Tuesday, 17 April 2012

16 April Stage 7 Bad Honningen - Geisenheim

Dep 830     Arr  1550     Dist  109.1km    Ave 20.1kph

Computer reset itself for no apparent reason so records incomplete

My phone was being charge at the office so I didn't know what time it was when I woke which isn't a bad thing. It had rained a lot through the night and I remember it being very windy when I woke once or twice during the night, so I was apprehensive when I opened the tent. It wasn't too bad but there was a lot of dark cloud about. I didn't have any milk so I didn't bother with breakfast. I picked up my phone and things from the office and got on the road.

There was a Netto just outside Bad Honningen so I did some shopping there, milk, muesli, biscuits, energy bars and soap. I must have left my soap in the shower. On English campsites people very kindly leave shampoo and stuff in the showers. Maybe they do in Germany as well but there is always a Chinese cleaning lady to snaffle it so I had to invest. I started off down a cycle path at the side of a main road next to the mighty river. Every now and then the path disappeared so I went onto the road which seemed acceptable, ie, nobody tooted at me. Then, mysteriously and without warning the main road at Neuwied had turned into a motorway and everyone was blasting at me so I decided I had best get off. I walked along the hard shoulder for a few hundred yards and made my way up a slip road only to find I was on another motorway. I walked hopelessly for a while and eventually shimmied down the embankment and over a fence into an industrial estate. It's hard riding a bike with weight on it. Try carrying one over a fence. I got out onto a minor road which was quite busy and going the right way so I thought I was OK. The traffic fizzled out and before much longer the road stopped and became a tarmac path so I kept on. I mentioned the name of the next town to a lady walking her dog and she smiled and nodded. The path became a farm track and I had to get off and walk. Farm tracks start at farms, I thought and I did eventually get to a road which led to the right road. I stopped on a random bench in the middle of nowhere for breakfast which was nectar and the sun came out and the world was a better place.  That is, until I was on the main road again at a place called Lahnstien and there were roadworks going on. This navvy flagged me down and told me I shouldn't be on the highway. I told him it wasn't an autobahn and it must be OK. He said no it was a highway and I shouldn't be on it. His mates weren't interested until I asked, jokingly, OK sarcastically, if he was the police, or what? The lads didn't see the joke and started to look a bit mean so I smiled at them and swore and set off back. It was only 100 yds or so but it left me confused about which roads you can and can't go on. You can stick your fancy cycle paths. Give me the A6 every time.

The day ended well though. The wind then got up but the good news is.... it was right behind me and the track alongside the main road for the rest of the day was smooth and wide and neverending so I bombed along. That was, until I saw a post carrying a road sign lying across my path, and too late. It must have been blown over by the wind and was about 6 inches above the ground. I couldn't change direction so I just shouted and hoped for the best. I sort of jumped the bike up and I think the front wheel avoided it but the weight on the back kept the back wheel down and my trusty steed belted the obstacle. I stopped and checked it over. I was sure the wheel would be buckled or at least a flat tyre but there was not a whimper so on I, sorry we, went. I didn't realise at the time how significant this incident would be to future progress. I just thought "this is one tough bicycle" and steamed ahead.

The camp at Geisenheim was another big one with all the facilities. I didn't bother with the bar. I had my last packet of noodles and organised my bags a bit and had an early night.

Today's route

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