We woke to rather grey skies with misty hills in the distance – perhaps w would have a wet cycle ride today.
Here is a picture from my bedside table – charging station for phone, iPad Mini, Garmins etc, and some biscuits that Klaus bought yesterday. They worked well dunked in tea first thing in the morning!
Breakfast was served in a lovely room overlooking the hills. Because of Covid-19 the hotels are not allowed to supply a buffet breakfast, instead they deliver everything to your table. This Guest House had everything very nicely set out.
We went back to our room, packed everything and then retrieved the trikes from the garage. I needed to tighten my mudguard again as it keeps coming loose, and Klaus needed to tighten up his seat.
I forgot to mention in yesterday‘s blog that I had noticed part of the general cabling for the Bafang motor had slightly separated apart. I pushed the two sockets back together again and lo and behold my left brake motor cutout was magically working again. That was a relief!
Talking of the motor, I had a comment on my blog yesterday from regular reader antc1946 who said he has the same motor and he uses the 9 levels option, riding mostly on level 3. That means the battery lasts well. So I decided to switch from my 5 levels back to the original 9 levels and try riding on 3 as antc1946 suggested.
So we set off, again pretty much at 9am, assuming it would take us quite a long time to get to Cochem as it was 82km away and I would be using less battery power.
It was a bit grey as we started and we had our jackets on but not our coats as it was warmer than previous mornings.
Today‘s scenery was largely vineyards and there was quite a lot of activity going on as well – we saw lots of people walking amongst the vines, tractors in the vines, people using the funny little railway bogeys and even a helicopter spraying (see the photo below).
We crossed under this very impressive bridge, the Hochmoselbrücke, which carries a Bundesstraße across it.
You can see from the two photos above that the sun had come out and the sky was blue. When stopped to take these photos I took the opportunity to remove my jacket and socks.
It‘s really impressive to see where the vintners are able to place their vines – this area was particularly steep and they squeezed the vines in every nook and cranny.
Whilst on the ride today I reached a mini milestone with Alfie – 3,000km cycled using the motor. I was quite surprised it was that much as I only did a 3 day tour before with Alfie, the rest must have been lots of commuting and leisure rides.
When checking out the route last night Klaus had noticed that we could do a shortcut across the hill which avoids Zell on a river meander. However, the route planner showed it was a mighty hill and we didn‘t fancy it! You can see below the very narrow section we would have needed to cross.
However, we went the long way round, pootling around Barl. There was a sort section which wasn‘t asphalted and which had a couple of roller-coaster ups and downs.
As you can see from the above map, after we arrived at Zell we crossed the river was was our original plan, but you can see our track stops and we have to retrace our steps. It turned out the cycle path beside the road was blocked for bikes. There had been some signs showing diversions but it was not clear that the entire route was blocked.
Klaus and I had ridden up rather a hill to join the cycle path, only to discover it was still blocked at this further point. Here we are in a mirror at the top of the hill.
Looking at the road closed sign.
We ended up crossing back into Zell and then heading up the right hand side bank of the river, which was actually quite nice although the block paving needed to be repaired as there were lots of very lumpy bits due to tree roots.
We also failed to find somewhere for cake. We had been riding for 50km or so but all the places we saw were wine sales shops/cafes. I am a lifelong teetotaller so wine isn‘t anything for me, and as we were cycling anyway Klaus didn‘t want any. However, I know that the Mosel has loads of cafes so we would find one eventually.
After about 7km on the other side of the Mosel to our original plan we crossed back on this impressive double-decker bridge near Alf.
The scenery was still great of course – rolling hills, vines, water…
Fortunately we eventually found somewhere to stop for some food – an Italian which also did ice cream and strudel. Klaus chose the Strudel.
I went for a large ice cream.
We headed off again after half an hour with only about 30km to go. As the battery in my motor was doing much better than yesterday I increased the assistance level from 3 to 4, sometimes going up to 5. This was a very good thing as we had been rather too slow before this point, averaging about 14.5 km/h. Klaus had stayed behind me all day to try to match his speed to mine as I had been rather pooped yesterday trying to keep up with him, but it was very slow for him. My battery will not allow me to travel more than about 60km with lots of assistance. So I was experimenting with Level 3 today, which certainly gives me more range but isn‘t really enough help for me to ride at a useful pace. It seems clear I need to get a second battery so that we can do some longer rides at a faster pace.
I saw this impressive ruin on the other bank, not sure what it was!
With about 15km to go we saw some very heavy clouds in the distance and expected we would get rained upon.
However, we were lucky and the wind blew it round a corner. We managed to stay dry on the entire journey, with the rain starting heavily in Cochem about two minutes after we arrived.
About 200 metres from our Guest House I stopped to buy some cake for us to have when we arrived. It was very tasty!
Our guest house is pleasant with quirky furnishings and decor, a kettle in the room (which isn‘t functioning 100%, I have to hold the button down to get it to boil, but it does heat the water with this assistance!) and friendly staff. Our trikes were safely put in the garage.
After the traditional washing of clothes and unpacking we had a few cups of tea and then went out for a meal. As we like to sit outside (because of Covid-19 ) the choice of places wasn‘t that high but we found a generic Italian restaurant. The food was rather mediocre but that‘s often the case in tourist traps. We had a view of the river from where we sat and we were served fairly rapidly.
After the meal we had a short wander around Cochem.
We have a day off tomorrow so will probably spend some more time exploring and if the forecasted rain holds off we might do a short ride too. The following day (Thursday) we will head to Koblenz, staying overnight just outside Koblenz, and then will return to Cochem and our car on Friday and head straight home.
And here are the details of our ride today: