Our Sunday morning started in a very relaxed manner, with breakfast on the balcony. Last night we had bats whizzing around whilst we sat on the balcony which was lovely.
Tim suggested we left all the washing up and clearing up for him to do later, which was very kind! We aren’t very good guests as we eat everyone’s food and don’t do much in return! But of course, if ever our Velomobile friends are passing they can stay with us.
We had a few jobs to do on the velomobiles as we had Tim’s garage with tools available. Klaus pumped up all four of Emily’s tyres and I adjusted my brakes as they had got a bit loose. When everything was done it was time to head off.
This was our route for today:
The start out of Tettnang was a huge swooping downhill… which was fantastic!
I had, of course, only just adjusted my brakes so I tested them a few times gingerly on the way down to check nothing too exciting happened. I reached 78.8 km/h on this downhill but Klaus, who was braver and didn’t brake, got up to 82.4 km/h.
The route had been planned by Klaus and he had decided to route us around Ravensburg (home of the puzzles!) to avoid city riding with traffic lights and junctions, but the alternative route went up some more hills and was a bit longer. Tim warned us about the hills before we left, but the conclusion was that riding through Ravensburg would be more hassle. We would risk the hills!
It was a very good route, almost entirely on quiet roads with little traffic.
This gave me lots of opportunity to take photos – here you see our little gang with Klaus in Emily the Quattrovelo, Tim in his Evo K and Uli in her DF.
And here they all are seen in my mirror.
Klaus, Uli and I all had the track on our Garmins but Tim’s Garmin wasn’t compatible with Garmin Connect so he had not been able to load it. This meant that the lead of our convoy changed regularly. As I had a motor I was able to go faster up the hills than Klaus and Uli; Tim also has a light velomobile and is well trained in the hills so he was quick. This meant that we stopped and waited a lot of the time, and that those swooping past would take the lead. It worked well.
As you can see from the photos, the sky was a bit cloudy but the temperature was ideal for velomobile riding. It did get very hot on the climbs though, especially for my three companions who had no motor and had to work hard to climb.
We rode through Brochzell and then Appenweiler; we stayed at a place called Appenweier just a few days ago. Then we rode through Taldorf and Schmalegg. In Schmalegg there were signs for a bakery and Tim automatically headed that way; I had trained him well, but in fact the plan was to stop at a bakery/Konditorei in a village at 35km and this was 8km too early. So I astounded him by saying we could keep riding.
After Schmalegg we went down, down, down – super fast! It was good that there were few cars on the road as we were cruising down at 60 km/h and more, and at those speeds you have to really concentrate and prepare for the corners. It’s such fun though!
I was ahead at this point but started braking quite early as I could see there was a very sharp bend where we joined another road and the Milan has a very wide turning circle. In the end I was almost stationary when taking the bend. We had dropped a long way down, and as soon as I turned the corner I saw we had to go back up again!
The photo below shows this climb which I guess was the hardest one.
The picture is of Uli. Tim had needed to walk up in the end as his gearing isn’t low enough on the Evo K. Klaus and Uli both have Schlumpf Mountain Drives so were slowly spinning their way up the hill. Tim and I, being kind souls, pushed them up the last 30 metres or so!
We had to have a break at the top. The other three (without motors) were pretty sweaty as it’s hot in a velomobile when climbing. You just don’t get the airflow. For this reason I have a fan in my Velomobile but it doesn’t point at me but at my motor to cool it, as the motor gets very little cooling from the air as there is just the small gap around my head lamps as an air intake.
We rode through Strass and then Beienbach. the next village, Blitzenreute, had the café, and we duly pulled up outside it… only for the owner to tell us they were closing now. This was indeed true! What a disaster.
The lady in the café told us if we just rode down the hill to the next village there was another café which was open. This sounded like a good plan. Although our route wasn’t going that way, Tim said we could rejoin the route later and wouldn’t have to go back up the hill.
Which was a VERY good thing, as it turned out to be a really long descent with again very fast speeds. I think the total distance was about 2.5km but it was over in a flash. It was a busier road than the others we had been on today and we had some cars behind us but fortunately they didn’t seem to want to overtake us – this was a good thing as extra wind buffeting at that speed isn’t something we particularly want.
We arrived at the café in Staig, parked all four velomobiles in one parking space, and went in… Hurrah, a good choice of cakes!
