Saturday 25 April 2015
Today was the day for the supposed purpose of this trip – the SPEZI Radmesse – although of course that was just an excuse for a nice bike tour!
Joyce and Simon and I met for breakfast and it was very pleasant with a good selection and a very tasty fruit salad. The lady made us two cups of tea too.
My room at Gasthaus Halbmond was very nice but Joyce and Simon had a bonus in their room – a turret in the corner! This was their drying turret as they had their wet clothes hanging in there. Very posh!
The forecast for today was rain and unfortunately I had hoped the rain would hold off until tomorrow (when I get my bag with changes of clothing and my waterproof jacket from Claudia). I had a pack-a-mac with me but it is rather boil in the bag. Fortunately Simon had another showerproof jacket with him and lent it to me. Yes, I am wearing team Sky clothing!
We set off under cloudy skies at about half past nine for our 22km ride to Germersheim and SPEZI.
After about twenty minutes it started to spit with rain, then got a little heavier so we stopped to put on rain clothing.
It was a lovely ride to Germersheim along the Rhein Deich again. We saw some other cyclists going in our direction including a group of about seven including a couple on a Hase Pino and another guy on an very odd-looking recumbent bike. We chatted to them for about ten minutes – they all seemed to think I had cycled from the UK too and gave me credit I did not deserve!
We soon arrived at Germersheim which is a slightly odd town. I think the US Army used to be there but have now pulled out as it seems to be rather dying on its feet with lots of empty shops. But as soon as you arrive at the exhibition area you are knee-deep in weird bikes.
As soon as we arrived at the exhibition area and stopped we bumped into these chaps – Hartmut and Jochen from Kempen. The first faces we saw. Small world!!!
We parked our trikes – they seemed a source of interest to many passers-by throughout the day. I think the Union Jack flags helped.
Talking of flags, we each bought a new flagpole from the stand just inside the main hall. 8 Euros for a flagpole is a bargain!
We had a couple of little jobs to do, one of which was to talk to ICE about Simon’s elastomer. His red one had squashed rather impressively on the ride through the Netherlands.
I didn’t have a spare green elastomer (I only have one, but three reds due to sending a part back with a green and getting a red in return) but had lent him a red which he was using alongside the squashed one. But we found Lois from ICE on the ICLETTA stand and asked her if she had any suggestions. She said she’d look in their box of random bits when she had a break and to come back later and see if she had found one. ICE being very helpful as usual.
Klaus wanted me to chat to Thomas Seide of Steintrikes and experience the full force of his personality. However he was mega busy, surrounded by people all the time as he rattled off facts about his trikes at full speed. He periodically stood on the trike seat and bounced up and down to show off the suspension as well!
On the Bike Revolution (Steintrikes) stand was this Wild One in green and purple.
I bumped into Michael, who had ridden with us two days ago, and we had a good chat, also with his friend who had broken his leg so was in a wheelchair (but is normally in a Milan velomobile). I also finally met Gerhard who often comments on this blog – he spotted me and came and said hello – and had brought me an apple pastry!
As usual at Spezi there were lots of interesting bikes to see.
And also some interesting people.
Simon and Joyce decided to look at bike trailers as they’re thinking of touring in Germany again in the autumn but camping rather than using hotels. They spent a lot of time looking at the hinterher.com stand.
…and the deal was done with a special offer.
We said we’d go for lunch whilst they sorted out a few bits and bobs with the trailer so we could take it away with us. So Simon, Joyce and I walked into the centre of Germersheim and found a lunch spot.
We returned from lunch and went back to the ICE stand to see if Lois had had any luck with the replacement elastomer. She wasn’t there but there was an envelope for Simon…
Once again, excellent service from ICE!
It was time to collect the trailer too – and I had an impulse buy of a new tyre for 10€ (a Schwalbe Energizer Plus 20″). Here are both together.
Of course I’d need to carry the tyre with me to the lunch tomorrow when we’ll meet up with Claudia (in her car) at which point she could take it home for me. Except I bumped into Jochen again, who lives in Kempen and came by car today. I bought him an ice cream and he agreed to take the tyre home for me.
We’d had a good look round and it was time to go. Here we all are (with Hartmut too).
I hadn’t slept too well as my room was very light. Sitting on Alfie again was rather comfy and I fancied a nap.
So we said goodbye to the various people we’d seen. I had also seen Oliver (who appears on this blog and lives fairly near me in NL) and it was great to catch up with him again. But it was time to head the 22km back to Speyer.
On the way Joyce and Simon decided to climb this log pile.
My purchases for the day were the flagpole, the tyre and this fetching baseball cap…
The total ride distance was 45.44km at an average of 15.8km/h so a nice rest day.
We arrived back at our hotel – here you can see the turret room that Joyce and Simon have.
After showering and washing our clothes we headed off for a meal in Speyer – this time at a Greek restaurant.
I spent some time sorting out what clothes I will give to Claudia tomorrow to take home for me – she has a bag of fresh clothes I packed last week. The forecast is for cooler weather and more rain so riding conditions won’t be as perfect but I’m looking forward to getting back on the road again after the rest day today – and it will be good to have Klaus join up with us again. And now we also have a trailer to put all our stuff in!!