Bodensee 2019 Day 2: Drachenfels to Walluf

Day 2 of our tour started with a slightly cloudy sky but no sign of rain.

Breakfast at the hotel started officially at 9am, which was a bit late as we were both up and dressed by 7:30 and keen to get going as we had 150km to ride today. So instead we packed everything up and then did a bit of maintenance on Millie (fixing the movement alarm to the boom). Various other guests came out to talk to us, and several others said how annoying it was we had to wait till 9 for breakfast.

Then I noticed, at 8:15, that several people were in the dining room – they had opened early. So we went straight to breakfast and enjoyed tea/coffee as well as a reasonable selection of food. No eggs, although the egg cups were there; I guess perhaps eggs are from 9am!

We eventually set off on our journey at 9:15, heading south towards Koblenz, which would be our first planned cake stop at 50km.

We had two crossings of the Rhein planned for today, the first at Rolandseck.

It’s not too expensive for a bike and person!

After this crossing we were back onto the west side of the Rhein, riding down through very familiar names as I have ridden this stretch multiple times. Andernach, Bad Breisig, Remagen, Neuwied. This time, though, we were using a different track; rather than following the Rhein Radweg we were using a route used by Hajo, another velomobile rider. It turned out to be a mix of good main roads (fast) and some better bits of cycle path. All in all it was a much better route that we had taken in the past with the trikes, at least as far as average speed goes.

At one point going through a section of cycle path with fields either side, a salamander/lizard ran across the road in front of me. He was really fast! I managed not to run him over.

We stopped briefly at Remagen to look at the bridge,, or at least remains of the bridge. here they are behind Emily’s hood.

We were soon approaching Koblenz and after a slight detour we found our way across the Mosel and then to Deutsches Eck for the obligatory photo.

Whilst faffing about there a chap came to talk to us. He said someone in his village also has a velomobile – this turned out to be Roland who did a record ride across Germany two years ago. The world is small. I pointed out that he has the same Velomobile as me, only his goes an awful lot faster!

We then rode into Koblenz itself and stopped at a café for the first cake of the day.

After about an hour’s break it was time to continue on. The way out of Koblenz on the main road (rather than the meandering cycle path) had rather a lot of traffic lights, but eventually we ended up passing Rhens, but this time on the other side of the railway – on the main road rather than the appallingly-cobbled cycle path. A big improvement!

We had fast stretches on the main road (cycling between 30 and 40 km/h) interspersed with slower sections on various cycle paths. We had to go a lot slower on the cycle paths of course, although there weren’t too many people about today considering it was a dry Sunday. We saw a lot of bike tourers! They can’t tell by looking at us that we are touring too as we don’t have visible panniers.

Klaus mostly rode ahead on the cycle paths as he had a working horn. I had to regularly shout ‘Vorsicht!’ When going past as it’s surprising how some people wobble across the road with no warning.

We were now on the Mittelrhein section which is a UN World Heritage Site. It’s the section of the Rhein where you have pretty much always got at least one castle in sight. It’s also quite packed with main road (B9), cycle path and railway all sharing a very narrow space, so mostly the cycle path was just along the side of the B9. This was quite good for us.

We had planned to stop for another piece of cake at Oberwesel but it was a bit happening so we carried on, ending up in Bacharach which is where we will overnight on the way back. We enjoyed some apple cake but found the cars clattering their way up narrow cobbled streets rather spoiled the sitting outside.

After Bacharach Klaus and I had a variation in navigation but we met up again in due course and then sailed into Bingen, where we would cross on our second ferry of the day, this one to Rüdesheim.

This ferry cost a bit more too!

From Rüdesheim our route was parallel to the B42 so decent quality but not too busy. I presume the B42 was built as a bypass for the roads we were on at some point. Anyway, we made good progress heading east towards Mainz until we arrived at the town of Erbach where there was a Happening of some sort.

This meant roads were closed and although you can usually get through by bike, our way was blocked by revellers, bouncy castles, beer tents etc. We eventually found our way around the blockage, although this involved going through at least two patches of broken glass on the road. But we survived with our tyres unscathed!

My occasionally-troublesome knee was hurting a bit now so I used less power with my pedalling and turned the motor up. I had run it on 1 or 2 today (out of 5) but did the last 20km or so on number 3 which, with very light assistance from me, allows me to keep up with speedy Klaus and Emily.

Finally we arrived in Walluf and went to our hotel, where I have stayed at least four times and Klaus once before. The bikes were stored out of the way at the back and we, after the shower and clothes washing tradition, walked across the road to Rhein Pavillon for some food.

Washed down by a nice panna cotta.

I was pretty pooped after today – 145km is quite a lot on such variable terrain. We had lots of brick path surfaces, some evil cobbles, some lovely smooth tarmac, some impressive kerbs and potholes, some patches of glass, sand, dirt, mud… but we enjoyed our ride very much and it is impressive to cover so much ground now we are Rhein touring in velomobiles rather than trikes. On trikes our average was about 15 km/h, with the velomobiles it is 25 or more.

Tomorrow we head to Speyer, just 100km (so a nice relaxed day). I’ve stayed in Speyer many times and it’s somewhere Klaus remembers well from his youth, so we are looking forward to it. I will write all about it tomorrow!

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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