Bodensee 2019 Day 13: Viernheim to Bacharach

We didn’t have such a great night’s sleep as it was so hot. The fan had a 2 hour timer and switched off after that; I woke up twice and switched it back on, and Klaus did it once in the night too.

I woke at 5am as an alarm went off, a kind of recurring trumpet fanfare which sou ded for a minute and then paused for 10 minutes. I couldn’t sleep through it so sat outside in the little courtyard that was cooler. It wasn’t till 6:30am that someone switched it off. Very antisocial, although fortunately Klaus was able to sleep through it.

We had our breakfast early and then the hotel manager helped us get the Velomobiles out of the laundry room. Fortunately the day was a lot cooler so the ride ahead of us was more appealing.

Our route for the day started through Klaus’s old stomping ground.

He grew up in Einhausen and went to school in Lorsch and we passed through both of these towns in the first 15km of our tour.

On our way to Lorsch we saw another Velomobile on the other side of the road. It was a white Evo K with red markings on the side, and the guy waved at us, but we don’t know who he is.

In Lorsch we took a minor detour so we could visit the Kloster that I visited last month during Klaus’s class reunion. This time we were there under our own muscle power though! (Well, a bit of battery power for me too).

The sun was rather low as it was 8am so it was tricky to get some good photos. Here is photographer Klaus.

Several groups of schoolchildren walked past whilst we were talking our pictures and they all screamed and chattered excitedly about the weird bikes. We just enjoyed a five minute break.

Our route for the beginning of today was on Landstraßen and Klaus didn’t really know how busy they would be. In fact they were fine, not too much traffic at all, and we were able to make progress at a good speed. We averaged 31k./h for the first 55km.

We saw several storks today, including one nest with two parents and a very scruffy-looking fledgling. We also saw a deer running through a wheat field away from us. But mostly we were out in the countryside with a decent road quality.

After Lorsch and Einhausen we rode through Groß-Rohrheim and then Gernsheim, where we saw the Rhein again. We also saw, in the distance, the hills that we would be riding alongside as we started along the Rhein valley at Wiesbaden.

We were zooming along, riding through Biebesheim, Stockstadt and Riedstadt. We next arrived in Trebur after 55km of riding (with just a couple of wrong turns) and we decided to stop at a bakery for cake.

Tea and cake both eaten, we carried on again. We were both feeling good and pleased to be making so much progress – we only had another 65km to go and it was just 9:30 in the morning.

We rode onwards. I had already noticed a lot of Opel cars around and then saw the signs to Rüsselsheim where they are built, so that made sense!

Some of the roads we were riding along had cycle paths but we tended not to use them as we were so fast, plus there were hardly any cars overtaking us anyway.

This changed a bit as we approached Mainz. The traffic was heavier and it would probably have been good to use the cycle path but it was tricky to get to as we rode through Bischofsheim and in the end we crossed the River Main on the main road, riding in Mainz-Kostheim and Mainz-Kastel, although the main city of Mainz was the other side of the Rhein.

From here we were back on our outgoing route, riding along the river past Wiesbaden, through Schierstein, and then many of the little villages that we have passed on several tours. Walluf, where we stayed on our second night of this tour; Eltville, where we stayed on our SPEZI tour four years ago, Erbach, Hattenheim. With the railway to our right and the B42 to our left, we cycled along this wine region enjoying the sunshine and that it was not quite as hot as yesterday.

We rode into Oestrich-Winkel and then we were heading for Rüdesheim. I decided we should stop for ice cream in Rüdesheim and so stopped at a likely-looking place on the river front. We had some very good value ice creams!

We had plenty of time so also had a cup of tea/coffee whilst we relaxed a bit after our 95km of speedy riding.

We then crossed directly to Bingen, and of course lots of people on the ferry were asking us about the velomobiles.

It’s always good fun crossing the Rhein!

Although this crossing is a bit pricier than OST.

Our outward track on this journey took us on the main road between Bacharach and Bingen but we had ended up using part of the Rhein Radweg right next to the river. I had ridden this several times before and remembered it being not too bad, so I suggested to Klaus that we took this route rather than the road. I could remember it, and it was signposted, but I had also prepared a track for our Garmins last night.

