Today was a great day: I overtook an e-bike! On a hill, might I add. And you know what, as I overtook said e-bike I gave the battery a good, hard stare so the the man, no older than forty, who was riding it, knew that I knew that he knew…if you know what I mean.
Last night I was knackered from my adrenaline fuelled afternoon, so I got some food, got sorted and headed to bed. I did think my tea was a bit dodgy so (thankfully) didn’t eat it all, as what I did eat made a reappearance at 3am this morning. I really don’t like being sick but I knew it was a case of better out than in.
I managed to get a couple more hours sleep before the 0530 alarm went off. Still feeling a little queasy, I packed up and headed off as we had another big day ahead of us.
I can’t lie; I was nervous about today’s ride. I spent last night checking and rechecking the route, as we needed to go cross country and over some hills today. And after yesterday’s ordeal, the thought of more hills wasn’t ideal.
The first sixteen miles were pan flat as we were following the river again. In my queasy state, I was grateful for this. Then, after an hour or so we pulled away from the river and headed up into the hills.
I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised. I actually really enjoyed it and can go as far to say as, I loved it. Now there is not a phrase I would have thought I’d ever say: I loved the hills! We were on roads (no cycle paths) but they were wonderfully quiet and beautifully tarmaced. And for the next twenty miles it was a case of biking between Bavarian settlement to Bavarian settlement, up and down, and basically from one side of a hill to the other. We had some open country roads but also some amazing parts through the woods.
We made it up the 9% hills, but the 11% ones were just a touch too much for me so, trainers on and I pushed Bikey for the mile or so that the hill kicked up. And unlike yesterday, the downs were a lovely 5 or 6% which meant we could whizz down at a comfortable 25mph. It was so good! We were just zooming through this amazing countryside and through the woods, no one else around, having the time of our lives.
Mile 40 was the designated coffee stop today. Again, a cute Bavarian town with lovely square and cafes out on the street. To replace last nights lost carbs, I ordered a coffee and “apfelstrudel”! It didn’t touch the sides. It was bloody delicious.
So here we are again, slight déjà vu from yesterday: me extolling the amazing time we had in the morning, about to set off again…please don’t say I’ve jinxed it again…
Result! I didn’t jinx the afternoon; we had a great time. More hills (hello 13%) but that also meant more whizzing down the other side (hello 30mph!) The only two slight minor issues were; losing my chain just as I was about to pull out onto a busy road and having a friendly encounter with a hedge.
My GPX looked to be sending me around a bend at the bottom of the hill. Fine, nothing wrong with that. I came merrily whizzing down and took said bend. What I didn’t realise was the corker of the short, but super steep, hill round the other side! In completely the wrong gear I struggled half way up this hill until no more, the pedals were grinding to a halt and I was stuck halfway up this hill. Still clipped in. So my friends, I then had to enact what is cycling’s version of a “tactical chunder”, basically fall into something relatively soft so you can unclip and stand back up again. That “something relatively soft” for me was aforementioned hedge. So, in slow motion, I toppled to my left, grabbed onto the hedge and had a second to unclip and get one foot on the ground. Panic averted.
From then on in, it was a lovely ride down into Nürnberg, where I have a super central Airbnb, which I totally forgot when booking it, has a washing machine and a BATH!! This is excellent news.
What a way to round off five days of riding since Köln, our last rest day. A truly glorious day out in the hills – yes it was challenging, but the downhills and stunning scenery were worth grinding it out for. And now we have a day off tomorrow before four more days of back-to-back riding.
Now, please excuse me as I have a date with a bubble bath…
576 miles down…424 miles to go