Kempen-Usedom-Berlin-Kempen Day 2: Bad Bentheim to Oldenburg

We slept well in the very quiet Ferienwohnung and I was woken by birdsong. Unfortunately when looking at the news we learned about the attack in London, another sobering event.

It had rained very heavily overnight but the bikes were well protected under a roof overhang beneath our Ferienwohnung (the first floor of a private house):

We had ordered breakfast for 08:00 although were ready for it much earlier – cyclists get hungry! The landlady brought it up to us in a basket and we enjoyed munching our way through egg, bread rolls, cheese, ham, grapes, yoghurt and a fruit drink. 

This was a very good option as a place to stay although 2km from Bad Bentheim. Tonight we will be in a rather different location, a hotel in Oldenburg very near the railway station and the booking notification said that some guests can find the traffic noise noticeable. We shall see!

This was the track prepared for today’s ride:

We planned to stop for a proper lunch in Lindern, which is about 2/3 of the way, and would find somewhere for cake earlier if necessary (of course it will be necessary!!!)

Klaus was checking the figures for yesterday’s ride and we had a section of 25km where our average speed was over 35km/h. Wow!!

Anyway, off we went in cloudy conditions and about 15 degrees C. This is actually pretty ideal for cycling as it’s not too hot in a Velomobile. As we left the Ferienwohnung the landlady’s Labrador decided to lick all the sun cream from Klaus’s hands.

Our route took us the same way we had walked yesterday, into Bad Bentheim and then down a hill to pick up speed which we held onto as we left Bad Bentheim, passed the camp site from last week and headed along the familiar road.

Today was a route crossing lots of rivers. The first was the Vechte, then quite soon after we crossed the Ems, then the Dortmund-Ems-Kanal, then the Speller Aa, then the Große Aa, then the Hase.

We were keeping up a very good pace, quicker even than yesterday, as the roads were lovely and smooth and, being a Sunday, there was very little traffic.

Our plan was to stop at 40km for cake, then lunch at 90km, our destination being 145km away. We passed several Bauencafés which undoubtedly would have had good cake but they were too soon!

We also saw a bit more wildlife this time, including a rabbit, a mouse zooming across the road and several birds of prey.

The 40km passed very quickly indeed and it was soon time to look for a bakery for some cake. Klaus has been improving his cake radar since hanging out with me and it was he who spotted the bakery in Freren. They had a very nice chocolate mousse cake and I also went for some Tetley English Tea with milk (i have some teabags with me).

We stopped for perhaps 45 minutes in total, then headed off again, keeping our speed very high.

What I have found with Millie is that my style of riding (constant power = long distance, rather than explosive power = sprinting) means that it takes me quite a while to get up to speed, but once I am there then I can maintain 35-40 km/h without too much difficulty. Consequently long roads without junctions/sharp turns suit me much more. Even better if they start with a downhill so I can easily get up to speed. We had several of those today.

What is also noticeable is that my new brakes are so much more effective that I can ride faster without being terrified of disaster if something happens. So big thanks to for swapping them for me, it was definitely worth it!!

Today we also had headwind or wind from the side, rather than yesterday’s tailwind or side wind. But fortunately with the Velomobiles it doesn’t create too much of an issue, although it has left me looking rather pink-cheeked from wind burn today.

As we were passing a bus stop we saw a man there with a trike, an HP Velotechnik Scorpion. We stopped to chat – he had a puncture but didn’t need any help and wasn’t a particularly chatty chap. We wished him well and continued on.

We passed into Landkreis Cloppenburg and it was here that we noticed the houses looking very posh. We cycled through a village called Wachtum where all the houses were massive mansions and relatively new-looking; they must have cost a fortune!

We were still pedalling really well with our average over 30km/h, but mindful of the schedule we decided to stop at Lindner for lunch.

We arrived at a likely-looking restaurant but discovered very quickly there were a group of drunk Germans sitting outside. There are celebrations in Germany for Pfingsten (Whitsun) and I think they had been imbibing quite a lot already! They were good natured, if a little loud, so we sat down and ordered our drinks.

Once again I was given a tea timer for my tea!

We also had some exceptionally tasty asparagus soup.

We stayed about 45 minutes and then decided to head off. Klaus said he could feel his legs so he would go a bit slower. Of course he didn’t, we kept up the speed in the hope we could maintain an average speed of over 30 km/h. This meant our regular cruising speed was between 35 and 40, with slower sections in towns, at junctions, traffic lights etc.

