So the last day of the tour had arrived, just as the good weather had finally found us!
We had decided not to have breakfast at the B&B and instead, as in the previous two days, get something on the road.
We set off at eight in the morning, knowing that it was a relatively short day – just 42km for Klaus and Claudia, about 60 for me.
Here is my track for today’s ride:
After a short ride through Roermond we were out into countryside and once again enjoying the beautiful landscape in the Netherlands. Including the obligatory windmill!
We were lucky to have sunshine and blue skies and also the route mostly to ourselves – it seems that the Netherlanders are still asleep in bed at 8:30 on a Saturday morning.
Claudia had now ridden more in five days than in the entire year to date and she was definitely getting stronger in her riding and finding it less effort to maintain the pace. This shows that you can ride yourself into fitness and she was doing a really good job of cycling with heavy luggage.
The trike she was riding was making some odd squeaking noises from the back (possibly the swing-arm), but after several rainy days of cycling the Trice Q probably wanted a bit of oiling here and there. Klaus’s Wild One was making a slightly strange noise from the chain tubes or idler as well, but as we had such a short distance we didn’t bother fiddling with it whilst underway. The trikes could have a bit of attention some time in the future.
Between Roermond and Viersen is an excellent cycle route called the Meinweg. This is a bikes-only stretch of route which runs right to the German border. It’s rolling terrain with a few uphills (up to 4% so nothing dramatic, but hilly for this bit of the Niederrhein) and I have ridden it a couple of times and enjoyed it. I had planned our route for today and sent us along this route as part of it.
This is what we see – a road as wide as a normal road for cars, but only for bikes.
Long and mostly straight, with views to the side of fields with wild ponies, it’s a lovely place to cycle and very peaceful. Of course at other times it’s busy with road cyclists aiming to improve their Strava Segment placing but today we had it mostly to ourselves.
I took this short video of us cycling along.
At the end of this section which is several kilometres long we crossed into Germany and after a few more kilometres found ourselves at a bakery for breakfast.
Suitably refuelled we carried on for the final 20km to Klaus and Claudia’s house, arriving there at 11:30.
I wanted to get straight home so waved goodbye to my touring companions outside their house and then set off at speed back to Kempen, being caught out by the roadworks on the Kempener Außenring which meant I had a diversion of about 5km. Oh well, I was home just after midday.
Here are all the statistics for the tour:
And here is a visual summary of the whole tour, including the relevant heights (as you see, we went downhill as we followed the rivers).
This was my first proper bike tour since the Ruhrtal Tour with James last September and it served as a reminder of how I find cycle touring an ideal holiday – fresh air, exercise, ever-changing views, interesting smells, wildlife, good food, meeting people to chat on the way, never boring… what more could you ask for? I look forward to my next touring opportunity! And thanks again to Klaus and Claudia (and to Alex and Oliver) for their company on the journey.