Thursday 23 April 2015
I had a fairly bad night’s sleep last night so felt pretty pooped all day – fortunately it was to be a shorter day at just 80km. Nigel had already decided not to ride all the way to Nierstein with us but to stop in Mainz; his knees were hurting and it was best for him not to press on to SPEZI.
Anyway, we set off from St Goar on a day that looked like it would be sunny and nice. We were travelling further through the ‘castles and wine’ section of the Rhine and there were always interesting sights.
I particularly liked this floating generator.
Here’s the information about it (in German).
The plan was to stop in Bingen for cake but this proved harder than we thought as there were lots of roadworks going on in the pedestrian area and it actually took us a little while to find a suitable Konditorei.
Of course I eventually succeeded and we found a place with a good selection of cakes (although a touch pricey).
My fellow travellers also liked the English Tea option (bringing their own teabags), so here was our table – four English teas and one Latte Maccchiato (for the German in our group).
There was a Hildegard von Bingen Kuchen so I had to have that of course!
Klaus decided to have some cheesecake despite his current diet of limited carbohydrate.
Joyce had a florentine which turned out to be rather expensive at 2,20€.
Simon had an Apple Cake
And Nigel had a strawberry cake.
So a good selection was had by all!
After settling up we headed off again towards Mainz, our idea for a lunch stop.
The interesting thing about cycle touring is that the landscape changes throughout the day as you cycle. We were now away from the deep gorge that the Rhine has cut around St Goar and were in flat, open land again.
Today on our ride we saw several storks which were wonderful – one on a nest and several others wheeling around in the sky on the thermals. Wonderful!
We couldn’t resist taking a photo at the sign for Sporkeheim – here is Simon holding aloft his titanium spork!
We were whizzing along on a Deich (dyke) beside the Rhine with some reasonable speed but I had to stop at this see-saw.
The reason is that there has long been discussion about why I descend faster than Klaus on the trikes. The obvious reason is that I am heavier. So I said one day we will have to try a see-saw to find out for sure. So we got off the bikes, trudged across the sand to the see-saw, sat on it and went up and down a couple of times (Klaus somehow managed it so he appeared to be heavier) and then went back to our bikes and carried on. I think the woman sitting there must have been utterly bemused as to what was going on.
I had to take this photo too – a sign for Klaus at his river (as he calls it).
As I was having a slow day the journey to Mainz seemed to take quite a long time but eventually we arrived, via a couple of off-road sections, and then it was time to say goodbye to Nigel who was heading for his campsite. We had all been very impressed about how well he handled his trike and trailer combination, especially as he only has one arm! We wish him well on his further adventures (he is heading to the Mediterranean).
We then wended our way to the centre of Mainz for some food. I had the soup.
The day was feeling long for most of us I think so the final section to Nierstein, as time was marching on a bit, felt quite lengthy. Particularly as the route went uphill a bit through some vineyards – but lovely scenery!
I photographed this sign for Roter Hang – their wine was available in the restaurant we chose in the evening.
We arrived at the Best Western Hotel in Nierstein (the most expensive hotel any of us have booked for this trip but the hotels were all pricey there) and found very nice, spacious rooms with good facilities. Including an underground garage for the trikes.
After the usual showering, washing of clothes and finding somewhere to hang them we headed out to find food, wandering around Nierstein before settling on a restaurant. Our table was in the Keller.
I had chips and a burger.
I was utterly shattered by the end of the day so was pleased to be in bed by 10pm. My body is getting used to the longer days of riding but I always find it difficult to sleep if a room doesn’t have blackout curtains once the sun comes up. The problem of summer!!!
The total distance today was 83.2km at an average speed of 13.7 km/h. Our moving time was 6 hours. I was considerably to blame for the slow speed as when I am tired I get slower and slower and after my bad night I was pretty pooped. Still, it wasn’t a race!!!!
The next day we would be riding to Speyer, just 20km north of Germersheim, and also saying goodbye to Klaus who wasn’t coming to SPEZI with us but visiting his parents. Our group of five would reduce to three…