We slept very well and then went down at 8am to a very good breakfast – served at our table rather than buffet-style due to Covid-19. However, they needed to give us a larger table really!
We unlocked the bikes and then put all our luggage on. This was the first real opportunity to check we had our handlebars in the right place, etc.
And then we were off!!!
We had been told by some friends that the Kylltal Radweg was very nice and they were correct! It weaves its way beside the river, crossing it regularly on bridges built especially for cyclists or walkers.
We had gone just one kilometre when Klaus, who was behind me, said „You‘ve lost something!“ He noticed that my British Flag was missing. Oh no, it must have blown away!
As we had only been riding a very short distance, and this was the beginning of several days of touring, I turned round to try and find it.
Phew, I found it! I attached it with a very tight cable tie and hoped that would do.
Onward we cycled, generally in very green surroundings. There was the odd castle or church to be admired.
The nice thing about trike touring is you are slower than in the velomobile and you tend to see more are you waft along. I was really impressed by this large carved bird, simply carved into a tree trunk beside the cycle path.
The path tended in a downhill direction but there were quite a lot of short, sharp inclines. This coincided with the brake motor cutout on my left hand brake on Alfie stopping working. This is an electronic cut-out so if I use the brake, the motor switches off. I have to dab on the brake before changing gear so that the motor doesn‘t damage the Alfine hub; I brake with my left hand and change gear with my right. However, the left hand brake cutout wasn‘t working so I had to brake with my right hand and then do the gear with it – this often didn‘t work well (I forgot which order to do things) and so I had some gear changes where I lost a lot of speed. Not much fun in sharp inclines and no fun for Klaus if he was following me – he ended up stuck in a high gear at one point having had to come to a complete halt as I had ended up stationary.
It worked best if Klaus rode in front in the rolling bits, so he did so a lot of the time.
We rounded a corner and passed an old factory with this most wonderful chimney. The Leaning Chimney of Usch.
It was an impressively tall chimney but everything was very derelict.
And here below is Alfie posing beside the Kylltal Radweg signage.
What was cool on this tour was that we went through two railway tunnels (there would have been a third but there was a detour on the route so we missed it). They are impressive constructions, presumably with two rail lines originally going through them, now single track which leaves space for a bike lane.
The tunnel was cool and dark inside and we discovered that Alfie doesn‘t have many reflectives on the back – Klaus said all he could really see of me was the tiny red LED light from my motor wheel sensor at the back!
We then reached Kyllburg – the name ‚burg‘ gives a bit of a clue, as it means fortress which is usually built on a hill. Kyllburg was indeed hilly.
We winched our way slowly up a long, long slope and near the top I saw this lovely wicker stork with a mask on his beak!
We had a very long, slow climb out of Kyllburg which was hard work! The battery in my motor was clearly taking a beating and was showing a rather lower energy reserve than I would like. We both got really hot by the time we got to the top of the 2km climb.
The view at the top was worth it though!
What goes up must come down… and so we shot down the other side of the hill and I ended up with my highest trike speed for a while – 65km/h. My brakes weren‘t brilliant so after this downhill I fiddled about with the disk pads and things improved a bit, although they were still a bit uneven.
We had decided we would divert to Bitburg for lunch as it is a major town in this region, although was a 4km detour from the Kylltal Radweg. The detour started with a nice bridge.
But then continued with a long, long slow climb. Bitburg, too, is at the top of a hill, and we were grinding our way up slowly. I knew we weren‘t even halfway on our route for the day so I had a bit of range anxiety with my battery.
We arrived in Bitburg and there wasn‘t much open (it is a Sunday) but we did find the Prinz Café with its very friendly proprietor who was keen to speak to me in English.
He also kindly took my battery and put it on to charge whilst we had our cake.
We had a good chat with him and he recommended a few places to visit on our tour.
After about an hour we headed back towards the Kylltal Radweg, this time enjoying a downhill run instead of the tough uphill on the way in.
We were in a quite leafy and green section with lush grass, quite a lot of insects, interesting birds (I saw a greater spotted woodpecker) and more. We saw this chap wheeling around above us – I think he might be a kite (Milan in German)
We were also impressed by a lot of the buildings we saw. This image below shows the railway station building for a small village!
We were mostly riding beside the river on asphalt, but there were a couple of bumpier sections, including a couple of kilometres where it wasn‘t asphalt just forest path. These were OK on the trikes, although I had to tighten up my mudguards a couple of times as they start to swing about with the bumps. There were a couple of more bumpy concrete-type surfaces, such as in the photo below.
Although our mega climb of the day out of Kyllburg was behind us, there were still lots of little ups and downs. And some of the downs were quite steeply down!
And then we would round a corner and see a lovely bridge, or house, or scenery.
Klaus kindly stopped in the middle of this mini ford for the photo below, and then couldn‘t get traction to get out again. I zoomed across and then came and helped him with a good push.
Then it was time for another tunnel, very similar to the first.
After a while the route seemed flatter as we were making our way down from the Eifel. We had the path to ourselves most of the time, as you can see from the photo below. That‘s Klaus in the distance.
At Kordel I felt a bit peckish and we saw a Guest House that looked like it might be open. I rang the doorbell and the lady said she would come, so we sat outside in the sunshine. The grey morning in Gerolstein had improved into a sunny afternoon nearing Trier and we were shedding layers throughout the day.
The lady said she could provide tea and coffee but no cake. That was fine. But then she came out with a slice of Black Forest Gateau and said „something for the lady“, and for Klaus she provided some Rosinen Brot.
She said to us a bit later on that it was actually a slice of cake she had bought for herself, so we were very grateful. It tasted really good!
The lady warned us that the cycle path down to the next town was closed and we would have to go on the main road, so we knew what to do when we reached the closed path sign and took the main road. There was no cycle path and we were of course much slower than the 70 limit but I found the car drivers very courteous and not bullying. A nice change!
And then we were at the point where the Kyll flows into the Mosel. We couldn‘t actually see the point, but it was behind this shrubbery here.
We now had about 15km to go to reach our hotel, but on pretty much entirely flat terrain as we are in the Mosel valley.
We faffed around the Trier harbour area and then eventually crossed the Mosel and made our way slowly through the pedestrian zone to our hotel which was just behind the Porta Nigra.
They had some good secure bike parking for us.
And we had a mini balcony to dry our washing!
After a short rest we went for a walk around Trier, of course having another look at the Porta Nigra.
We had an evening meal of a burger and Klaus enjoyed a beer (although not a Bitburger).
We loved looking at the beautiful buildings in Trier.
And finished up with an ice cream. I hope you can see Porta Nigra in the background!
And our route for today?
And here are the statistics:
90.4 km at an average speed of 17 kph. Total riding time 5:19:06.
And a few more details:
Tomorrow the plan is to cycle along the Mosel to Bernkastel-Kues and see if we can find a nice hotel there. Weather looks good too!