2012 is go

I’ve decided to ressurect this blog….it started with the best of intentions, but fell by the wayside somewhat.

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Days off the bike = bike rides round Oberstdorf

Got to Oberstdorf ok, and got booked into a B&B. Then went out for a ride to keep the legs loose. Ended up climbing about 1000 feet up the mountain behind the ski jumps, and felt quite good doing it – Last time I was here in 2008 I had to walk up the same hill, this time I got most of the way up. Descending made the rims very hot to the touch!

Had a few beers at the Irish pub in town and called it a night at 1. Up early for breakfast, and the B&B owner took me for a bike ride south of the town, where we climbed about 5-600m higher than the town. Descending was hairy and fast to say the least. I then rode the Fellhornbahn to the top of the Fellhorn where there were beautiful views.

A quick ride back down into town, and a bite to eat. A coffee, check email, then back to the room to pack ready for tomorrow.

Miles today about 20, but loads of climbing. Need a cat nap, then a quiet shandy, early night and tomorrow it is homeward bound.


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Reasons not to be cheerful…….part 1

I get a little peeved at some people’s stupidity.

Like the people who smash beer bottles on bike paths – why?

People who spray grafitti on bike path signs?

People who turn round bike path signs!!! got lost a few times.

People who walk aimlessly on bike paths, than look at you like you have 2 heads when you ring your bell.

Railway stations with no provision to lift bikes from subway to platform level, so you have to take all your panniers off and do a few trips up and down the stairs – only for a DB railway worker to warn you about leaving your bags unattended!!!

And breathe out……..hommmmmmmmm

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Let the train take the strain….

Woke up in the night coughing like a copper’s nark, and felt really crook. So I packed up and rode to Augsburg (about 8 miles) then got a train to Oberstdorf (where I am now) for 2 days off the bike, to rest up, regroup, and get ready for the 750 mile return leg along the Rhine. I have used the train a few times now, and each time it is like a physical torment schlepping my kit up and down stairs – the lifts to the platforms aren’t big enough to do the job?????

At this point I would like to say how ashamed I am for what I did next…..

I was on platform 6 at Augsburg station, and an announcement on the tannoy warned of an approaching train. I looked up to see a long freight train come to a halt, waiting for favourable signals before moving on. At this point a ‘visually-impaired’ gentleman (complete with white stick) walked up to the train and tried getting on one of the wagons. A quick-thinking DB train employee ran over to stop him riding with a consignment of logs to Berlin. I couldn’t surpress the giggles, and was chortling away when a DB Railway Policeman looked at me giving me a very disapproving look.

On the train some young bloke entered the carriage exclaiming that he was getting married, and had a sandwich board for people to sign. I wrote, “Don’t do it, stay single, Paul’. I wished him well, and said goodbye at Oberstdorf.

The rest of the journey to Oberstdorf passed without event, and I am now chilling, resting, having a beer, and updating this. Pics to follow.

Just gotback from a ride up the mountain – and who did I meet? Only the bloke getting married, complete with stag do entourage. I could hear them still shouting “Hallo PAUL” as they went down the mountain.

I had ridden this road once before, about 3 years ago, and I was a lot fitter and got up higher quicker, so it must be working.

Total miles – 557


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Baptism of rain, wind, glass…….etc

Got up and felt really sh*t. I really struggled to get the motivation up to ride. Cold now on my chest, so coughing like a broken-winded horse.

I passed through the 49th parallel, in line with Paris, Mongolia and the northern border of the USA apparently.

It was a cooler day, so (with the chest thingy) I decided to take it easy. I rode the rolling hills south from Dinkelsbühl to Donauwörth. Harburg has a lovely castle on a hill overlooking the town. With threatening skies I pushed onto Donauwörth. I had to pause under a railway bridge to dodge a shower. Whilst there nature called, and I almost returned to my childhood of wet pants when I struggled to get the old man out – wearing bib shorts is not condusive to going wee wee in a hurry.

After the near-trouser incident I rode the last few miles to Donauwörth in very light drizzle – no drama. I then sheltered for lunch in a railway tunnel (disused – the tunnel, not my lunch). Donauwörth, like some many towns along the Romantic road, is a walled city, full of tourists etc. Here I joined the Dannube and headed east before turning south onto the Lech river.

At this point I was now on the smoothest bike path I have EVER ridden on. As I approached the town of Rain it began to do just that – rain – and lots of it. Unpeturbed I pedalled through the town until a hiss and wobble from the back wheel signalled the arrival of the p*ncture fairy. Not bad going – 500 miles fully-loaded and 1 puncture. Cheeky as I could be, I pushed the bike into some blokes yard and asked to mend it under his car port. I have kept the offending piece of glass for posterity.

With the mending done, thoughts turned to sleep/food. I then headed to mühlhausen about 20 miles south, into a cold headwind on a narrow busy road. Bloody-mindedness kept me pushing on the pedals, and I rolled, soggily into a campsite at 7, with another 79 miles in the bank – 549 miles total.


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Attention readers

Please note I am writing this in a tent, not some swanky cappuccino shop with WiFi, so don’t expect too much in the line of grammar. I will do an edit and add pictures on my day off in Oberstdorf.

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Things you learn on the road – well things I learn….

I need to practice my ‘footballer’s nose blow, as the the right shoulder of my t shirt will testify.
I can happily ride 75 hilly miles on a fully-loaded touring bike, although my @rse might argue the toss.
I can ride 15 miles per banana.
Goats in fields are ace.
Going to sleep at 9 makes you quite fresh and perk at 4.30.
Following a river downstream doesn’t necessarily mean it will be all down hill.
It’s hard to control a loaded touring bike going 40mph when your hat is flapping in your face, and your trying to stop the map case from blowing off.
Lots of people I speak to think I’m Dutch.
more to follow.

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