km in front? It's actually quite simple: drive, drive and again You guess it ride. The most important thing is kilometers in your legs, mixed with a few fast units and sufficient regeneration rides, the whole thing becomes a pleasure. Well, of course not quite as easy as it sounds, 300 km is of course always a lot, but with the right preparation you can reduce the suffering to a minimum.
Despite mine disc herniation, which I had at the end of February and was able to treat at record speed, I managed to do it before the Mecklenburg Lakes Round to have almost 1.600 km in the legs. Of course, that was only possible because we have a quasi caribbean spring had. Daily Bike-2-Work and disciplined rides made me fit again quickly after my intervertebral disc break. I rounded off my preparation with a long solo ride to my sister in the Harz mountains. 240km I drove alone two weeks before the MSR300 and I can tell you that 240km alone is much more exhausting than 300km in a group.
I felt very well prepared after this trip and at no point did I feel more afraid that I wouldn't be able to complete the 300km on the MSR. In the last two weeks before the MSR 300 I just did normal workouts. So not too much, but also not too little. From now on the big day of preparation and departure approached...
Off to Neubrandenburg
We already last year, served my VW Bus as the perfect companion on my mission. On the eve of my departure - Thursday - I removed the second row of seats so that I could sit in my Multivan could sleep too. On Friday morning I got up early as usual and sent the kids to school, then I packed up all my clothes, loaded my bike and off we went. It's a long way from Hamburg to Neubrandenburg and I'd rather not start at this point about the Hamburg city traffic on Friday morning. I took it easy on the ride and got through it well. Looking back, I was very happy to have started in the morning, because later I heard from other starters that they were stuck in traffic for hours.
My campsite was in a suburb of Neubrandenburg. Nice and small and only 5km from the start. First of all, I settled in at the campsite and then rode my bike to the start to get my starting documents. I ate another grilled sausage - or was it two? - and drove uphill back to the campsite. I spent the afternoon with my neighbors, a colleague from Celle and one from Cycling Club Buxtehude. Something was eaten, the bikes got ready and a beer was drunk. The beer did the trick and I collapsed into the bunk at 20:30pm and slept like a baby!
Exactly at 3:30 a.m. my iPhone rang and woke me from a deep sleep. My start time was 5 p.m. and you should be at the start 30 minutes before the start. I ate the two slices of bread I had made the night before, drank a cold coffee and headed for the shower. A morning shower like this gets you going! Fully dressed, I stowed away all my food, gels and bars, wiped the rope off the bike and off we went to the start.
It was of course already full at the start, because since 3:00 a.m. - if I remember correctly - drivers started here every 5 minutes. I still had about 15 minutes until the start and lined up properly. The time flew by and so it was my turn.
Start of my MSR 300
I guess there were about 30 riders in my starting group. We set off in a relaxed manner and drove sensibly and carefully. Brandenburg is not particularly big, which is why we were quickly out of the city. I stayed in my group for the time being and we rode an average of 25 km/h to 28 km/h.
My group was too slow
I stayed in my start group for about 20 km. We haven't been overtaken yet, but the pace was still too slow for me. So I decided to get out of the group and ride a little faster on my own. That went pretty well so far. In hindsight, I later discovered on Strava that I did 6th place all-time best on a mountain during that phase, and that me, mountains 🙂
After driving 10 km alone, a brisk group passed me. The leader said directly that they had two clubmates from with - from FC St Pauli - have in the group and I'm supposed to join. Of course I won't let myself be asked twice. From now on, we drove through Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania at an average speed of 40 km/h. I wanted to skip the first depots anyway, but when the group joined the depot 111km drove by I thought I could use a toilet and the bottles were almost empty.
At the depot I took a break of about 15 minutes. Toilet, four slices of bread and refilling bottles just took up your time. In addition, the sun was already a bit higher and I freed myself from the arm warmers and the vest that I had been wearing up to this point.
The supergroup meets
For me it was now back on the road. As always, first get into the round step and then it runs again, like a sewing machine. After a few minutes, a group of cyclists came from behind. I immediately recognized from the jerseys that this was a solid group. Nevertheless, my colleagues took me with them! The drivers all came from Tricamp team. A kind of triathlon club that meets for training camps. That's how I understand it, please don't scold me if that's not quite right. The team consisted of four riders and one rider (the trainer) and everyone was super nice. Gradually a few other drivers joined them and by changing the lead you always had a new conversation partner.
Together to the finish
From then on we rode together all the time. With temperatures of up to 36°C, mutual support was really necessary. Somehow everything worked out and I can't mention it often enough, everyone was super nice!!! We took a break together and we drove together to the finish. Broken and happy, we all high five and agreed that the group fixed it.
My MSR300 result
I know the MSR300 is not a race. Nevertheless, you evaluate your results and that day I was really happy and satisfied (and totally exhausted).
movement time: 09:32
gross time: 10:22
Average speed: 31,2 km/h
maximum speed: 62,3 km/h
I am more than satisfied with my result. An average of 31,2 km/h over 300 km is just magical for me! The group was just great and I hope to meet again! The MSR300 is a great challenge and a beautiful event beyond Vättern masses, not that the Vätternrundan is any less attractive, it's just a little more relaxed. Met great people and formed new rope teams. My SpeedX Leopard Pro got me through the course great and my Wahoo Elemnt Bolt took care of navigation and tracking. Now, on June 9, 2018, I'm going to the next challenge, the Burning Roads Cycle Marathon to Ochtrup. 330km and over 3.000 meters in altitude. I'm curious and will report back to you.