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Southern Black Forest Cycle Route 2020

Day 1
From Bülach along the Rhine on the German side to just after Bad Säckingen

YouTube German:

Sat June 22, 2019, Plittersdorf
Slept well, also because of my mat that I bought yesterday and placed under the inflatable mattress. Sleeps better. But I'm not sure if my mattress is leaking. Felt like there was less air in it in the morning. Anyway, hopefully it doesn't get any worse.

The usual ritual in the morning and then fetching bread again, breakfast. The highlight, my new gas cooker, which is a bit too big. I am also testing the milk powder that I brought with me from Switzerland. To be on the safe side, I bought an infusion of coffee with integrated milk powder yesterday.

So boil the water in the espresso machine ... And what happens, the Italian espresso pot is drooling. Was more of a binge than coffee. OK, that’s also included in the package. Boil water in the pan, pour the filter and coffee, pour in the powdered milk and then enjoy coffee ...

It is a shame that no one photographed the expression on my face when I took the first sip of my “delicious” coffee. How should I say you can drink it when you're on coffee withdrawal, but ... yuck, grumpy wääh. So coffee for a third party, with an infusion of coffee.

Well, at least it tastes good, if not like the finest coffee. That's how it can be lived. And so I finally enjoyed breakfast.

Then first empty the two bags of milk powder into the compost bin, from the campsite. Hopefully the insects and worms in it have no problem with the stuff or at least aren't picky.

The morning seems to be permeated by the weather, a bit cloudy. So I finished the package, locked it and gave it the address. Then I made my way to the village of Plittersdorf (the campsite was about 1 km outside of the village), looked past Nadine and Mona. They gave me 2 letters to send. I was curious how heavy the package was, it had some weight. It was around 8 kg, around 20 €. Still, when I got back I felt like I still have enough material to go with. Anyway, wash your clothes first. That's what the washing machines were for at the campsite. And in order to save some money, so 1.50 €, I only washed them. That's why you have a clothesline with you.

Then I let the day approach me. At noon I went to the restaurant on this square. I treated myself to lunch once. It also had a dive shop and since I was diving until a few years ago, I checked it out. Something came up to want to dive again. Maybe I should start again, but if you don't have anyone to dive ...

Later in the afternoon there were black clouds on one side. I like the contrast between the sun and black clouds. And at 8 p.m. it started to rain, not hard but enough. So I spent the rest of the time in the tent, listening to the rain and watching the raindrops on the outside of the tent as they rolled down. And so I let the day end.

Mon   June 24, 2019, Plittersdorf

Wrote on WhatsApp, 12.44 p.m .:
Package is gone, 7.4 kg, at the moment we have 32 °. Tomorrow it goes further north.

Mon   June 24, 2019, Plittersdorf

Wrote on WhatsApp, 12.44 p.m .:
Package is gone, 7.4 kg, at the moment we have 32 °. Tomorrow it goes further north.

Tuesday   June 25, 2019

I got up well this morning. I no longer felt any of the problems I had. Using the toilet was also normal again. Got up at 7 a.m. I wasn't in a hurry to pack it up, as the campsite doesn't open until 9 a.m. I really wanted to say goodbye to Nadine and Mona and their parents. I also had to pay the court fees. So that means leaving at around 9.10 a.m.

Today will be a hot day, according to the weather forecast approx. 37 °. So fill all of my 4 bottles and still 3 liters in the trailer. When I packed everything together, I said goodbye to the older neighbors. Then I strolled slowly forward to the entrance with my trailer. Unfortunately I found out that Mona was off that day, crap. Nevertheless, I said goodbye and driving away was difficult for me at first.

Already after 9 o'clock it was warm. I enjoyed the wind. Fortunately, a slight tailwind. I drove towards Mannheim. I hoped to reach Mannheim this time. After Plittersdorf, about 2 km outside, I had to go down a short distance. So hit the brakes ... What's going on, the front brake has hardly any braking effect. When I got downstairs, checked the brakes, pushed a piece of paper tissue between the brake disc / brake shoe, pressed it. Then I pulled out the paper towel and saw that there was a grease stain on it. I smelled it. What a sh ... it was so nice, this elderly gentleman had sprayed me with oil and the brake shoes were soaked. I just hoped if I put enough pressure on the brakes that the braking would get better over time and the oil would evaporate or whatever. So I always braked on straight stretches when I had to with the front brakes, which led to a loooong braking distance.

