I finally made it to the Rhein and it is beautiful. i start off just north of Koln and take a right. i have never spent much time up around here and the ride is wonderful. smooth and fast. i think for once my average speed might just be better.
I love Koln, having just been here last month for the world cup - the boardwalk along the river is heaving with people, music, food & beer. I made an executive decision after conferring with my board that i needed to take a break. so, I jump off and have a quick .25 litre of Krolch beer. wonderful in the afternoon. after that, i tool around Koln looking for a bike shop to replace my broken tube, but have no luck...... gulp...... a bit foreboding, but again, worse case, i jump on a train,
as there is a train track that follows parallel to the river and bike track. but the trip is much longer than I anticipate; I got up late thinking that I should have no problems reaching St. Goar by evening, but by 6pm I am hardly south of Bonn, which is still 80 k's from where I started. so all of that talk yesterday of me being a good judge of distances have been grossly proven wrong as I am not even a
third of where I thought that I would be. and then, what I had been dreading happened again. I hear a small pop under my saddle - another broken spoke. i stop this time immediately as it is much safer than on the A road in Chelmsford - in fact i had just cycled into a small village, so i quickly found a b&b and tried to figure out what to do. as it was a Saturday night, no bike shop was open nor would
one be open tomorrow. so, I figure that the best thing to do was to spend the night here and then take the train to Frankfort where I know serval bike shops and I could spend a couple of days with my friends who live there while the bike is being repaired. this really sucks and is a horrible as the one track that i did definitely want to ride was from Koblenz to Frankfort, my favourite stretch of the river. but it is either spend a couple of days waiting for the bike shop to open, or get to Frankfort which I know better and get the bike overhauled so that this never happens again.
I spend a wonderful evening eating dinner next to the Rhein and having a couple of beers along its shores. it is quiet and reflective and I throughly enjoy the silence of the evening and my own thoughts. i throughly enjoy the entire evening and wake up the next morning to catch the train. So, I wake up the next morning and with much sadness and regret, i jump on the train. I am travelling about 120 k's, which in a stretch is about a day's ride. Not to split hairs, but I really wanted to avoid if at all possible taking a train, but i think this is the best decision, to keep me on
schedule and to do the best thing for my bike. Once in Frankfurt, I have many more choices and better facilities for the ride than here.
So, I get on and within 2 hours am at the Hauptbahnhof where my friend Najla picks me up in her minivan. I feel a bit dispondant about the indignity of having to be picked up in a minivan, when I should have ridden to her place, but I suck up my pride as i am happy to have the opportunity to fix this Problem with the bike once and for all. so, Sunday was spent catching up with old friends and relaxing.