Southern Black Forest Cycle Route 2020

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

YouTube German:

Sa 27. Juli 2019

Heute hatte ich mich gewagt, wieder auf‘s Rad zu steigen. Zu beginn hatte ich kaum Schmerzen, als ich aufsass. Dennoch wollte ich weiter kommen. Als ich einige Kilometer weiter durch Midlum fuhr, bemerkte ich schon an der Ortseinfahrt, dass immer wieder schön gestaltet eine 800 am Strassenrand stand. Dies in verschiedenen Formen. Dann fragte ich ein Ortsansässiger, was es sich mit der 800 auf sich hatte. Er meinte, sie feierten das 800 Jährige Bestehen von Midlum. Später konnte ich es auch lesen.

Später sah ich auch ein Puppenpaar und witzelte über WhatsApp an meine Pflegeeltern: „Ich habe Euch gesehen“. Darauf meinten sie, ja bei dem heissen Wetter hat man ebenso aufgequollene Beine. Ein weiteres Puppenpaar in Schwarz meinte ich zu meinem, freund, dass ich auch Ihn und seine Freundin gesehen hätte, worauf er meinte, man kann uns nicht entweichen.

Als ich durch ein Waldstück an der Strasse entlang fuhr, kam ich an einem Rastplatz vorbei. Es ärgert mich so, wenn ich sehe, wie einfach Müllsäcke in den Wald geschmissen wird. Auch sonst empfand ich es extrem, wieviel Müll am Strassenrand lag. Was geht nur in deren Köpfe vor, wenn sie diese Dinge wegschmeissen…
Kurz vor Bremen sah ich diese Tolle Lok mit Anhänger. Ich war fasziniert von dem Bild auf der Lok. Das macht auch meine Reise aus, man sieht Dinge, die man sonst nie zu Gesicht bekommt. Die Schmerzen im Schritt waren schon ziemlich deftig. Dennoch wollte ich mein Tagesziel erreichen und versuchte so gut es ging, die Schmerzen zu ignorieren. So erreichte ich dann den Campingplatz, Hanse Camping Bremen. Es war ein schöner, gepflegter Campingplatz. Hatte auch einen schönen Zeltplatz, dennoch war er mir irgendwie zu… Still kann man nicht sagen. Wie soll ich sagen, zu anonym? Wohl das falsche Wort, fällt mir nichts Besseres ein. Aber dennoch war es angenehm.

Danach war wie meist, das übliche Ritual, ankommen, Zelt aufstellen, abpacken, duschen gehen und dann Kochen und einen gemütlichen Abend verbringen… Gute Nacht.

Sun July 28, 2019

Slept well. When I crawled out of the tent, it was still quiet on the site. Next door, 4 French people arrived yesterday with their heavy motorcycles. They were about to pack up the tent and material. To my right the same of 2 young women. I envied her yesterday. How I would have loved to have someone (woman) by my side at this moment, with whom I could experience my journey together. How I would love to be half as beautiful as this one. There are brief thoughts that go through my head, but they go away again.

First I made breakfast and then I started to dismantle my tent too. When I had finished packing, the French and the two young women were already gone. When I drove to the entrance, the French were standing there.

I drove through Bremen and inwardly I said goodbye to the north, the North Sea. A little sadness came up for a short time. The weather was beautiful again. In Delmenhorst I was fascinated by two houses opposite that were painted. Shortly afterwards, already in the country, I came across this rest stop. She seemed deserted. I took the wrong turn and ended up in the wild west ...
Later, after doing some research, I found out that it was only open on certain days.

Then the great misfortune. While driving I met a little mouse that was just crossing the bicycle road. When I was at the mouse and it saw me, it turned around and promptly ran under my tire. What a damn ... crap. I braked, went back and felt so sorry. Why did it even have to turn around, would have been safe. I picked it up and laid it on the side of the field in the meadow so that it at least wasn't so bleak on the road. I was worried. Hopefully it didn't have any boys who were going to die. As I drove on, I thought about it for a while. Hurt me already.

Then came my big find. At the beginning of the trip I had lost my expensive varifocal sunglasses. Now I found cheap mirrored sunglasses. What a find ... I put them on and took a picture of myself. Poa how awful I looked doing it. I can't show that to the world. Still, I took it with me as a memento.

I found a campsite near Goldenstedt at the entrance to the village. It's enough for today. Still slightly felt the pain in the crotch, but nowhere near as bad as at the beginning 3 days ago. The weather was cloudy and light rain was forecast. At the moment it was dry. The campsite was well located. The reception booth was small and the receptionist greeted me nicely. After paying, I moved into my seat. A well-kept campsite, but quiet. There was a camping car next to my tent. Later I greeted the owners.

