I enjoyed my hearty breakfast at the Asgard Hotel – there was a lot more variety than usual which was good. I was all ready to check out at 8:30 and went down to the Tiefgarage under the hotel to collect Alfie.
I put the panniers on Alfie and then heard a strange noise – thunder! There were flashes of lightning and I could see rain out of the garage barrier. Oh dear! I decided to put off leaving and see if the storm passed.
I left Alfie in the Tiefgarage and went to sit in the hotel lobb, looking at the rain. There was a lot of it!
After forty minutes, which felt like aaaaages, the rain had eased enough that I thought it worth setting out. It was still raining but I wanted to get underway and as the day was reasonably warm (16 degrees) the rain wouldn’t be too chilling.
This is a map of today’s ride. You will see there is a meander on the Rhein that I didn’t bother with – I was going for speed rather than authenticity!
I headed out into the rain, wearing shorts and a windproof jacket (I didn’t want my waterproof as I thought it’d be too warm). I followed the official route out of Worms to the north along the river. This barge was going the other way – it looked almost underwater!
The route went through a large industrial estate and then hugged the Rhein river. However there were a few post-flooding issues on the river, this pile of driftwood being a rather notable one (I had to wheel Alfie over it and got mucky feet as a result).
More frequently there were patches of silty mud left on the tarmac from flooded paths. Here is a three wheel mud trail.
I had decidedd last night to not follow the full Rhein cycle route because lots of it was on unmade paths and I didn’t fancy mucky surfaces in this rain. the B9 road (equivalent to a UK A-road) went pretty much directly to Mainz and I thought I might try to ride roughly parallel with that road on quieter roads. However with the rain lashing down I just went for speed and barrelled along on the B9. It wasnt the nicest of route choices but the miles were going by nice and quickly.
Then I came to a junction where there was a No Cycling sign on the continuation of the B9. In that case I’d have to detour so I headed west of the road to Guntersblum.
From there I took a narrow track towards Ludwigshöhe – and it’s only when checking with the map as I write this that I see it’s an official alternative route for this stretch of the Radweg. I was just making it up as I went along!
We were now in vine country.
The rain was easing slightly too, which was a relief.
At Ludwigshöhe I climbed up a little bit (the name höhe gives that away!) and got a good look down on the flatlands towards the Rhein.
Thiis was an enjoyable bit of the ride, much quieter than the B9 had been, and with the rain a bit lighter I felt more inclined to stop and take a look around now and again.
I rode through Dienheim and then approached Oppenheim which had the impressive Katharinenkirche and Ruine Landskron standing out on the skyline.
From here I rode through Nierstein and followed the offical route (which I had now rejoined) up some squiggly back lanes and then along more vines. This was all rather nice cycling.
Eventually I got to Nackenheim where I crossed the railway and then saw one of the familiar “Hochwasser” signs barring entry to the cycle path. Never mind, I thought, I’ll just ride on the B9 again, it’s not that far to go. So I got on the B9 and found it was rather a different kettle of fish. Cars were constantly sounding their horns at me and whizzing past – clearly this was a no cycling bit of road (although I hadn’t seen a sign). There was no escape though and I had to ride on it for 2.5km until the next junction. However I was able to look down at one point on the cycle path and it was a huge pile of mud so that wasn’t a reasonable option. (Looking at the map now shows an alternative route to the west which was probably rather nice). The reason I didn’t notice these alternative routes at the time is that my Bikeline book was put away because of the rain.
Anyway, I pulled off the B9 at Bodenheim and then followed my nose until I joined up with Mainzer Straße which heads (unsurprisingly) for Mainz. I assume the B9 is a bypass for this road.
After I had left Bodenheim and was in amongst vineyards again I checked my phone and saw I had a text messaage from JenM. She said that she was crossing the bridge into Mainz and suggested meeting at Laubenheim. That happened to be the next village, just two miles away, so I texted her to say that was a great plan and we should find a café.