At noon it was already quite hot. I should have had a more extensive breakfast. But I was scared about yesterday. Still, I was hardly hungry, but very thirsty. Had already drunk about 3 liters. But what was the worst at that moment, I had forgotten to look for another route via Karlsruhe. So it happened, as it had to come ... my favorite bridge, the flood gate over the Rhine, where I had to unpack and unpack everything, as you might say soon. But it was too hot to be angry. It just cost me a lot of energy.

Later I drove a long stretch that I had just driven before along the Rhine. You hardly got to see it, but it was a nice stretch to Speyer, towards Mannheim. The only bad thing at that moment was that I was constantly driving in the blazing sun, hardly any shade. That slowly drained me and sapped my strength.

At around 5.30 p.m. I ran out of fluids. Speyer was coming soon. I wanted to look for liquid. At that moment I thought of Switzerland, not the country actually, but because there is a fountain on every corner. This seems to be a rarity in Germany. When I arrived in Speyer, I was so dehydrated that I could no longer think clearly and just drove on. Shortly after the town I saw that there was a campsite in the next. So I just turned left to a riding school, which was going in that direction. Just before I got there, I had to get off the bike and knelt. My inner voice told me not to dismount. So I forced myself on the bike again and drove on. At the riding school I asked for the way and the woman explained it to me. Was allowed to drive on their dirt road.

When I got there, the greeting was very nice, "Ah, here comes a woman". But this was 2 ranging for me. As soon as I got off I sat on the ground and tears welled up for a moment. Immediately the owner of the campsite gave me a small water bottle, which was drunk in no time. She warned me not to drink too quickly. Then I did the registration and moved into my seat. I then drank about 2 liters of water and slowly recovered. I had never set up the tent so slowly. Afterwards, neighbors invited me to have a drink; they heard about the incident.

And yet it was 99.7 km again. How I got it I don't know. I only know that it was tight and stupid of me to drive without a break in the blazing sun. Because next to the road there was always a forest where I could have taken a break, or something ( see also eating ).

I misjudged the situation completely. So I cooked rice with vegetables and meatballs so that I could get fiber back into my body. In the morning I only drank 2 slices of bread with jam and a coffee, far too little. Didn't eat anything at lunchtime, which is normally not unusual. In addition, I hadn't allowed myself any break. So did everything wrong that can only be done wrong on such a hot summer day.

Nevertheless, I recovered well and fell asleep well in the tent.

WhatsApp message:
“I'm fine, just like that. Haven't seen it yet, but about 93 km, 80 km of which in the sun. 8 liters drunk, far too little. Except for now and morning meal nothing eaten. Shortly before arriving at the campsite, almost collapsed, throat puffed up, 2-3 tears pushed away. I'm slowly recovering. Drink about 2 liters more "

Wed   June 26, 2019

Got up this morning refreshed. Still felt a little the exhaustion of yesterday. A friend and my foster parents said I should take another day off. But since I was feeling pretty good again, I moved on. Besides, I didn't want to take a break again, I had enough. So I packed everything up and refilled my water supply. Then I had an extensive breakfast, muesli rolls, bread with sausage, coffee, 1 apple.

Departure, it was at 6.30 a.m., as agreed yesterday, I hung the key on the door at the entrance (later, so that I don't forget, I thanked her by email for her helpfulness and nice reception). So back on the track, where there are almost no trees. It was still pleasantly cool to drive, and I made good progress. Around nine o'clock a woman drove next to me with luggage and we started talking. Her name was Miriam and she came from the south, near Stuttgart. We got on so well that we drove on together. Around lunchtime we arrived in Mannheim, where Miriam got postcards to write for her family. This is not so easy to find today, where hardly anyone sends postcards anymore.

Shortly before 3 p.m. we found a small shop. I put my expensive sunglasses with integrated corrective lenses on the back pocket and my helmet on the handlebars. Then we went in and I bought some fruit juice and 2 liters of water, she and a loaf of bread. Were lucky. The shop closes at 3 p.m., but we received a friendly service. Hardly outside. Locked the shop. So put on your helmet, get on your bike and let's go.