Then came a young couple with a tandem bike. I was happy, but they preferred to pitch the tent further away from me. So there was no conversation, what a shame. Then I took a shower. When I got back I started cooking. After an hour, the woman from the camper appeared and said if I was missing something and said my name. I was surprised and just didn't know what she was talking about. Then she showed me my wallet that I had left in the shower. Embarrassing and yet so glad she brought it to me. Because there was my money and ID in it. I wanted to pay her a finder's fee, but she declined with thanks. Yes, there are still honest finders. I was so relieved that nothing was missing.

I washed clothes after dinner. For this I have a special detergent for clothes that is suitable for tours. Then I hung them up to dry on my clothesline. As I made myself comfortable in the tent, it started to rain. So quickly get out and put the laundry in. Fortunately it wasn't much, so I was able to hang it up in the tent as a makeshift. Then I watched a YouTube video or 2 on my cell phone and soon fell asleep.

Mon 29 July 2019

When I got up at 6 a.m. this morning, everything was completely quiet. Not a soul was to be seen. I quietly packed up my things. Then I took a few photos from the campsite. The weather was cloudy, cloudy.
The atmosphere on the square was oppressive for me, even when taking photos there was somehow a void. When I had finished packing, I quietly left the place. I drove on through Goldenstedt and passed a Lidl. I used the moment to eat something and buy drinks. I also bought bread rolls and a chocolate drink from the bakery. When I sat down at the tables outside, I met the woman from the mobile home at the campsite. We greeted each other in a friendly way and at the same time wished us a nice journey.

Somehow the start of the day was bleak. The cloudy weather also contributed. After Goldenstedt near Lutten I met the Theresienkapelle. It was built in 1899. A contemplative place, that's what it felt like right now. The journey continued into nowhere, so it seemed to me, which was not meant negatively. The weather brightened a little.

This is how I passed peat fields, it seems to me. I've never said it before, but found it exciting. Then I also noticed that the pain was, so to speak, history. Should be fine with me. In the middle of the afternoon I reached the Alt-Barenau moated castle. A beautiful castle that needs a bit of renovation. The moated castle belongs to the municipality of Bramsche in the district of Osnabrpück-Lower Saxony. It was created in the 13th century, 1305. The gate building was built around 1689 with an 8-sided framework in the upper part. Plus these old trees on the side of the road that fascinated me.

First it went up the mountain towards Osnabrück, which means pushing a bike. When an e-bike passed me, I thought at first that a little motor would be great. But then I thought I can be proud of myself for having done everything on my own. After that, the road descended a lot and my hydraulic brakes were heavily used. The trick is to let go of the brakes again and again so that firstly the brake disc does not overheat too much and secondly the brake shoes are also spared.

Then I reached Osnabrück, but had to drive through the city to reach the Niedersachsenhof campsite, which I saw on Google. During the recession someone wrote, Strange Owner. When I got there, I was addressed as He, which didn't bother me. Still, this man struck me as strange, but not dangerous. I then moved into the seat and looked around. The place was well-kept, a bit too quiet and showing its age. Especially the playground, when I saw it, a documentary about Chernobyl immediately came to my mind, where a play park was shown. It was also overgrown and rusting.

At the back of the square there were still 2 women, probably mother and daughter from France. Later, a couple joins me that I couldn't classify. Soon after, the male companion drove away and she had to set up the tent on her own. What excited me, it was a tent from the 70s, with "a thousand" poles and parts that were hardly brought together back then. So she struggled and I helped her set it up. When she was finished, he came back briefly, but also left for a while. Whoever wants to understand that ..

Then I set up my own tent and wanted to make myself comfortable on my collapsible camping chair. I did not see that there was a wasp on the armrest. When I leaned against it, she stabbed me in the shoulder. The neighbor from the Oldscool tent gave me a good tip: press a half of the onion on it, again after a while. I was surprised that this really helped. The pain disappeared. All of the things you don't learn on the tour.

I ate something and then listened to the silence from the square. The noise from the street could not be overheard, but on the tour I learned to ignore certain noise etc. A protective wall would certainly be in place. Still, I fell asleep well later.

Tue July 30, 2019

When I woke up this morning, the campsite was dead quiet. Only the noise from the street could be heard. So I packed up quietly. I didn't like having breakfast here, it was too quiet for me. When I had packed up together, I wanted to make a film sequence of the playground. Somehow I was fascinated by this, its condition. Can't explain it to me either. Then I went to the toilet to fill the bottles with water. In doing so, I only met one person who did not consider it necessary to say hello. Was glad when I was gone, on the way.

