So how far have I now got?
Koblenz is just over 100 miles away, so pretty near!
And this is my map of today’s ride, detailed below.
I had decided last night not to have breakfast in the hotel but to get something when I was underway. I ate a banana and orange in my room and then checked out at 8am. I spent a few minutes faffing with a new fixing arrangement for my banana bags – my new system worked vvery well for the whole day.
My route today was to Worms which wasn’t all that far away (about 35 miles). However it’s a place I heard of years and years ago when I read a book about Martin Luther and “the Diet of Worms” was a phrase that had fixed in my mind. Now was my chance to visit Worms and see how my diet fared there.
The route along the Rhein looked pretty good today (the Bikeline book showed it as mostly tarmac) and the sun was shining so I set off in the cooler morning air feeling very pleased to be under way.
The first few miles were along the Rhein Deich (dyke) and there were lots of lakes and pools either side of the path.
I rode through Otterstadt which was notable for having hundreds of manky old caravans parked on the side of the road throughout the town and out the other side towards Waldsee. No idea what they were about.
I was making very good progress and was soon approaching a dock area across the river from Altrip (I think it was Bruhl’s chimneys and buildings I could see in the distance).
At Altrip there was flooding in the gardens near the dyke.
And if the weather had produced a sudden freeze these football pitches would make a great ice rink!
They were trying to pump the water out back into the river but that small pipe ain’t going to overcome the might of Vaterrhein!
The path took a short trip through some woodland. It was clear that the water had been over this path – there was mud and silt on the tarmac and the foliage either side was also muddy. When I stopped to take this photo I became a meal for several insercts, one of which bit me on my eyelid (which is now a bit swollen up, very attractive!)
I was making good, speedy progress and decided to wait till Ludwigshafen for my first, cake, stop (about 18 miles). The route approached Ludwigshafen through Mundenheim and there were clear signs of a town – tram tracks and pink cycle patths.
The route gave me an option to go straight into Ludwigshafen or a detour along the riverside. I went for the detour, thinking it would be more interesting. As I arrived at Luitpoldhafen I saw this rather nice clock tower thingie (telling the wrong time).
And then I was on the riverfront – with the Rhein only 10cm below the level where I was cycling. And evidence everywhere of flooding again.
I saw this bird stretching his wings (cormorant?)
I enjoyed the two mile route along the front but then had to cross Luitpoldhafen – fortunately there was a bridge with a ramp this time (no stairs to climb!)
The view from the top of Luitpoldhafen (dock).
Once over the bridge I started cycling along the promenade which heads to the centre of Ludwigshafen. By the way, this is the second Ludwigshafen I have visited on this tour – the first was on Bodensee.
This is the Konrad-Adenauer-Brücke. That man sure gets a lot of bridges and roads named after him!
Looking across the river at Mannheim and a church.
A barge just squeezing under the Kurt-Schumacher-Brücke.
After a bit of following-my-nose (which involved cycling through the car park of a posh shopping mall) I found my way to the pedestrianised centre of Ludwigshafen and stopped at a coffee bar for a cake.
I had a look at what was in their cake cabinet and found a rather unusual-looking chocolate-coloured mountain. I asked for one of those (I think she said it was called a Splitter) and a cuppa.
The cuppa came after 10 minutes but the Splitter still hadn’t arrived after 20. I went in to complain (as I had now drunk all my tea) and a chap said they’d give me a free tea and the Splitter would be out shortly. Which it was. And it was rather larger than I had thought!
Inside was a mixture of cake and cream and chocolate.
Despite having had only a banana and orange for breakfast, I could barely eat a third of this before I was full. So I wrapped it up in a serviette and put it in a plastic bag in my pannier, hoping it would survive a hot day’s cycle ride and maybe I could have some more later. As I write this at 7:30pm it’s sitting on the draining board on the kitchenette in my room and I still don’t think I can manage it!
I vaguely wondered how expensive this enormous cake would be (there were no prices on the display cabinet). I am still none the wiser as they told me they’d have to charge me for my original tea and the bill only came to 3,20€ so that’s cracking value for two teas and a cake the size of a house!
It was time to head off again, it was 11:30am and the sun was high overhead and very hot. Cycling along is cooling in the breeze and I needed that!
The route went past the enormous BASF factory on the north side of Ludwigshafen which seems almost as large as the town. And they’re hiring, folks (although only for mini-jobs of 450€ per month).
I liked this yellow handle fixed to a lamp post for cyclists waiting at traffic lights.
And then at a crossing in front of me appeareed a recumbent bike. I think it might have been an HP Velotechnik Grashopper. He waved at me, then whizzed off ahead and I couldn’t catch him (two wheels faster than three). Plus he only had one pannier!
The route eventually left the BASF works behind and headed out into open grassland, although the A6 motorway crossed on this bridge.
