Tag Archives: Worms

Ko2Ko – Worms to Walluf

How far have I got? Here’s the map!
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I enjoyed my hearty breakfast at the Asgard Hotel – there was a lot more variety than usual which was good. I was all ready to check out at 8:30 and went down to the Tiefgarage under the hotel to collect Alfie.

I saw this car which made me think of Wowbagger, my cycling chum.

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I put the panniers on Alfie and then heard a strange noise – thunder! There were flashes of lightning and I could see rain out of the garage barrier. Oh dear! I decided to put off leaving and see if the storm passed.

I left Alfie in the Tiefgarage and went to sit in the hotel lobb, looking at the rain. There was a lot of it!

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After forty minutes, which felt like aaaaages, the rain had eased enough that I thought it worth setting out. It was still raining but I wanted to get underway and as the day was reasonably warm (16 degrees) the rain wouldn’t be too chilling.

This is a map of today’s ride. You will see there is a meander on the Rhein that I didn’t bother with – I was going for speed rather than authenticity!

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I headed out into the rain, wearing shorts and a windproof jacket (I didn’t want my waterproof as I thought it’d be too warm). I followed the official route out of Worms to the north along the river. This barge was going the other way – it looked almost underwater!

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The route went through a large industrial estate and then hugged the Rhein river. However there were a few post-flooding issues on the river, this pile of driftwood being a rather notable one (I had to wheel Alfie over it and got mucky feet as a result).

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More frequently there were patches of silty mud left on the tarmac from flooded paths. Here is a three wheel mud trail.

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I had decidedd last night to not follow the full Rhein cycle route because lots of it was on unmade paths and I didn’t fancy mucky surfaces in this rain. the B9 road (equivalent to a UK A-road) went pretty much directly to Mainz and I thought I might try to ride roughly parallel with that road on quieter roads. However with the rain lashing down I just went for speed and barrelled along on the B9. It wasnt the nicest of route choices but the miles were going by nice and quickly.

Then I came to a junction where there was a No Cycling sign on the continuation of the B9. In that case I’d have to detour so I headed west of the road to Guntersblum.

From there I took a narrow track towards Ludwigshöhe – and it’s only when checking with the map as I write this that I see it’s an official alternative route for this stretch of the Radweg. I was just making it up as I went along!

We were now in vine country.

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The rain was easing slightly too, which was a relief.

At Ludwigshöhe I climbed up a little bit (the name höhe gives that away!) and got a good look down on the flatlands towards the Rhein.

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Thiis was an enjoyable bit of the ride, much quieter than the B9 had been, and with the rain a bit lighter I felt more inclined to stop and take a look around now and again.

I rode through Dienheim and then approached Oppenheim which had the impressive Katharinenkirche and Ruine Landskron standing out on the skyline.

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From here I rode through Nierstein and followed the offical route (which I had now rejoined) up some squiggly back lanes and then along more vines. This was all rather nice cycling.

Eventually I got to Nackenheim where I crossed the railway and then saw one of the familiar “Hochwasser” signs barring entry to the cycle path. Never mind, I thought, I’ll just ride on the B9 again, it’s not that far to go. So I got on the B9 and found it was rather a different kettle of fish. Cars were constantly sounding their horns at me and whizzing past – clearly this was a no cycling bit of road (although I hadn’t seen a sign). There was no escape though and I had to ride on it for 2.5km until the next junction. However I was able to look down at one point on the cycle path and it was a huge pile of mud so that wasn’t a reasonable option. (Looking at the map now shows an alternative route to the west which was probably rather nice). The reason I didn’t notice these alternative routes at the time is that my Bikeline book was put away because of the rain.

Anyway, I pulled off the B9 at Bodenheim and then followed my nose until I joined up with Mainzer Straße which heads (unsurprisingly) for Mainz. I assume the B9 is a bypass for this road.

After I had left Bodenheim and was in amongst vineyards again I checked my phone and saw I had a text messaage from JenM. She said that she was crossing the bridge into Mainz and suggested meeting at Laubenheim. That happened to be the next village, just two miles away, so I texted her to say that was a great plan and we should find a café.

I arrived in Laubenheim and discovered a lack of cafés (it was Sunday so the bakery was shut). Jen had sent me a message to say she was waiting on the cycle path under a bridge but I had just been under a bridge and not seen her. I texted her to say I’d aim for the centre of the village and when I got there I checked down a few roads. Then I heard her calling my name – we had met up! Jen had ridden from the Hook of Holland and I had ridden from Bregenz and with the marvels of SMSing we had found ourselves at a crossroads in a bakery-free town.

I flagged down a passing cyclist and asked him if there was anywhere for food. .He gave me directions to a Gaststätte and I thanked him; Jen remarked how useful it is to be able to speak the lingo (she doesn’t have much German).

We followed the instructions and seemed to be going through a random housing area but suddenly there was the Gaststätte and it had some outside seating (hurrah, as I was soaking and didn’t want to sit on a real chair but only plastic).

Jen and I settled in for a spot of Gulaschsuppe and I had a cup of tea. Both were very warming!