We spent about an hour there with our tea and cake, and then it was time to head onward the last 30km.
Tim had ridden this way before and suggested an alternative to joining back up with our route. We were happy to follow his local knowledge.
The weather was improving all the time with blue sky. The landscape was beautiful too, so we were having a great ride.
We rode through Mochenwangen and then the wonderfully-named Preußenhäusle (if you have a tame German, get them to say that name for you). This route was actually a little less hilly than the route Klaus had originally planned, which went the other side around a hill. It was also very green with woodland both side, and evidence still of last night’s rain on the asphalt.
We rode through Zollenreute and then arrived in Aulendorf where we rejoined our track briefly before heading off again on a different route suggested by Tim that followed along the railway line.
We rode through Otterswang and then arrived in Bad Schussenried. Tim suggested an ice cream stop and we all agreed, although in the end Klaus went for a cake.
I enjoyed a banana split.
From here it was just 10km to Bad Buchau and we rode along the main road all the way. There was an uphill at the beginning which meant we were going pretty slowly – but all had a wonderful view of a red kite being mobbed by a crow. We saw lots of red kites today and the German name for them is ‘Milan’ so that rather suits my velomobile!
Right at the end, just before we reached Bad Buchau, Klaus missed a turning as his Garmin was zoomed out. He was in the lead so the other three all went off up another hill. I turned off, having hoped they had seen it. I made my way to the end of the track on my Garmin but couldn’t see our Ferienwohnung; I then realised the track just went to the centre of Bad Buchau, not right to the Ferienwohnung door, so I looked up the address and discovered it was just 700 metres away. I sent Klaus a message with the correct address in case he didn’t have it.
Just as I pulled back onto the main road I saw the others so I was able to lead the to our very nice Ferienwohnung. It was the first floor of a family house and had plenty of space and was very well-equipped, including a washing machine, hurrah. Tim decided to hang around and eat an early evening meal with us before riding the direct way back to Tettnang, so we had our showers, did our clothes washing and then walked 1.5km along a canal side-path to a Balkan restaurant that our landlady had recommended. Our food was fine and we had a lovely time sitting out in the sunshine. I was entertained by a hummingbird hawk-moth flying around a hanging basket of flowers.
We told the lady we are likely to leave early in the morning tomorrow. This is partly because the Ferienwohnung doesn’t supply breakfast but mostly because the weather is forecast to be very warm again and we have another day of climbing. The earlier we leave, the more progress we make before it gets too hot. It may even be up to 40 degrees in a few days’ time!
Here are my statistics for today:
So as you can see, not very far and not many calories, but that is mostly down to me cheating by having a motor!!! I would not have enjoyed the day at all if I hadn’t had the motor; in fact, I might not have managed it at all due to knee pain.
Tomorrow we have a longer day (100km) with almost as much climbing. We will be visited by Klaus’s friend in the evening when we reach Eislingen. I haven’t met Oliver before so that will be interesting as Klaus has talked about him a fair bit.
Tim headed home today and tomorrow we will wave goodbye to Uli who is going in a different direction. It’s been lovely to be riding with other velomobiles over the last three days and it’s worked out really well with speed and riding style. I think we stop a bit more regularly than the others might, but this is our holiday and cycle touring is also an important cake-tasting experience.
Millie and Emily both worked very well today. Klaus and Emily climb much better than we all thought – she seems to cruise OK up the hills despite her weight (some of which is my luggage of course!) and Klaus has got into his rhythm so he can pedal his way up the hills. We have two more hilly days and then we are back to the flatlands again, which is more my kind of terrain although I have loved the scenery today.
And here is the map of our whole tour so far…
Here is a full list of all the blog postings on this tour:
Day 1: Kempen to Drachenfels
Day 2: Drachenfels to Walluf
Day 3: Walluf to Speyer
Day 4: Speyer to Appenweier
Day 5: Appenweier to Bamlach
Day 6: Bamlach to Koblenz (CH)
Day 7: Koblenz to Konstanz
Day 8: Konstanz to Tettnang
Day 9: Tettnang to Bad Buchau
Day 10: Bad Buchau to Eislingen
Day 11: Eislingen to Gündelbach
Day 12: Gündelbach to Viernheim
Day 13: Viernheim to Bacharach
Day 14: Bacharach to Drachenfels
Day 15: Drachenfels to Kempen