Sunday 26 April 2015
So now it’s halfway through the tour, I thought I’d do a summary of the mechanical issues we have experienced with our four trikes (three ICE trikes, one Steintrikes).
1. Dodgy valve on one of Joyce’s tyres which means it very slowly deflated. Tube changed.
2. My front chainring bar-end friction shifter was loose and wouldn’t tighten very well (so it kept changing down from big ring to middle ring). Simon and Nigel fixed this by adding a washer as the screw for the friction shifter was bottoming out.
3. My Alfine hub gear didn’t like using gears 10 and 11 after I changed the rear tyre and generally fiddled about with it all and cleaned it. Over the first five days of the tour this resolved itself and all gears are now working.
4. Joyce’s rear mudguard stay split so we threw it away.
5. Simon’s squashed elastomer.
So not bad so far at all!
Since our trip to SPEZI we have added better flagpoles to the three ICE trikes, Simon bought a left hand side mirror (which he realised he needed when cycling on the wrong side of the road) and Simon is now of course towing a trailer. Without mudguards. Joyce now has no rear mudguard. Klaus’s rear mudguard keeps him dry but not the person riding behind him. So basically I am the only rider whom it is safe to cycle behind without getting wet. Which means no more chain gangs I suppose.
We had a good breakfast again.
After breakfast we had a leisurely pack as we didn’t need to leave until 10am to meet for lunch at the agreed time, although as usual after a week on a bike tour we were keen to get going.
We spent a few moments sorting out our stuff.
The hotel owner, a very friendly lady, had asked if she could try one of the trikes so I let her have a spin around the car park on Alfie. She really enjoyed herself!
We set off a bit earlier than our original plan as we were to meet Klaus at the Rheinterasse in Mannheim at 11:45. It was only 26km so we didn’t really need two hours but it ended up being rather fortuitous we set off early as we bumped into a retired couple who were unloading a couple of recumbent trikes – Anthrotechs – from their car.
One of the trikes was on a trailer behind the car.
The owner of this trike, a lady, was happy to let me have a sit on it.
We had a lovely chat with them for about fifteen minutes but then it was time to press on as we had a message from Klaus that he had just 12km to go and we had 13.5.
We had forgotten about the Altrip ferry though – we had to wait ten minutes for it. Here we are in the queue.
And here is Simon with the ferry behind him and also the very impressive and clean-looking coal power station behind him, Grosskraftwerk Mannheim.
It was a short trip on the ferry and it cost us 1 Euro each. A chap came to chat to us about our bikes whilst we were on there – he had been to SPEZI last year.
We rode round the industrial bit of Mannheim and then found ourselves in a lovely green area with trees and walkers and cyclists etc, Waldpark, which had carpets of wild garlic.
We arrived at the Rheinterrasse restaurant which was our meeting point. It was originally planned for us to eat there but when Klaus tried to book it last night he discovered there was a wedding party there so had booked somewhere else, but as the track I had on my Garmin was to here then it was the best meeting place.
We ceremonially gave Klaus his present from SPEZI – a Union Jack buff to use as a flag.
We then headed off to meet Claudia and Lara at Dehus, a restaurant on Friesenheimer Insel. I liked seeing three flags blowing in the wind in front of me.
The BASF factory at Ludwigshafen (the other side of the Rhein) is amazingly large – 12km long apparently – and it looked huge and sprawling from our side of the river.
Claudia and Lara were waiting and after collecting my fresh clothing from them (and giving them a bag of worn clothing to take back to Kreis Viersen) we went into the restaurant for our meal.
Lara had a slinky toy with her withh which we spent a good amount of time playing. Here is Joyce modelling it.
The meal was very good but the owner of the restaurant was rather Basil Fawlty.
Then it was time to say goodbye to Claudia and Lara who were heading home for another normal week of work and school whilst we were lucky enough to continue cycle touring. Lara seems to have slightly got the bug for touring as she was asking me how long it would take to ride from Berlin to Usedom. (Answer, 190km = 4-5 days I suppose).
A slight navigation error by me meant we reached the end of this little island with no bridge so had to ride back to the restaurant (we had set off whilst Klaus was still sorting out his bike) and from there go to the chain ferry across this bit of the port.
After the chain ferry we pootled along the Rhein Deich again towards Worms, seeing signs showing it was getting closer.
Joyce had to pose for a photo at this car.
It was a relatively short ride today – I ended up doing 56.42km – and so fairly soon we saw the bridge that crosses the Rhein at Worms.
A short ride around the outskirts of Worms found us at the Hotel Asgard where I had stayed previously. I had responded to an email from Booking.com about upgrading my room for 8€ to include tea & coffee making facilities, more room and a bathrobe and slippers. I know how to live! Anyway, here was my kitchenette…
And even some cutlery to eat the free fruit that was here!
We wandered into Worms for food.
I had cleverly turned the radiator in my room onto high (and put my clothes on it). However, when I walked back into the room it was like a sauna! So I turned the radiator off and rigged the washing line in the only sensible place – across the door to the room. Hopefully there won’t be a fire alarm tonight!
Tomorrow we are riding to Eltville.