Despite having been on tour for nearly a week, my sleeping schedule has not changed so I still am ready for bed at 9pm and wake up at 5:30am. Today when I looked out of the window horribly early I noticed that it had been raining last night – quite a lot in fact!
So Klaus and I quickly emptied the velomobiles of things that shouldn’t really have been in the rain (such as my shoes and my sun visor) and I tried to drain a bit of the water out of Millie. We had parked under a balcony but the rain had clearly been a bit sideways.
The forecast for today was rain but fortunately not as hot, but we decided it would be good to start early. We had no breakfast at the Ferienwohnung so decided to pick something up on the way. So we started at 7:15am, heading east towards Basel.
Here was our route for the day.
We started of course with a good downhill stretch as our final Kilometer yesterday had been VERY hilly. With wet roads we took it carefully though, as we didn’t want any unexpected slides.
The roads were wet as you can see.
After about eleven kilometres we arrived in Efringen-Kirchen and found a bakery that was open (today was Froneichnam, a public holiday). We found ourselves a decent choice.
Disappointingly they didn’t have any toilets for customers so I decided I would need to find somewhere on the way.
We set off again, heading south east through Märkt, where we saw this rather lovely stork wandering around in a field.
We then rode through the outskirts of Basel, crossing the border into Switzerland. This was a slightly interesting moment for me as I had realised yesterday that I didn’t actually have my passport with me. However there are almost never any checks on the borders and I assumed this would not be a problem (I have never had my passport checked before).
An advantage of being in Switzerland was that in this area the shops were open, despite it being Fronleichnam (Corpus Christi). So I found a supermarket with a toilet and made the most of the facilities!
What seemed like a couple of kilometres later we were back in Germany.
At Riehen the way on the track was blocked by a building site and then we found ourselves at a dead end so had to turn round outside the gates of a garden centre, being watched by six or seven chaps eating their breakfast sitting on a wall.
We rode through Herren and then Warmbach, with the hills slowly getting closer. We took a wrong turn in Rheinfelden and ended up at the bridge across the Rhein to Switzerland, but we didn’t go across.
Our route now was parallel to, and sometimes on, the Bundesstraße B34 which is quite a busy road. Some of the sections to take us away from the main road involved going up fairly steep hills into villages along the way, but we were also at other times directed towards the River and were often following the official Rhein Radweg.
Past Schwörstadt we decided to ignore our track on the Garmins and instead follow the official Rhein cycle path signs, which seemed to be going a nice way. Fairly soon the path stopped being asphalt and then we found some interesting barriers – which we could cycle directly underneath!
We were actually in a kind of nature reserve with loads of birds, ducks and other waterfowl, plus people with very complicated-looking cameras trying to photograph birds whilst two mini-thunderstorms rolled by.
The route today was actually very nice most of the time, with lots of cycling on separate paths beside the river or at least away from the main road.
We went by Wallbach and then we were approaching our planned cake stop at Bad Säckingen.
This is a lovely old town that Klaus had visited previously and we rolled into the centre, looking out for somewhere to have some cake. Our attention was caught by a little coffee shop and the lady said that they didn’t have cakes but they did have crepes – so we each had one of those!
We had just finished our crepes when two people on very obviously well-travelled touring bikes rolled past and stopped to look at the velomobiles. We struck up a conversation with them, discovering they were from Australia and on a world tour. They had started in Vietnam and ridden round a lot of east Asia and then they had travelled to Europe starting in Istanbul and heading their way west. Their final destination is Portugal and they will then fly home from there. We had a lovely chat with Marisa and Mike.
If you would like to take a look at their blog, they are blogging at Two Beyond the Quotidian.
Whilst we were having a second cuppa with them, the heavens opened. There was also thunder, so the threatened thunderstorms had finally arrived. We waited for about fifteen minutes for the worst to pass and then set off in the rain anyway. We only had another 28km to ride.
It did rain but as it was still warm (about 24 degrees) the rain wasn’t too bad. However, we were riding along a quiet path when there was an almighty bang of thunder and a lightning flash at exactly the same time. Very exciting stuff, as we could smell the lightning. Two lady joggers coming the other way looked like they had had a heart attach from the surprise. What a loud bang!
There was a short section where the track did a really sharp turn and looked to me a bit narrow and difficult, so I went on the road instead and met up with Klaus a few minutes later. I didn’t fancy a 25-point-turn, but Klaus is made of braver stuff!
The final stretch of our ride was less rainy and we were heading to Switzerland again… another border crossing without passport! We rode into Waldshut-Tiengen and then crossed the bridge to Koblenz in Switzerland, needing only a few hundred metres until we arrived at the house of Marian and Jos who were kindly putting us up.
The garage was full of velomobiles! Marian and Jos have a QuattroVelo, a Strada and a Mango, as well as several other recumbents and a couple of ‘normal’ bikes too.
They made us very welcome and washed our clothes as well as cooking dinner for us. We are very grateful for their hospitality! We had a lovely evening chatting with them and sharing stories of velomobiles, life in Switzerland, Brexit and more.
Here are our statistics for today.
Tomorrow the weather should be dry in the morning with thunderstorms from midday again. We hope to start fairly early and get on the road to get most of our journey to Konstanz done before the worst of the rain! Tomorrow’s distance is 90km which is also good to know, as we appreciated having a shorter journey today. However, it will have the most climbing of this tour, so might be a bit of a challenge. We shall see!
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