So we came straight off the ferry and turned right onto the cycle path which we followed the entire way to Bacharach. Which was very convenient, and as it was a Thursday there weren’t too many tourists either.

We stopped for a look at the Rhein and Klaus got out two blankets from Emily (to use when she has a puncture and you have to lay her on her side) so we could sit on them, but I got too hot within a few minutes and so we had to give up on that plan. I am also a bit paranoid about ticks, and have found three walking on my arms/legs since I have been in Germany (fortunately not having yet attached themselves to me), so I am a bit reluctant to sit on the grass now.

So we got up again and carried on riding.

The Rhein valley in this area (Bingen to Trechtinghausen to Bacharach, Loreley, St Goar, Boppard etc) is narrow and has a busy road and a railway line squeezed into the narrow valley. The cycle path is also there. Here is Klaus racing a train.

This is also the section of Rhein valley where you can always see at least one castle.

The Radweg was mostly very good, but one of the latter sections did have a bit of a problem for me. There were various drainage channels built across the path, and these were mostly asphalt without too steep a dip, but o the final section between Rheindiebach and Bacharach they instead made very deep ones with cobbles. Fortunately the cobbles were a lighter colour so you could see them in advance, if they weren’t masked by the light and shade pattern of neighbouring trees.

Here is Klaus gingerly crossing one of these.

Millie crunched rather noisily each time I went over one of these. It rather makes one wince to hear the sound! The key is to go as slowly as possible, but not so slowly that you get stuck nose-first into one of these things. I think Millie’s underbody got a bit more remodelling today, but that’s life.

We arrived in Bacharach and made our way to the Hotel Burg Stahleck where we would collect the keys for our Guest House. It was good that we knew this in advance as the Guest House was 400 metres up a hill!

The staff of Hotel Burg Stahleck were really friendly. We had booked the smallest room but the chap gave us a free upgrade as he said the Guesthouse wasn’t very booked tonight. Our room ended up being a very decent size, and we had access to a balcony/terrace area where we hung our clothing after washing it in the shower. In the heat and with the wind it all dried very efficiently.

Here are our statistics for today’s ride:

Here is the entire route so far:

After a bit of a rest we headed down into Bacharach again. It’s a beautiful village with lots of interesting buildings.

Lots of the houses have German phrases painted onto them. They are very attractive!

Our destination was Hotel Burg Stahleck again as when collecting the key I had spotted their cake display case…

I had this nice cake.

Klaus went for this mango cream one.

After our cake and (naturally) tea, we walked the short distance to the Rhein and sat on a bench for a good hour, watching the ships and barges go past.

This ship, the Goethe, is a paddle-steamer. Well, it is driven by paddles both sides, but I think they may have a Diesel engine powering them!

We really enjoyed the time just sitting, chatting and enjoying the view of the river and all the different boats.

Then it was time for dinner. Klaus enjoyed some local wine.

I had a very tasty pork steak.

Klaus had Rinderroulade with Rotkraut.

At least half the other guests at this restaurant were American. I wonder if a tour boat had docked for the night at Bacharach.

I was also interested in the menu’s translation of the different words Kuchen and Torte.

For me, ‘pie’ is more likely to be savoury (“meat pie”, “shepherd’s pie”), although an Apple Pie is of course an exception.

After our very nice meal we walked back to our Guest House. The sun was shining on the castle at the top of the hill beside the mini valley on the way to our Guest House.

Tomorrow we ride back to Drachenfels, staying again at the vineyard. It’s a ride of 100km so should be very easy. Breakfast is late tomorrow, starting at 8:00, so we won’t be on the road as early. But we have plenty of time for the 100km and we know the route!

Here is a full list of all the blog postings on this tour:
Day 1: Kempen to Drachenfels
Day 2: Drachenfels to Walluf
Day 3: Walluf to Speyer
Day 4: Speyer to Appenweier
Day 5: Appenweier to Bamlach
Day 6: Bamlach to Koblenz (CH)
Day 7: Koblenz to Konstanz
Day 8: Konstanz to Tettnang
Day 9: Tettnang to Bad Buchau
Day 10: Bad Buchau to Eislingen
Day 11: Eislingen to Gündelbach
Day 12: Gündelbach to Viernheim
Day 13: Viernheim to Bacharach
Day 14: Bacharach to Drachenfels
Day 15: Drachenfels to Kempen

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