Monday 27 April 2015
This is a map of where we should have been going today…
However we ended up doing a rather different route:
We went down to breakfast and there was a very good spread.
Being a Brit I enjoyed some cereal
Followed by some hearty items to give me energy for the day.
We paid our bills and then it was time to fetch the bikes from the Tiefgarage. Here are Klaus and Simon cementing their Bromance.
We cycled up the ramp from the garage and then stopped – time to put on the waterproofs – it was pouring!
Klaus even put on his waterproof overshoes. That is serious rain protection.
We crossed the bridge out of Worms and then both Joyce and I realised that our decision to wear long trousers and no waterproof overtrousers was the wrong one. We both had wet legs and were already getting cold after just 10 minutes of riding.
Joyce decided to put her overtrousers on over her wet trousers so we stopped under the ramp to the bridge. I realised that my trousers, freshly delivered yesterday by Claudia, were rather too wet and unlikely to dry under the overtrousers because of their material. There was nothing for it but to change into shorts under the bridge ramp. The chaps looked away and my change of clothes was quickly effected – I put shorts on and then the Altura Night Vision overtrousers.
Because I was lazy I decided to put the trousers I had removed into the trailer rather than putting them (wet) into my panniers. This turned out to be rather a mistake, as I discovered later.
It was just a couple of kilometres later than I noticed everything in the trailer was getting rather wet and mucky due to its lack of mudguards. Oops!
At breakfast we had discussed taking an alternative route. The original plan was to retrace our route of Friday but that had involved a detour after Oppenheim which had added 6km to our tally. We looked at the map and thought that riding on the right hand side of the Rhein until Nierstein might be a better option.
However the route seemed to be taking rather a long time – especially when there was a diversion on this side. We went through Nordheim, Wattenheim and Biblis, all of which are under 10 miles from Klaus’s parents’ house where he was this weekend.
We stopped at a bus shelter to do some more map consulting. It seemed as if the plan for the right hand side of the Rhein was not as good as we had hoped so we decided to cross at Gernsheim instead.
The rain and mucky roads had also had rather a dramatic effect on my fellow cyclists, all of whom were slightly deficient in the mudguard department.
Joyce (Mrs Miggins) discovered that her previously always-rattly mudguard did confer some benefits before she threw it in the bin in Bingen…
This is what her jacket looked like.
Simon is a former firefighter so he posed outside the Biblis Feuerwehr during yet another stop to take off/put on waterproofs.
The problem was that the weather was constantly changing and when the rain stopped the waterproof jackets could be a bit warm. I had to roll up my waterproof overtrousers as they stuck to my knees (as I had only shorts underneath) and it was rather annoying.
Eventually we arrived at Gernsheim – after 31km. The ferry was surprisingly expensive at 2,30€ each.
Simon used the opportunity to do a bit of fettling of the trailer hitch.
When we rolled off the ferry we saw a sign to Worms – 19km. So we had done an extra 11. Nice.
We were now feeling hungry and a bit tired and cold so it was time to stop. We detoured to Eich and found an Eiscafé which did food too – although Klaus decided to go for some Apfelstreusel.
I had a baguette.
From Eich we went on the detour that we had done on Friday to end up at Nierstein, then pressed on to Mainz (after briefly losing Klaus after he cycled into a ‘no cycling’ section; we assumed he’d come back but he carried on).
We had thought previously we might stop for cake at Mainz but we were all too wet and cold so decided to press on to Eltville, only 16km further.
We crossed the Theodor Heuss Brücke in Mainz – on the up ramp is this sign for Berlin, 563km away, plus one piece of Berlin Wall.
The section from the Wiesbaden side of the Rhein to Eltville is rather nice, albeit with several sections of loose sand (which ended up all over us due to a paucity of mudguards). Our hands and faces were gritty, we were wet on the outside and over-warm inside the waterproofs, but it was still brilliant fun. Of course us Brits are used to rain and yuck weather but Klaus’s new waterproofs were performing well and he didn’t look like he was hating it the entire time.
Finally we rolled into Eltville and the hotel Alta Villa (where I have previously stayed). The lady was very friendly and helpful and moved some tables about so we could put the bikes under a large umbrella.
After a VERY long shower (I had to wash the filthy trousers that had been in the trailer – but they are still a bit sandy; I wore them for 10 minutes on this tour and am not sure I can wear them again without them going through a machine wash. I also had to wash all my other clothes and attempt to dry my waterproofs) it was time for dinner. We decided to eat in the hotel restaurant for simplicity.
We were given a free starter.
All four of us chose the green bean and buffalo mozzarella soup which was very tasty!
The meals were a bit pricey except for the pizza so I had one of those, as did Simon and Joyce.
Klaus went for a baked camembert which was very attractively presented.
I was so full I couldn’t finish my pizza but Klaus managed to squeeze in a dessert too whilst the rest of us watched him eat.
We were all completely pooped after our ride – it was meant to be 73km but ended up 91.64km at an average speed of 14.42km/h. Moving time was 6 hours 21 minutes, of which I reckon 5 hours were in the rain! We were door to door 8 hours 13 minutes.
So it was an early night for the rest of them. I still had to write up this blog!!!
Today we had a couple of mechanicals – Joyce’s mirror flew off (again) but was rescued and refitted. Klaus lost his rear light (a branch swept it off) but he noticed and rescued it. He has a slightly dodgy wheel bearing in his right wheel and it is now making some funny noises but should complete the tour fine.
Yesterday I lost my hat going over the bridge to Worms but fortunately Simon saw and rescued it (and it didn’t go into the Rhine). Joyce and I have both had our hats blow away several times but they have always (so far) been rescued. I am glad mine didn’t get lost as it was my new SPEZI one.
Tomorrow’s route (to Spay, where I have stayed a half dozen times) should be only 70km. We shall see. At least there is minimal rain forecast!