Wilfred came over to my place on Sunday. Together we left early Monday morning. He in his Mango+ and I with my Nazca Pioneer. For this day, I knew the route for a large part. First 100km or so without GPS, later on I followed a track. Our first stop was near Aalten on a small, very neat campsite. (recommended) We had dinner in a small cafeteria next to the border with Germany. Their lasagna and salad tasted good after 180km.
Day 2, our destination was Cologne. Wilfred followed the track I made with a website, and I followed the Mango. A website that produces tracks for cyclist, on 2 wheels. Tiny problem is that Germans can't built cycle paths, and sometimes put gates on them, that make them un-accesable with a velomobile. Luckily, a by-pass is always easily found. Some stairs (!) where impossible for me too.
It is these kind of things that made me ride to Spezi with the Pioneer, (and that it's high and very comfortable) instead of with the K. I'm somewhat spoiled perhaps by the Dutch infrastructure. Next year, I'll know better routes and the K get's a triple. Than the occasional rain 'flurry' we had will be even less of a problem, and head winds won't be there anymore.
In German towns it's recommended by me not to use the cycle path. They're narrow, twisty, bumpy and dangerous. The main road is a much better place if you actually want to get somewhere.
In Cologne we met a Milan SL rider on a Dahon. And that was posted in the 'spotted' thread on the German forum. After 150km we arrived at a campsite next to the Rhine river. Clean and good enough but close to a busy main road. However, sleeping never is a problem after a a long ride. So I slept well, on my 6cm air mattress from Thermarest.
Day 3 was longer than expected. We had to navigate a lot. Well, mostly Wilfred did that. And he did that well. There was a house next to the Rhine with the Maple Leaf. Apparently, long rides make me more emotional. I sang Oh Canada out loud, and it felt really good.
On the Southern part of day 3, we did ride on a good cycle path. And it was a long stretch too! Around St. Goar we started to realize how little bumps and obstacles we'd had for an hour or so.
Day 4 promised to have a few hills. There was some change in elevation, yes, but nothing compared to what I'd deal with in week 2. Nice was that we got away from large cities. Only small towns you could easily ride through. Like every day, we stopped at a bakery for something delicious. I always had a cappuccino, Wilfred drank tea.
The campsite, that I found with LeeW's GPS location, was close to Lingenfeld, and a nuclear facility. We arrived nicely on time after not much more than 120km. I prepared dinner for the 2 of us. Spaghetti with broccoli, spiced tomato sauce and cheese.
I spent Friday doing very little. Washing, relaxing, got some groceries. During the day, more Spezi 'bent riders arrived. The weather now was sublime. By now I'd ridden about 600km, and felt great.
Next post: Spezi, the weekend.
photo 1: at the top of the Tiger & Turtle hill.
photo 2: somewhere during day 3, I think.