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Since the bike was still in it's original state after the 4500 km trip three years before, including the dirt and worn out tyres, it needed some maintenance. The shop did a good job so at least the bike was ready for the trip, we just had a Legian party the weekend before but we were still fine.
|one||95 km||5 hrs||via Hoorn and Amsterdam to Nieuwveen|
As usual it started raining just before I arrived at Stella's parent's house so
I arrived there soaking wet. Ah well, her mum was so kind to dry my wet clothes
and the bike looked much cleaner afterwards as well. The first night in a
comfortable bed was not bad either.
|two||110 km||8 hrs||via Utrecht and Wageningen to Arnhem|
The first day that Stella joined and the first 'mountain', the Grebbeberg, was
taken successfully. Thanks to Rob and Elly we would spend the night
in their beautiful house on the Rijn shore. It would be the last real bed and
the last great shower for a while.
|three||98 km||7 hrs||via Emmerich and the Lippe to Dorsten/Östrich|
Early in the morning we crossed the border with Germany, finally
the holiday feeling came up, paying with foreign money, talking a different language
and different products at the shops. We cycled pretty much along the same roads as I did
last time around and it was fun to recognise some of the things we passed.
|four||124 km||9½ hrs||via Waltrop and Werl to the Mohnsee|
This was a terrible day. First we had to pass the Northern
border of the Ruhrgebiet which is very crowded and confusing and
not really scenic at it's best. After that we had a very strong headwind while
climbing up some steep hills. The top of the hills very filled with
quick spinning wind generators which is not too motivating either.
Then, if that was not enough, we cycled past the turn to the
campsite which caused an additional 10 kilometers. Ah well, the
campsite was not too bad, the sunset on the lake very nice and the
restaurant was well deserved.
|five||94 km||7 hrs||via Brilon to Warburg|
Looking on the map I noticed the town of
Warburg. Since this
was also a stop on my previous long trip I decided to go there
again. The town is quite nice, placed on top of a hill surrounded by parts
of the old citywalls. Quite nice for pictures and this turned out to
be the only place I took pictures off during the cycling trip.
Since we passed straight through Brilon we decided to go for an cafe visit. It
was extremely warm so the drinks and icecream were very
nice but on the other side, it was too nice to start cycling
again. Ah well, in the evening we went to a restaurant for a pizza. Since
we first stopped at an icecream shop we never got around having a pizza
Tip of the day: eat icecream after dinner.
|six||65 km||4½ hrs||via Immenhausen and Münden to Witzenhausen|
After the long distances from the past days we needed a break so
we just cycled 65 kilometers today. We also picked up the Werra,
the river we would follow for a while. About half way we passed by the
town of Münden. It looked quite nice but we didn't take time to stop,
a tip for another time.
|seven||120 km||9½ hrs||via Eschwege, Eisenach and Breitungen to Hessles|
After a day of rest you should be able to cycle a bit more. Well, today
was very heavy. The first half we cycled along the Werra, so the
road was pretty flat. After Eisenach however there was a steep
climb, I guess it would have been over 10% and with the high
temperature we had to stop very often. Later we spoke to someone who
was told not to take this route but to stay in the Werrathal,
very good advise indeed but we got it too late.
After the climb in Eisenach we followed the river valley again but we were so tired in the end that it was hard to make the last, slightly uphill, 5 km to the campsite.
The tip of the day: Always try to cycle along the water.
|eight||90 km||6 hrs||via Meiningen, Mellrichstadt, Hendungen and Sall to Sulzfeld|
Having learnt something, we cycled along the Werra until Meiningen,
we then went to Mellrichstadt where we would pick up the road along the river
Streu. Unfortunately we took a wrong turn in Mellrichstadt and we cycled over
the hills around Hendungen. Nice hills, not too difficult to take when
the temperature would not have been around 30°C and when we wouldn't
have had the hill from day seven. So once again, we were pretty tired at
the end of the day.
The town, though very small looked kind of nice and since there was an icecream place at the swimming lake we took some time to relax with a view.
Something went wrong with cooking, we though we had bought a normal can of tomato paste to have with the pasta. Then we found out that it was double concentrated paste. Extremely tasty... One plate of food was more than enough...
Tip of the day: read the tin before use.
|nine||118 km||8 hrs||via Bamberg and Forchheim to Dechsendorf|
The plan for the day was to cycle about 75 km but since the weather
was great for cycling (overcast and around 20°) and the roads flat
(we were cycling along the river Regnitz) we decided to stop
close to Erlangen instead of Bamberg. Dechsendorf is a typical tourist town as it
is surrounded by lakes and therefore it wasn't hard to find a nice
restaurant. The long promissed pizza was really nice and tasted much
better than the pasta from last night.
|ten||96 km||6½ hrs||via Nürnberg and Neumarkt i.d.OPf. to Buchberg|
Route wise this day was terrible. It already started early
in the morning when we cycled in Erlangen, trying to find
a way to Nürnberg which would not go via the highway
(unfortunately not allowed for bicycles). After many stops we finally
found the right way. Then the next problem was Nürnberg
itself. We had to go from the North-West to the South-East.