This is very representative of the sort of views I have had for most of today – open farmland, grasses and some patches of flooding in fields.
There were several reminders that the Rhein is sttill high.
I whizzed along on the smooth tarmac past Petersau and then came to a fiddly bit at Oberel Busch where the dyke did a zigzag. The official cycle path went straighter but I decided not to use this!
There was no problem riding on top of the dyke in the zigzag pattern. There were loads of other cyclists about as it was such a lovely day (and a Saturday).
And then I came across this.
To turn around involved a three mile detour, then a ride along the very busy B9 roach which I didn’t fancy. I wonder how deep that water is?
I could see that bikes had been through it (there were wet tyre marks coming my way) but I didn’t know whether to risk it. I sat and waited for a minute, thinking.
Then I saw someone on the other side start riding through – oh good, I could get an idea how deep it was. It was a young girl and she was going quite fast and shrieking as she made an impressive bow wave with her front tyre.
She arrived at the other side where I was waiting and I asked how deep it was. She said her feet had got wet but that might be because she was going a bit fast. She thought my luggage would be alright.
I didn’t fancy the detour, especially as I was so close to my destination for the day, so I decided to give it a go. The girl said she’d come with me and she took a couple of photos of me.
It started getting deeeper.
Here is my helper!
We still had a fair way to go and it was clearly deeper up ahead.
At this point I put my phone back in my bags (near the top) and concentrated on cycling stteadily through this flooded section. Which got deeper and deeper – my bags were now dragging through the water slightly. I held them up a bit with both arms, trusting the trike would run roughly straight on its own. Which it did, mostly – I had to steer a couple of times at which point the bag would drop its bottom back into the water. My heels were dipping into the water on every pedalstroike and I was cycling over fast numbers of drowned worms, eugh! The girl on the mountain bike was chattering away – I suppose she wouldn’t see a waterborne recumbent trike very often.
After what felt like an awfully long time the water level began to sink as I headed out the other side of this floodeed section. Here is the view looking back.
I stopped when at dry land again and talked to the two lads who were sitting on a treestump there (I think they were with the girl). They recommended I had myself an ice cream in the centre of Worms which seemed like an excellent plan!
A little bit further on there was a split in the route where I could go directly to Worms centre or do the riverside route. I was asked by a group of cyclists whether the route to Ludwigshafen was clear (I explained about the one major issue) and then asked them if the route to Worms was clear and they said it was. So I decided to do the scenic, waterside route.
The Niebelungenbrücke had a wonderful tower!!
The route signs showed me that I needed to use this underpass. I don’t think so!
I carried on and soon found a way across the road to where I needed to go. This church was visible as I rode into town.
I found the Asgard Hotel easily enough and was pleased to have got there so early (1:45).
Here are the statistics for my ride
Imperial (sorry it’s fuzzy!)
My ride total is about 510 miles now.
I hadn’t eaten much today (only a third of a Splitter and a banana) so, for the first time in my life!!!, ordered room service – a pizza, excellent value att 6€.
After a shower and clothes washing session it was time to explore Worms.
Here is the Dom St Peter, hiding behind some buildings.
It’s a gorgeous building.
And inside it wwas blessedly cool!
Some altar boys were practising for some kind of event, speaking over the PA system saying their names, their ages and that they were happy to serve.
Despite being built in the 11th/12th centuries this cathedral has an App!
I then wandered to the main shopping street which was having a special night with shops open until midnight. There were loads of stalls being set up and some PAs and all sorts of stuff so I expect it’ll be great fun – but I shall be asleep!
I was tempted by a concert (Beethoven’s 3rd symphony) in the Dreifaltigkeitskirche but decided against it – I would be too tired!
I found one of the usual German shopping malls but this one had several sand sculptures in progress!
I refreshedd myself with an Amerikaner and some tea.
I then went out walking to find the Luther Denkmal. I thought it was this statue at the end but it wasn’t (it was some kind of wartime structure).
I found it in the end – the biggest Luther memorial in the world, apparently!
I returned to my room to write up my blog and then went out to buy a salad from the local supermarket (a Kaufland which is roughly equivalent to Tesco, I think). I didn’t feel particularly hungry and still had that Splitter to finish, although I think that might be a task beyond me. I expect a day in the warm has not improved it either!
Tomorrow I plan to stay in Walluf which is near Eltville-am-Rhein (where I have stayed before). It is feasible that the following day I could reach Koblenz although that would be a pretty long day’s ride and I think there may be flooding issues.
Tomorrow is also the day that my path ought to cross with that of JenM who is doing this ride the other way (uphill!) She texted me to say she is up a hill in Rüdesheim but has had a difficult day – as I will be doing her day in reverse on Monday I need to find out where I may need to do some diversions, etc.
The forecast for the next few days includes some electric storms and up to 20mm of rain as part of them. Those who live near the river will not be pleased with this news!