We exchanged stories about flooding along the cycle path and Jen was telling me some of her interesting experiences in finding campsites. I definintely like the hotel option for myself!

And here we are, both looking a trifle damp from the rain!

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After we settled up and got ready to leavae and go our separate ways I shanghaied the bus driver into taking a photo of us both on our trust steeds!

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With that we were off, Jen heading to Andermatt (about 500 miles), me with just 65ish to Koblenz.

Whilst we were having lunch the weather had improved and the sun was now shining and the rain had stopped, hurrah! I was directly onto the cycle route from Laubenheim and it trundled me in along the riverside towards Mainz.

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The cycle path along the riverfront in Mainz was in places closed because of high water but there were loads of pedestrian promenades I could use instead. Lots of people were out and about on bikes and walking – the tradiitional German Sunday afternoon exercise.

As I approached the Theodor-Heuss-Brücke I saw this Berlin distance marker and a bit of former Wall.

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Crossing the Rhein after the Mein has flowed into it.

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Looking towards Koblenz.

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I got in a bit of a muddle trying to get down off the bridge (my GPS track was wrong here) but eventually found my way to the riverside on the east bank.

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Looking across at Mainz.

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The cycle path on this side was very good, although the Rhein was still making its presence felt at times.

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I rode along the riverfront on a decent-quality path, pootling through Schierstein and then whizzing along the road before arriving at Walluf, where I had booked a hotel, Zum Neuen Schwan.

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Here’s my statistics for today in imperial

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And metric.

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These photos are taken in my room after I’d removed the heart rate monitor. I was sitting on the bed at the time so I’m not sure how I was doing 7.9mph! Satellite weirdness, perhaps.

The hotel room is really nice – it’s a new build hotel (the original Schwan Hotel is next door, closed up and looking rather forlorn). I had plenty of room to strew all my stuff about which was handy as once again the rain had made its way inside the Banana Bags a little.

And I discovered part of the reason why:

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Some small holes in the bottom of the bags! One hole I can get my finger through on one side, two pencil-sized holes on the other. Not good news! I will repair the bags with insulating tape when they are dry but have sent an email to Radical Design to see if they have any suggestions.

It was time to have a bit of a walk around the small village of Walluf.

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I was really hungry so ate a couple of bars of chocolate back in my room but couldn’t resist this:

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I had great fun watching this dog swimming against the current to fetch a stick – he was paddling like mad and stayed pretty much in the same place!

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More views of Walluf

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I booked myself a hotel in Koblenz for tomorrow. It’s a 55 mile ride but on familiar routes (I’ve ridden most of this section at least four times) and is always really enjoyable.

I went across the road to the Rheinterrasse restaurant for a Jägerschnitzel and Pommes. It’s also with salad but they always bring the salad as an appetiser; in a way I’d prefer it at the same time as the main meal but don’t want to perturb them!

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It was wonderful eating a meal whilst looking out on this view!

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So tomorrow is the last ‘official’ day of my tour as I should reach my destination. I think I shall keep going for a couple more days though, providing the weather forecast stays reasonable. There’s a small amount of rain forecast for tomorrow but hopefully no more thunderstorms!

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Filed under Cycle Tours, Cycling in Germany, Konstanz to Koblenz, Recumbent Trikes

Ko2Ko – Speyer to Worms

So how far have I now got?

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Koblenz is just over 100 miles away, so pretty near!

And this is my map of today’s ride, detailed below.

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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.

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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).

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At Altrip there was flooding in the gardens near the dyke.

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And if the weather had produced a sudden freeze these football pitches would make a great ice rink!

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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!

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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!)

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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.

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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).

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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.

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I saw this bird stretching his wings (cormorant?)

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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!)

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The view from the top of Luitpoldhafen (dock).

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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!

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Looking across the river at Mannheim and a church.

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A barge just squeezing under the Kurt-Schumacher-Brücke.

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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!

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Inside was a mixture of cake and cream and chocolate.

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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.

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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!

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The route eventually left the BASF works behind and headed out into open grassland, although the A6 motorway crossed on this bridge.

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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.

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There were several reminders that the Rhein is sttill high.

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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!

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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.

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Oh dear!

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.

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It started getting deeeper.

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Here is my helper!

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We still had a fair way to go and it was clearly deeper up ahead.

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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.

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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!!

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The route signs showed me that I needed to use this underpass. I don’t think so!

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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.

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I found the Asgard Hotel easily enough and was pleased to have got there so early (1:45).

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Here are the statistics for my ride

Imperial (sorry it’s fuzzy!)

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Metric
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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€.

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After a shower and clothes washing session it was time to explore Worms.

Here is the Dom St Peter, hiding behind some buildings.

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It’s a gorgeous building.

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And inside it wwas blessedly cool!

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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.

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Despite being built in the 11th/12th centuries this cathedral has an App!

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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!

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I found one of the usual German shopping malls but this one had several sand sculptures in progress!

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I refreshedd myself with an Amerikaner and some tea.

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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).

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I found it in the end – the biggest Luther memorial in the world, apparently!

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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!

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Filed under Cycle Tours, Cycling in Germany, Konstanz to Koblenz, Recumbent Trikes