Before we start writing today's entry we wanted to round up the lessons we've learnt so far. this is. Apart from the whole navigation thing, and forward planning when it comes to accommodation, we've learnt some other stuff that might have made the journey slightly easier so far:
1. Put a kick stand on your bike!!! With loaded panniers it will keep falling over all day. As we have found out....
2. Get touring handlebars on your bike. Or even a touring bike. Zoltan and I are both riding specialized road bikes. Spending so much time hunched forward, particularly on hills is starting to hurt.
3. Drink lots and lots and lots of water and wear lots and lots and lots of sun cream. I have a blistered shoulder after 10 hours a day in the saddle.
4. Also always stock up on food and drink early. Do not wait till you’re in the middle of nowhere to realise you need to refuel.
5. Absolutely invest in good quality padded cycling shorts or undershorts.....ouch!
6. Use cream for your delicate under-carriage! Aka chamois cream. We're using Asos. It is invaluable and has lasted through 10 hours cycling each day with neither of us having much problem with chafing.
Bonn – Limburg: Distance 100km
Leaving our campsite by the Rhine we followed the river upstream and crossed by ferry. We stopped for coffee in a lovely town called Erpel, and then the fun stopped.This was to become a bummer day. Nearly all up hill and again very hot. With our GPS set to the more direct walking route we ended up taking up some incredibly steep steps, and we had to carry our bikes.
Next our GPS took us into a forest where the trail stopped. Again carrying the bikes we had to back track and find a new route. We were a bit pissed off by this point and well behind our target distance. We decided to call it a day at a campsite in Limburg and had time to go for a swim at a lido.
Thursday 18th July
Limburg – Weidersbrunn: Distance 135km
We had big plans for today, planning to cycle 185km to Wurzburg. We left early and the first part of the day was uphill. However, we then had 4 blissful hours of riding on the flat through Frankfurt which was glorious, including 4km straight downhill.
Today we made an effort to be strict with coffee and lunch breaks and made good progress. The last part of the day was spent uphill with an emergency stop for water in a hospital. Don’t worry, we only stopped for water, there were no injuries that needed treating!
By this point it was getting late and we had 40 km to go. Guess what, we got lost, badly and Zoltans phone died. In a forest, with gravel tracks too steep to cycle up, it was beginning to look like we might spend the night out here. Thoughts of Blair Witch crossed my mind...
However we got out and made it to Wedersbrunn, very relieved. We are now writing this after being fed and washed and ready to sleep in a bed. Plan tomorrow is to make it to Nuremburg which is 150km from here