Day 3 – Tuesday 26th May
Distance: 45.34 miles; time: 04:09:27; Average speed: 10.9 mph; Max speed: 18.7mph; Calories (according to Garmin): 2928
After 9.5 hours of sleep I felt much refreshed!
I had a good breakfast with a cup of tea (1 teabag down, 79 to go) and it made me realise that I didn’t have a single cuppa yesterday. Explains why I found the day so hard!
My clothes were magically dry and not too crispy so I packed everything away (I was wearing the other set of clothing), checked out at 9am and set off, crossing the Deutzer Brücke first so that I was cycling on the west bank (Köln side, which is apparently a nicer route). Saw Rheinenergie, newest Köln-Düsseldorfer cruise ship line boat.
I trundled along the promenade past the cathedral (good photo opportunity of trike with an amazing work of architecture behind it), then went on a bit further.
It was when I beheld a sign for Dormagen that I realised I might have made a mistake. I went through Dormagen yesterday! A glance at my Garmin confirmed the error – heading North-East. Yes, I had done the two miles in the wrong direction! I turned and retraced my steps/wheelmarks, waving happily (again) at the cruise ship that was docking; got dozens of friendly waves back (again).
Once I cycled under the Deutzer Brücke I knew I was on my way and made a mental note to keep the river on my left!
The forecast for today was rain (at least when I left England) but it was just cloudy when I left and it improved as the day went on. Although, I kid you not, we had a few spots of rain between 5:00pm and 5:02pm, despite no longer being in Köln. But I’m running ahead of myself there.
There was quite a strong headwind which meant I was forever wiping blossom out of my eyes (had the same problem yesterday), despite wearing quite large sunglasses. Sometimes the path looked like it was covered in snow, there was so much blossom.
If yesterday hadn’t been that great, today was very different. Although my average speed wasn’t that high (10.9mph) because of the pedestrian traffic and occasional need to cross roads, the actual route was very good. Much of it was right beside the river so there was always plenty going on to watch. There were loads of other cyclists, many with large touring panniers, and I noticed that German tourers seemed to all have Ortliebs.
I passed some local cyclists but was only passed a couple of times all day – perhaps I’m going faster than I should, even if it’s not very fast.
I haven’t seen another recumbent here in Germany yet but I did see a photo of one – it was an advertising poster for the European Parliament elections and the prospective candidate was riding one. Vote for me, I’ve got a strange bike, perhaps.
Not all views were entirely attractive:
I stopped for a piece of Apfelkuchen, some fresh water and a loo stop in Bonn.
I carried on to Remagen where I had pizza for lunch, knowing there wasn’t that far to go to Bad Breisig which I had chosen as my next overnight stop. I had initially wondered about getting to Koblenz, about 40km further on, but I wanted some time to look around, plus the Koblenz hotels seemed more pricey according to my Bett & Bike book. It was lovely sitting eating pizza looking over the Rhine… and with my trike safely in view.
The trip from Remagen to Bad Breisig was very short, only about 8km.
I found the hotel I had chosen, Hotel Anker (Anchor) and it seemed really nice. My room was very spacious with a most decent en-suite, and all for 35€ including breakfast.
They had a very good bike storage garage too!
I had another shower in clothes, rigged up another washing line, and set off to have a look around. I got my 500€ note changed at a bank (phew, it’s scary walking around with a 480 pound note!), bought some more chocolate for dessert, topped up the credit on my German mobile phone, and then went in search of aninternet cafe. And searched. And searched. And asked some people… ‘No internet cafe in Bad Breisig’ I was told by two separate people, so i believed them. I had a cup of tea (2 teabags down, 78 to go) and slice of Himbeerschnitte and read the local paper, then wandered back. I passed a large hotel and thought, ‘I wonder if they have an Internet machine’. And lo and behold they did, thus this write-up.
Anyway, Bad Breisig is a lovely, quaint, picturesque place and has made a good stop on my very enjoyable journey. Tomorrow I plan to have lunch in Koblenz (40km) and then head off down the Mosel river, seeing how far I get comfortably. I think 4-5 hours on the trike is about right, it gives me time to do some sightseeing in the afternoon. I’m also toying with the idea of getting the train part of the way back – maybe Koblenz to Düsseldorf, maybe even further (Duisberg, if it goes that far?) as I think I’m in the picturesque bit now and have no great desire to retrace my steps from Köln to Düsseldorf… But I have a couple of weeks to work that out.
I’ve been interested to see how many Germans have butterfly bars on their bikes – and there are also a lot of Rohloff hubs in evidence. It’s the weather for muscle shirts and the German men I see on bikes seem generally to carry that look off very well too. Who knows what they think of me recumberating long with my bright red non-Ortlieb panniers…
The trike is a marvellous machine for cycle touring… once you’re on the road! The train bit isn’t fun, and the security issue is a slight headache, but cycling with all my luggage feels effortless and I certainly get a lot of comments from passers-by, even though few people have said much to me so far. But today has been very good and I look forward to tomorrow’s ride.