I arrived in Laubenheim and discovered a lack of cafés (it was Sunday so the bakery was shut). Jen had sent me a message to say she was waiting on the cycle path under a bridge but I had just been under a bridge and not seen her. I texted her to say I’d aim for the centre of the village and when I got there I checked down a few roads. Then I heard her calling my name – we had met up! Jen had ridden from the Hook of Holland and I had ridden from Bregenz and with the marvels of SMSing we had found ourselves at a crossroads in a bakery-free town.
I flagged down a passing cyclist and asked him if there was anywhere for food. .He gave me directions to a Gaststätte and I thanked him; Jen remarked how useful it is to be able to speak the lingo (she doesn’t have much German).
We followed the instructions and seemed to be going through a random housing area but suddenly there was the Gaststätte and it had some outside seating (hurrah, as I was soaking and didn’t want to sit on a real chair but only plastic).
Jen and I settled in for a spot of Gulaschsuppe and I had a cup of tea. Both were very warming!
We exchanged stories about flooding along the cycle path and Jen was telling me some of her interesting experiences in finding campsites. I definintely like the hotel option for myself!
And here we are, both looking a trifle damp from the rain!
After we settled up and got ready to leavae and go our separate ways I shanghaied the bus driver into taking a photo of us both on our trust steeds!
With that we were off, Jen heading to Andermatt (about 500 miles), me with just 65ish to Koblenz.
Whilst we were having lunch the weather had improved and the sun was now shining and the rain had stopped, hurrah! I was directly onto the cycle route from Laubenheim and it trundled me in along the riverside towards Mainz.
The cycle path along the riverfront in Mainz was in places closed because of high water but there were loads of pedestrian promenades I could use instead. Lots of people were out and about on bikes and walking – the tradiitional German Sunday afternoon exercise.
As I approached the Theodor-Heuss-Brücke I saw this Berlin distance marker and a bit of former Wall.
Crossing the Rhein after the Mein has flowed into it.
Looking towards Koblenz.
I got in a bit of a muddle trying to get down off the bridge (my GPS track was wrong here) but eventually found my way to the riverside on the east bank.
Looking across at Mainz.
The cycle path on this side was very good, although the Rhein was still making its presence felt at times.
I rode along the riverfront on a decent-quality path, pootling through Schierstein and then whizzing along the road before arriving at Walluf, where I had booked a hotel, Zum Neuen Schwan.
Here’s my statistics for today in imperial
These photos are taken in my room after I’d removed the heart rate monitor. I was sitting on the bed at the time so I’m not sure how I was doing 7.9mph! Satellite weirdness, perhaps.
The hotel room is really nice – it’s a new build hotel (the original Schwan Hotel is next door, closed up and looking rather forlorn). I had plenty of room to strew all my stuff about which was handy as once again the rain had made its way inside the Banana Bags a little.
And I discovered part of the reason why:
Some small holes in the bottom of the bags! One hole I can get my finger through on one side, two pencil-sized holes on the other. Not good news! I will repair the bags with insulating tape when they are dry but have sent an email to Radical Design to see if they have any suggestions.
It was time to have a bit of a walk around the small village of Walluf.
I was really hungry so ate a couple of bars of chocolate back in my room but couldn’t resist this:
I had great fun watching this dog swimming against the current to fetch a stick – he was paddling like mad and stayed pretty much in the same place!
More views of Walluf
I booked myself a hotel in Koblenz for tomorrow. It’s a 55 mile ride but on familiar routes (I’ve ridden most of this section at least four times) and is always really enjoyable.
I went across the road to the Rheinterrasse restaurant for a Jägerschnitzel and Pommes. It’s also with salad but they always bring the salad as an appetiser; in a way I’d prefer it at the same time as the main meal but don’t want to perturb them!
It was wonderful eating a meal whilst looking out on this view!
So tomorrow is the last ‘official’ day of my tour as I should reach my destination. I think I shall keep going for a couple more days though, providing the weather forecast stays reasonable. There’s a small amount of rain forecast for tomorrow but hopefully no more thunderstorms!