I slept well last night, Klaus needed to worship before the air conditioning unit in the middle of the night because he overheated, but overall it was a restful night after the hard day’s cycling.
And today dawned, 18 June, which was my 48th birthday. I had lots of lovely messages on Facebook, WhatsApp etc, which was very nice.
Our hotel booking was without breakfast so we ate the items we had bought last night (a yoghurt for Klaus, some rolls with ham and cheese for me). Most of the butter, ham and cheese were left over so I suggested we bought a couple more rolls and made ourselves some lunch. We didn’t know where we might have a chance to stop for food, so this seemed a good idea. So we took a short walk to the bakery round the corner and bought ourselves some Laugenbrötchen, making them into sandwiches back in the apartment.
Then it was time to extract the velomobiles from the drying room. Since we had put them there, several channels had been dug in the floor which would make the operation to remove both velomobiles more challenging. Fortunately the two workmen carried both out for us.
And then it was time to set off on our 130km ride. As initially planned yesterday, we were expecting to meet up with a member of the Velomobilforum named Thomas, who could meet us at Maximiliansau at 12:00. That gave us a most relaxing 3.5 hours to ride 42km. We should manage that!
Here was our track for the day:
Numbers 1, 2 and 3 are ‘laps’ which I did on my Garmin and you can see the different statistics for those sectors on the ride info at the end of this report.
On our way out of Speyer we took a wrong turn (my fault), where i turned off the fast road just a touch too early and ended up on a major road going in the wrong direction. Klaus navigated our way back to the original track but I think it was at least an extra 3km – a bit annoying when you only started ten minutes before!
Still, we made it back onto the road which would take us to Germersheim, the spiritual home of recumbents and velomobiles. I had visited by Trike four years ago, not it was the turn of my Milan and Klaus’s Quattrovelo to arrive in the hallowed town.
We had both been a bit concerned that the route today would be a repeat of yesterday’s which was rather hard work – but fortunately that was definitely not the case. Today’s route was along the Rhein but on wonderful paths, an example of which you can see below.
We were on the western side of the Rhein and were on very good roads or cycle paths pretty much the whole time. Although this was easy going we kept the pace very relaxed as we had plenty of time before our meeting point with Thomas.
I had found a bakery in Wörth am Rhein which looked a good opportunity for our first cake stop but in fact a few hundred metres before this we found a sign for ‘Kaffee und Kuchen’ and stopped at what turned out to be a lovely local place.
It is some kind of community for protection of birds and they had various birds in aviaries and open areas behind the place. There was home-made cake too, so I took a slice of chocolate-iced sponge.
Klaus had a cheesecake.
We were very relaxed and enjoyed listening to the conversation of the various chaps who turned up on their bikes for a beer or sandwich and then headed off again.
We had arranged to meet Thomas at a McDonalds a few km down the road so headed off there and Klaus had a burger and I had a McFlurry whilst we were waiting.
Soon enough a yellow Milan appeared!
After a short chat we then headed off. Thomas rode at the front as he knew the route and he set a pretty good pace – we were cruising at around 40 km/h quite a lot of the time, with occasional slower patches on curves or with road crossings.
And then… we were in France!
I have to say, the French section seemed just the same as the German, just slightly different signage.
We carried on, zooming along beside the Rhein.
And here we were crossing the mouth of the Sauer river, which I presume is the same Sauer which makes the Sauerland in Germany.
There weren’t that many bridges on this stretch, but here was one.
Then it was time for a refuelling stop. We detoured to a French supermarket and Klaus and Thomas bought some drinks.
Rather than drinking in the supermarket car park we headed back towards the Rhein and found a small amount of shade. Klaus and I ate the sandwiches we had prepared this morning.
As we continued on, we came to a bit of a Velomobile trap!
We had to get out in order to get through, but we are used to it.
We then crossed back over the river at Freistett, having first fallen afoul of a French cycle lane (I had to get out of Millie and drag her onto a busy roundabout as the cycle lane I was on had an impossible series of kerbs so Millie’s nose just jammed).
We were on a busy road and had to ride fast. At some point Thomas peeled off back to his home, and Klaus was behind me as I crossed back into Germany.
Klaus was feeling a bit overheated so we slowed down a bit and enjoyed the final cruising 15km to our hotel in Appenweier, with the hills of the Schwarzwald visible in the distance.
We arrived at our very nice guesthouse and a friendly lady showed us to our room, which was nice. I was desperate for a shower as it had been such a hot day. I also had to tend to the wasp sting that I had near my elbow earlier on in the day – fortunately Klaus had the antihistamines with him, plus some anthisan cream, so it didn’t hurt too much but has gone impressively red (more so since this photo was taken).
So here is today’s info on the ride…
And here were the lap times. Lap 1 was on our way to the first cake at a very relaxed speed. Lap 2 was between the cake place and McDonalds. Lap 3 was with Thomas, and Lap 4 was from the supermarket to our hotel.
And Millie hit a new milestone today – 20,000km!
Our evening meal was in the Stube next to our guest house and was very tasty, although they charged us 1,50 EUR for a glass of tap water!
Tomorrow is another fairly long day at 123km, and it is also expected to be up to 30 degrees, so we plan to leave earlyish to get more of the riding done before it is too hot. But the following days have thunderstorms forecasted so we might start getting wet!
It’s been a good birthday and Klaus and I now have a combined age of 100. We’re feeling quite good despite the numbers!
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