Generally the traffic has been very good, there haven’t been that many cars and those that have passed us have given us lots of room. However we both experienced a very bad driver, one of those people who you just wish would give up driving and get a bike. It was the driver of a silver Passat who found himself behind me as I was going up a bit of a hill. My speed had dropped to about 25 km/h because of the hill but the road wasn’t particularly narrow and he could get past me. He hooted at me a few times and hung back behind me, eventually deciding to overtake when some motorcyclists were coming the other way. The lead motorcyclist had to shift right over to the side of the road and he offered a universally-understood hand gesture to the Passat driver who had hooted his horn at me as he passed me. Five seconds later he was behind Klaus, again hooting, which gave Klaus a bit of a shock as he hadn’t expected that. We were both relieved when the driver had passed us both, but this was the only example of bad driving today so that is a win.

I was very proud of our speed today, so much so that I managed to take this photo when underway of my Garmin.

Klaus admitted to having an open bag of Haribo in Celeste and he was eating Gummibärchen. I asked for one so he held one out to me and I took it – we were both doing 35 km/h at the time so it was quite a feat. He gave me two more and the we we back on busier roads so sensible cycling took precedence.

About five minutes after I had congratulated Klaus on his excellent route-planning at about 130km ridden, our perfect sequence of roads turned into something rather different. First of all a road we turned on to had a very rough surface with potholes, bumps, different sections of asphalt and general ups and downs. This lasted for 7 very bumpy kilometres. We were both riding carefully as with the low vantage point in a Velomobile it’s hard to see all the bumps in the road, especially with dappled sunlight. This meant our overall average, which had been at a very impressive (for us) 30.2km/h, started to reduce.

Finally, finally, we reached the end of this road and turned onto decent asphalt. The speed increased again as we tried to claw back our faster average speed. And then we turned a corner and hit another section of brick-paved road, this time 1.5km long.

This stuff is mega bumpy and the pattern in the bricks sometimes drags the back wheel around a bit. 

One of my photos rather shows the vibration when cycling along – look at this wonky pylon!

Millie had developed some rattles (later discovered to be bits of luggage that had redistributed themselves around the chain tunnel) and I had just vowed to find an alternative route sat the next possible alternative when we reached the end and back onto nice smooth fast road again. Phew!

This road was alongside the Küstenkanal; we had earlier ridden over the Südradde and the Soeste rivers so it has been a day of lots of different rivers, ending up with the Hunte that flows through Oldenburg.

Anyway, after the very slow sections of bumpy road we had lost a lot of time, the average speed on my Garmin had dropped from 30.0 to 29.5. My Garmin actually under reads as it keeps logging when you are stationary (this all gets sorted out when I upload to Strava) but Klaus’s is more accurate and he had 30.2 where I had 30.0. We clearly had time to make up if we wanted the whole ride to average more than 30 so we absolutely whizzed along on the last 8km into Oldenburg, knowing our hotel was in the middle of the town (meaning traffic lights and slow riding). I even took off my baseball cap to ensure less wind resistance.

As we stopped at traffic lights 997 metres from our hotel I asked Klaus what speed he had on his Garmin. Mine said 29.8. The good news was that his said 30.3 and when we rolled into the hotel car park it was 30.2, so that was our total speed for the 145km. Wow!!!

The hotel had a large covered parking area for bicycles but the receptionist suggested we put our bikes in amongst the bins as they were more hidden away. So we did.

We arrived at 15:30 and discovered that the hotel not only has free tea and coffee but also free ice cream. So we had to have one…

We were congratulating ourselves on our fast ride and then we looked st Strava and noticed that Jochen rode 719.1km yesterday in 25 hours. Somewhat more impressive!!

here is a screenshot of Klaus’s Strava for today:

And this is his report: 

Wir sind in Oldenburg/NDS. Eigentlich wollten wir es heute etwas ruhiger angehen lassen…eigentlich😉. Helen hat ihren Milan immer besser im Griff und auf den langen Geraden geht sie ab wie Lucy.

We went for a walk to Oldenburg centre to find some food. We walked past the main station which had hordes of bikes parked outside.

There is a big harbour in the centre.

We stopped at Peter Pan’s burger bar and had some very tasty burgers. Mine was a ‘Pulled Peter’ so I think I’m getting lucky, if I can find him. 

I did find that Oldenburg felt a little bit awkward at times. I think as a lady walking around on my own I would have felt a bit uncomfortable, and that’s not usual for Germany.

We returned to the hotel and availed ourselves of the free drinks – tea, coke etc.

Tomorrow we are heading to Glückstadt, a planned 148km, and the weather is looking good again. We are looking forward to it but planning to ride a bit more slowly.

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