Fortunately we first hit the ring so we decided to follow
it, not the shortest way but at least safe. We then saw the signs
directing to the Bundestrasse 8 but in order to get there we first had to
take the highway. The way around was not too difficult to find but every time
we would end up on the highway again so it took a long time
before we finally got to Neumarkt. From there on the campsite
was not difficult to find when you would ignore the first
Tip of the day: when cycling on the 299 towards Buchberg, ignore the first camping sign else you will never get there.
|eleven||102 km||7 hrs||via Beilngries and Kelheim to Regensburg|
The shortest route to Regensburg is via the bundesstrasse 8
so we wanted to take that one as it would only be about 65 km.
The camping owner however advised us to take the somewhat
longer route via the rivers which was much easier. Having
learnt from day seven we decided to take the easier route.
Well, that somewhat longer turned out to be nearly
double the distance so it took us much longer than expected.
Next time I would take the direct route to check the difference.
I also found the autoweg that I took last time. On my map
the 14 is marked as normal 80 km/hr road where bikes are allowed.
In real life this road is however a 100 km/hr road where bikes
are not allowed. Last time I just ignored the signs and used
it anyways, the police never stopped me so it went fine, and pretty
fast as these roads are definitely flat. This time
we did it the official way and took the road along the
Donau, quite flat but probably also longer.
Tip of the day: don't always believe what you hear.
|twelve||98 km||7 hrs||from Regensburg to Deggendorf|
We finally picked up the Donauradweg which we would follow
all the way to Vienna. Of course it's easy cycling since it just
follows the river. That's also a problem since the river in
this part of Germany is very curvy. Some days after we found out
that the stretch to the border with Austria is only 120 km
via the normal road while this track via the Donauradweg is 160 km. Ah well,
at least it was easy to cycle even though it was still very warm.
The temperature was well over 30°C.
|thirteen||77 km||5¼ hrs||via Passau to Kohlbachmühle|
Another easy cycling day. We decided to stay North of the Donau so
we had to cycle on the busy road North of
Passau for a while. Ah
well, it was not too bad. On the other side of the Donau we could
already see Austria, a funny feeling.
|fourteen||106 km||7 hrs||via Linz to Au|
Following the Donauradweg we had to cross the river at Schlögen.
The guidebook told us that the area is very nice and they were right,
it is very nice. Unfortunately we got there during a long weekend
so it was very busy with those weekend cyclists, you know, the slow
ones. Stella had really gotten into cycling the past weeks so we were cycling an
average of over 20 km/hr most of the time. It's so boring having to
cycle slowly because of other people, it's much more fun to overtake
them. We seem to have the same ideas about cycling:
big cities are terrible, everyone should move out of the way and
you only stop when it's time for a break, not to see something nice.
That's also the problem with the pictures, i've taken only about 5
pictures from the entire trip.
At Ottensheim we were supposed to cross the Donau at the power station but since we missed it we had to take the ferry at Ottensheim. The ferry sounds really nice and it seems quite nice to cross the river by boat but it's more a matter of waiting, then to quickly cross the water and then queueing up to get your bike off and get all the people out of your way when you start cycling again, quite boring.
|fifteen||114 km||7 hrs||via Persenbeug to Krems|
Just before Grein we went to the Southshore and at Persenbeug
we used to bridge to go back to the Northshore. The route was quite scenic again
and we were cycling fast. We really got into cycling since the slow
first few days. In the Wachau, before Krems, there are many small
villages. Seems to be quite nice to visit another time. Plenty
of vineyards there as well so I guess that after the summer it
would be nice to go there. A the campsite we met two pensioners
who just came back from Budapest. They came from around Heidelberg
in Germany and left home three weeks before. Very nice people. Well,
we met many other nice people as well, there are so many pensioners
who still go on cycle holidays. Hopefully in another 30 years
I will be able to do the same.
|sixteen||93 km||6 hrs||via the Southshore to Wien|
The final day, we have made it! Cycling was quite easy again even
though it was approx. 36°C (nearly 100° Fahrenheit)!. It was
great to be back, to have my own home around me, to see Katrin
again and to have my own shower at my service.
It's always nice to see some statistics so here we go
Total distance: 1600 km (precisely) Total cycling time: 110 hours Total cycling days: 16 days Average speed including breaks: 14½ km/hr Number of flat tyres: 0
(Those Vredestein PRS tyres are great!)