The weather seemed to be wonderful again. And soon I came to the "mountain". I was on my way to Lengerich. The question of the day was to drive around the mountain range north in the direction of Hörstel, which means a few kilometers more or cycle over the mountain range. I decided on the 2nd variant. During the first surveys, I was able to drive through in between. Cycling over the mountain is good, because after that it was a steep climb. It was hot, my lungs dried out when I pushed it up. When a short stretch of road came, which was even steeper (for me it felt like 1 km), I had to stop 2-3 times and take a deep breath, then push on. Then take a break when it flattened a little. Fortunately it had a bench in the shade of the trees.

So I sat there exhausted and hungry for fluids. What was that good. Then have a bite to eat and a 10-minute break. And it continues with pushing. I was lucky that I didn't have to do the full height of the mountain. At some point after what felt like an eternity, I had reached the “pass”. Oh, what good was that, just being able to drive down. A small drop of bitterness remained. At the beginning of the trip someone helped me to stop my front brake discs from making noises with oil. Yes, the brakes were still not 100% usable. So I couldn't “race” down the way I would have liked. I always had to brake early enough when cornering.

But at some point I made it down safely and finally came the Rhine plain, that's what I called it. Because only flat, no more mountains in between. After that the journey was calm, peaceful and hot. Once again it was a cool 35 degrees Celsius.

Then I drove part of the Dortmund-Ems Canal until shortly after Münster. When I arrived in Münster, I saw the well-developed bike paths and the many cyclists. Really great feeling. And I wasn't even that slow with my longtrailer. After Munster it became quiet and rural again. At some point I arrived at the Kranencamp campsite near Senden. Only had to wait a short time and then I was greeted very friendly by the operator. After paying, he showed me where I could pitch my tent. I could park my bike against the rain. The great thing was that it had extra charging stations for e-bikes. Well I don't need to use that.

Later I got into conversation with Norwegians. We talked in English, where my English was barely enough to have a conversation, with rough edges. Still, it was cozy, wonderful. Later that evening I retired to my tent, saved my pictures and enjoyed the evening ...

Wed July 31, 2019

It was still early in the morning, I can't remember what time. I made breakfast quietly, enjoying the quiet time in front of my tent. People were slowly waking up. As always, pack everything together and I said goodbye to the people yesterday. They were already up by now.

When I drove off, I wasn't sure where to go. My destination was the Rhine. So look at Uncle Google Maps. The day seemed to be beautiful again, so I didn't need to look at the weather report. Only a few small clouds in the sky, otherwise sunshine. If I'm not mistaken. Some time later at around 10 a.m. I passed the Dortmund-Ems Canal again. On the bridge I enjoyed the wind in my hair, the rustling of the leaves from the trees. I paused a few minutes to watch an approaching ship. Ok, let's go on.

The trip went to Lüdinghausen, Olfen. When I arrived in Olfen, I had memories of the past, and more of them later. Then I drove on to Datteln, Herne. I noticed that the sky was slowly closing behind me. It was around 1pm and cloudy. But thought nothing of it, looked weak, nothing more. It began to rain towards Herne. I just barely managed to get under a bridge, crap. Ok, wait a little and then it will be over for sure. It was like that in the end. Shortly before Herne the sun was shining again. I looked back and couldn't believe my eyes. The sky was completely black and the weather was chasing me. Hopefully it stays that way.

So don't dawdle, drive on and hope that the black clouds will stay behind me. When I was shortly before Herne, it began to rain again. No shelter. As a makeshift emergency, I escaped under the trees, which offered me some protection. The rain subsided, but then it started to flash and in the distance I heard the rumble. I was in the middle of nowhere, just knew that Herne was about to come. Now I felt queasy because there were a few lightning bolts. Then it started to pour heavily, I was just barely able to put on the rain jacket. There was no time for more. Immediately before Herne, suddenly in front of me a lightning bolt towards the ground and a bang. Oh god, what a shock, I got scared easily and luckily I was able to get under the roof at the Lidl shopping center for a short time.

When I got there, my shoes were full of water and otherwise I wasn't really dry either. I recovered from the shock and immediately used the time to go shopping. Then I waited for a while and lo and behold, the storm passed. When I started driving again after half an hour, it had stopped raining and soon afterwards the sun came up again. Crazy weather.

Then I arrived in Essen, cloudy weather again, but it didn't seem that it was going to rain. In Essen, I got into conversation with an older couple. Among other things, I said that years ago, and also in Olfen, I had worked as a photographer at a transgenderball (Traniball). At some point this was no longer carried out, whereupon she said it was back. Very interesting. We talked for a while, then I said goodbye. It was clear to me that this time was over for me. My interests had changed.

Then I headed for the first campsite in Essen, but it seemed untrustworthy to me and didn't find the entrance either. So on to the next one. I was overtired, a little irritable because I couldn't find the turnoff straight away. But then, finally ... Knaus Camping Park Essen-Werden. Thank God. The day and the weather demanded a lot from me.

