Bodensee 2019 Day 8: Konstanz to Tettnang

After a good night’s sleep, it was time for the household of velomobilists (6 of us) to have breakfast, and once again Anna had prepared a great spread!

Before setting off we did a few bits of bike maintenance. I pumped up Millie’s tyres (as I had guessed, they had reduced from 110psi to about 70) and Christoph helped put gaffer tape over the hole underneath for the rear wheel, and he also gaffer taped some dangling cabling that had come adrift by my shoulder over the week’s riding.

And then Anna, seeing I admired her lift handle, popped into the house and got some rope and tied me one too.

She said the rope was a little short so the width is not ideal for my hand, but it is an improvement and so far doesn’t seem to be flapping around annoying the rear brake light. I will get hold of some longer rope and then attempt to recreate her knot.

Klaus also had a sit in Anna’s DF-XL.

It was time to leave, and so we said our goodbyes and offered once again our thanks for the hospitality of Christoph and Anna. We all had a lovely time with them.

As they live on a VERY steep hill we started our cycle tour for the day by walking and pushing our velomobiles up the hill…

At the top we jumped in and headed off on our tour around Bodensee to Tettnang.

Here is our route for the day:

I don’t entirely remember who sent me the route but this person definitely prefers riding on main roads. We followed the road to Konstanz and this was nice and quiet, but then after Konstanz and crossing back into Switzerland at Kreuzlingen we were following the main road around the lake and it was quite busy in places.

We also found that one of the roads on our route had disappeared and some new road building was taking place. This involved some last-minute Garmin map-reading which meant we had a couple of minor detours. One issue with the Garmin map, at least on the Edge 1000, is that it doesn’t rotate that quickly so if you do several roundabouts together you can get a bit lost. Secondly, if you go off track it decides to tell you which way you should go, just at the moment you want to see the original map. This really annoys me as it suddenly starts navigation mode when I just want to look at the map as it was before and work out the best way to join back up with the official course.

We routed along some very nice cycle paths beside the railway on the way through Konstanz and then headed down some Fahrradstrasse within the centre of Konstanz. It meant is was surprisingly easy to progress through this town.

After crossing into Switzerland we went through Münsterlingen, Güttingen, Kesswil, Uttwil and then arrived at Romanshorn. I fancied stopping for a loo opportunity plus a cuppa. Tim and Uli weren’t sure if we would find anything suitable that wasn’t ruinously expensive but they didn’t reckon with my cake radar. In Romanshorn I took the lead, went off track and found a café almost immediately that had cake!

We sat there for quite a while, chatting away. Only Klaus and I had cake – Tim and Uli thought it was too early after breakfast. What were they thinking?

This café will remain in our minds because of the ‘bitte öffnen’, ‘bitte schliessen’ signs. Both signs were on the door to the outside seating area, which made sense, when I went to the loo I was a bit surprised to see a ‘bitte öffnen’ sign on the toilet seat. Of course I had to open it to use it! But then once opened, I saw the ‘bitte schliessen’ sign on the inside of the loo lid. So all became clear.

In the end the bill for two cakes, three coffees and a tea (which was actually free) came to 25 EUR so it wasn’t too terrifying.

The café owner chatted to us for a good ten minutes before we left. Then he gave us instructions how to get onto the cycle path behind the railway – Tim was confident enough that he could find the more scenic and less trafficy route which would be an improvement as this Saturday there was much more traffic than usual.

So we headed off and Tim navigated us to this cycle path which turned out to be really good.

Unfortunately it also started to rain. This actually got quite heavy for a while but as we kept going at a reasonable pace not so much rain actually came inside to make us wet.

This route crossed the railway several times and we often had to wait at the level crossing – it seems there are quite a lot of trains on this route.

We rode through Arbon and then Steinach and Horn. We then rolled along the waterfront in Rorschach, which looks like a lovely place. However the lake level of Bodensee was very high, you can see the water lapping at the edge. Of the promenade and they have put out warning tape so people don’t just step off into the water I guess.

We passed the airport for St Gallen and then had to do a very high bridge crossing (very steep!) to cross over the A1 motorway on our way to Rheineck. We crossed it again and then found ourselves in Austria!

Tim had suggested at the beginning of today that we eat in Austria as it is cheaper than Switzerland, and he said the Restaurant Glashaus is very good. Once we had crossed into Austria he took us across some very empty marshy areas on small lanes with lots of wiggles in the track, and eventually we ended up at Glashaus which had a wonderful view of the lake.

We parked the velomobiles and the sun came out!

We ordered a two course lunch (soup followed by pizza) and enjoyed the improving weather and looking at the view.

I took a few photos and for one of them a sparrow flew across just as I was taking the picture. So I zoomed in on the picture and have the bird in flight!

After our email Tim and Uli had a bit of a paddle in the lake.

It was time to head onward, with just 50km to go. The weather had now really improved, the threatened thunderstorms looked rather unlikely!

The first few kilometres were on a rather rough road surface which makes everything inside the Velomobile rattle. But the view was worth it!

We then crossed the river Rhein where it flows into Bodensee and then went into the town of Hard, where we did another detour to pick up the nice cycle path again. We passed a huge row of old fire engines, all painted bright red and full of people waving at us. There was even an old Model T fire engine!

We then crossed the Bregenzer Ache, a river the drains into Constance, and found ourselves amongst rather a lot of bicycle and pedestrian traffic as we made our way round the bottom of Bodensee.

We arrived in Bregenz and it was a lovely place! We rode through quite a lot of bicycle and pedestrian traffic which meant our group of 4 velomobiles often split up with quite large gaps between us.

At Kaiser Strand we all stopped to enjoy the view and walk around a bit (to improve the circulation to the feet).

It was time to carry on. I was keen for my shower so declined the offer for us to visit Lindau. We crossed the border into Germany at Unterhochsteg and trundled along past the holidaymakers through Wasserburg. There was a huge group of cyclists who stopped in the middle of the road to photograph us, but fortunately we didn’t have to go past them but diverted to Nonnenhorn. From there we rode to Kressbronn and then headed away from Bodensee on our way to Tim’s house in Tettnang.

There was a REALLY long and steep hill just after we crossed the Argen. I certainly appreciated my motor for this, especially as my knees were hurting again. This seems to happen now on the longer days of riding (longer in time, not necessarily distance) and might also be related to the stop/start nature of today’s riding.

Ass we arrived in Tettnang we stopped at Lidl to buy our food for the evening. We then managed to park 3 of the 4 velomobiles in Tim’s garage.

The final velomobile, that belonging to Uli, was disguised with a green tarpaulin and hidden behind some shrubbery!

Here are the statistics for today.

After the traditional showering and freshening up, Tim and Uli started preparing dinner. The plan was to have Käzespätzle but Tim discovered he didn’t have any Spätzle at home so instead we had chow mein noodles with cheese and onions. And the dessert was my favourite, Kaiserschmarren, although there was a slight miscalculation of quantity and it filled the pan before it had been chopped up.

The finished product was fantastic, though!

We have had a very good day, particularly with regard to the weather which was much better than we had expected. The forecast shows it will get much warmer over the next few days which isn’t entirely good news; really the temperature today was perfect at 23 degrees, but it’ll be 30 in two days’ time. Prepare for complaints about us being too hot!

Tomorrow we are riding to Bad Buchau which is the middle of nowhere but not very far, 68km in total. Tim and Uli will be accompanying us, and Uli will stay with us in our Ferienwohnung as well, so our little band of velomobiles will continue for another day before the Niederrheiners are left on their own to return to Kempen!

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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