We drove down an interesting street on the left that ended in front of a field. The dirt road was really sandy and we laughed as we pushed our bikes across the field. After half an hour we arrived on the other side and finally bike path again. Shortly before we took a break, I said to Miriam, there was something else ... I thought hard, stopped with her and then ... I looked carefully at the rear pannier bag. No, there weren't any more expensive sunglasses. She had a really bad conscience. But driving everything back didn't make much sense, it could be anywhere and I probably lost it in the field. We weighed it up and came to the unanimous decision that I would hardly find it anymore. I calmed her down, it's not that bad. It hurt inside. But I didn't want us to part just so that I might find my sunglasses again. Also, I didn't know exactly where we pushed our bikes. Nobody can take that away from me, sunglasses are replaceable.

At 4 p.m. we took a break for an hour. She said that this is the hottest moment when you should rest. Sometime after Mannheim, in the direction of Worms, we found a nice place on the Rhine, behind the dike. We were hardly seen like that. We put up the tents, put on our bathing dresses, and that's when she noticed that I was overheated again. I told her about yesterday. She explained to me that she was a nurse and that I should get into the Rhine immediately, not swim. I also felt a little bit high. When I stood in the water, I didn't believe how quickly the body cooled down. It was enough to stand above your knees in the water. Still, I shouldn't go swimming, just sit down and keep my feet in the water. That was so good. Another experience that I will definitely find valuable for new tours. I should have done that yesterday. I had the opportunity to do so. Still, I enjoyed being with Miriam. It was a moment, a day with her, the feelings etc. that I didn't know and just felt very comfortable.


After she had swum extensively in the Rhine, we went back to the tents and changed. Then we sat down by the Rhine and made ourselves comfortable, ate something to drink together. Had great conversations.
But where there is water, it is hot, there are also mosquitos. Again I was attacked by mosquitoes and Miriam quickly handed me a mosquito repellent. After that it was more pleasant. I heard that a helicopter that was spraying the water with biodegradable agents had failed. The remedy prevents the mosquitoes from hatching. Apparently there is only one helicopter in Germany, grin.

Later we retreated into the tents, also because of the mosquitoes, and snacked a bit through the tents. Then it was over.

do   June 27, 2019

Got up well with Miriam today. The day promises to be beautiful and hot again. A few meters away was a bench where we sat down and had breakfast. Then we slowly packed up our tent, put everything on the bike, or with me in the trailer and bike. And the journey together went on. Miriam gave me cheap sunglasses that she hadn't needed. Oh how nice, I was very happy.

Today I felt really good again. We made good progress today and the cadence was very good. There is also a slight tail wind. And then suddenly we saw storks. We just had to stop to watch them and take pictures. They are beautiful animals and how they rattled their beaks.

In Mainz we went to buy something to eat and drink. I enjoyed being out with Miriam and also the beautiful weather. Then we drove on. Somewhere we met an older man who was special. I don't remember exactly where that was. He had used tapes from newspapers everywhere, as he told us. Then he told us stories about the area and the past for half an hour. It was wonderful to hear him. Unfortunately, the photos of him have been lost, which is a shame. It was such an interesting person. It was a little uncomfortable for us to have to tell him that we wanted to go a little further. Nevertheless, we agreed that we didn't want to miss this moment.

Later at around 4 p.m. we stopped in a shady place. There were such nice loungers where we made ourselves comfortable for an hour before we drove on. We even dozed off a bit. When we started again, everything was fine with me. Rest, drink enough, that makes a lot of difference.

There was a small rest area on the Rhine, where we made ourselves comfortable. We talked about each other and ate a little something. She informed me that tomorrow is her last day of vacation and that she still wants to reach Cologne. So we agreed that we would drive as far as we could get. It would be nice if we could reach the 100 km. Then she would only have 150 km to go. Sure, I couldn't keep up, I didn't have to.

So, let's go on. A few 100 meters further ahead, on the railway line, we passed the castle, Rheinstein Castle near Trechtingshausen . The position was not so optimal to see the castle. Then came a nice resting place. The Clement Chapel stood next to it . And go on again.

And then at 8 p.m. we arrived in St. Goar, exactly 100 km. We clapped our hands. At the bottom of the Rhine we saw a meadow with tables, so we made ourselves comfortable. But since I was already a bit exhausted, you can tell that I'm not the youngest anymore, Miriam looked around where we could stay the night. She quickly went to freshen up on the street up by the toilet. She brought some blackberries that she had found. We ate them for dessert.

Then we leaned our bicycles against the tree and locked them tightly. It is also nice to sleep in a sleeping bag on the Rhine, to hear the noises, to listen to the sound of the ships and the Rhine and just to enjoy the area, the clear night sky. So we fell asleep together in our sleeping bags.