I signed up and was greeted warmly. Put up your tent and then take a shower. What a wonderful feeling to come to the tent fresh. My spirits returned. I cooked, as I usually do, and enjoyed the space and the people. The campsite is alive, that's how I liked it. I fell asleep satisfied.

Thursday 1st August 2019

Thursday 1st August 2019

Got up well today. As always, pack everything together, have breakfast and off you go. Today on August 1st is a national holiday in Switzerland, which is celebrated with fireworks. But with this heat wave and drought, like last year, it will probably be forbidden to let go of fireworks.

As I drove towards the exit, I met the campsite operator. We talked for a short moment and I said I am now going towards the Rhine. Then he said, on the opposite side of the square there is a small gate, through there and just drive along the Ruhr, then I'll come out of Duisburg. Valuable tip. Thanked me and immediately made me to the other side of the dysentery.

It was beautiful to drive along the river. Simply pure enjoyment. The weather also cooperated. Part of it had to be dismounted, but most of the time you could drive along the Ruhr. There was a lot of nature to see. Shortly before Duisburg, the Ruhr got bogged down. I don't know where exactly I drove. When I arrived in Duisburg, I had to brake hard because suddenly an invisible pothole appeared, lucky. But what fascinated me. I passed a construction site where bridges were about to be torn down. That's what it looked like. I drove under those bridges that were so low you could almost touch them.

When I drove up the Rhine at the beginning of my journey, I also came through Duisburg. The city seemed loud and dirty to me, among other things. Now I know that I was driving through the industrial area back then, I didn't have that much experience with navigation and I drove all over the city.
When I drove through Duisburg, I was on a different route and the city seemed fine to me. But at first I thought, oh no, just get through Duisburg quickly. Yes, the point of view can change.

I then passed a park on the Rhine that had been completely redesigned, a green oasis. Very Beautiful. I stopped under a bridge and listened to the freight train rushing by. Hell of a racket, had to shut up my ears.
Then I drove on and towards the exit of Duisburg I met the work of art Tiger & Turtle-Magic Mountain on the opposite side of the hill. This was modeled after a roller coaster and opened in 2011.

I actually wanted to go up there, but the weather was getting too dark and I wasn't sure whether it would last. According to the weather report it shouldn't rain, but I wasn't sure. And it was just after 12 o'clock and I wanted to go a few more kilometers. So I took my Canon SLR camera, my 300mm telephoto and took a few photos of them.

Then the Rhine had me again, triololoitüü. Joy prevails. It was nice to look out over the Rhine. I always like water, be it river or sea. Slowly it got cooler and I had to pull on my windbreaker. When I arrived in Kaiserswerth, I decided once more to take the lead across the Rhine. On the other side, I looked for a campsite because it had started to drizzle. I found one near Meerbusch, at the Lörick campsite on the Rhine. When I arrived there at around 4 p.m., I was greeted nicely and after paying the numbers I was explained the place and where I could pitch my tent. I decided right next to the fence near a small tree. So I could wash clothes and hang them there. There was also a table next to it where you could sit down. A simple but well-kept place. I got into conversation with a man next door who was very interesting. People in Germany say he took early retirement. With us it would be IV, disability insurance up to retirement. We had long conversations. Then, little by little, more people came to pitch their tent. That's how I got to know Heinz and his Swiss girlfriend, with whom I am still in contact, can also be found on Facebook.
Later I sat in front of my tent with my netbook, backed up my pictures and kept a diary. This is how the day passed successfully ...

Fri 2 . August 2019

Sit here in front of the tent and just keep backing up my photos and films. I added a day of rest today before it continues tomorrow. I liked the great conversations from the neighbors, so I added another day at the campsite. I feel understood with my AD (H) D and with my thirst for freedom.

Many thoughts are buzzing through my head, about emigration, my future, what awaits me when I get back to my place. I find it extremely difficult to get "home". Because I've never felt as free as I do right now. It could go on and on. But I am not allowed to suppress everything, as I used to, to take refuge in something. I am enjoying the moment that remains for me and am looking forward to seeing Nadine and Mona again from the campsite in Plittensdorf / Raststatt.

I often have trouble sorting / channeling my thoughts. Otherwise the day was finished with resting, chatting with the neighbors and washing clothes. In the evening there was another wave of people with tents. I really enjoyed that. Immediately afterwards I got into a conversation with a man and his Swiss girlfriend. His name is Heinz, he's here on Facebook and I'm still in contact with him. I was also chatting with him and his girlfriend. Since he also makes YouTube videos, we were talking shop a bit.

Otherwise the day was quiet, except that the place was full of tents. I haven't seen it like this before on my trip, but it was nice.