Autumn Leaf Cafe - an anthology of ideas and adventures

Bicycling Through Europe 1998
A Travelogue

Tuesday, September 15

From To Distance (km) Average Speed (km/hr) Max Speed (km/hr) Odometer (km) Riding Time (hr:min:sec) Push-Ups
Rosenfeld, Germany Guenterstal, Germany 104.38 14.3 48.8 543 7:17:53 210

(676 words)

This morning Matt and I were up and packed before going downstairs for breakfast at 6:30 AM. Because we had made such poor progress yesterday, we wanted to get an early start today. As we left for breakfast, however, I noticed that I'd absentmindedly left my tube of toothpaste sitting on the table.

After returning from breakfast, I decided that since I had to unpack my toiletries bag to put away the toothpaste anyway, I may as well brush my teeth. So I unpacked the toiletries bag and removed my toothbrush, walked to the table and picked up the tube of toothpaste, unscrewed the cap, squeezed some toothpaste onto my brush, and walked to the sink to brush my teeth.

Afterwards I tossed both my toothbrush and toothpaste tube back into my toiletries bag and tightened its drawstring. I pushed the toiletries bag down into my panier and tightened the panier's drawstring. Finally I closed the panier's top flap, buckled the buckle and sinched everything down tight by pulling on the strap attached to the buckle. After gazing proudly for a moment on my tightly-packed panier, I looked up and noticed the cap to my tube of toothpaste still sitting on the table. After unpacking and repacking my toiletries case for the third time, I was finally ready to go.

When we first got on the road at 7:40 AM, it was raining lightly. But before long, the rain got heavy. As it was also rather cold, I was constantly wishing I had a hood or some way to keep my head dry and ears warm. After about 20 km I finally stopped long enough to pull a spare plastic bag out of one of my panniers and stick it under my helmet. My plastic bag headgear wasn't too stylish, but it kept my head dry and even kept the wind off my ears.

We rode agressively through the wind and rain from Oberndorf to Schramberg. There was some climbing as we headed to Schramberg, which was unluckily rewarded by a very steep downhill just as we arrived in Schramberg. Going downhill is nice if you are warmly enough dressed and it isn't too steep. If a downhill grade is too steep, as it was when we arrived in Schramberg, you have to keep your brakes on all the time, which strains your hands.

From Schramberg we started a long uphill climb towards Hornberg. When we reached the top of this hill (a little town named Fahrenburg) it was 11:45 and we had gone about 43 km, much of that uphill. The town of Fahrenburg seemed to consist solely of one restaurant, but it was a nice restaurant and we decided to stop there for lunch. I ordered Geisberger Marsch -- a soupy mixture of spaetzle (Swabian noodles), potatoes, and some small pieces of meat -- a dish my German grandmother had sometimes made for me. As I hadn't had a warm meal in two days and had just ridden four hours in the cold wind and rain, this Geisberger Marsch didn't have a chance.

After lunch, it seemed so cold and wet that I actually put on all three of my jackets -- my blue windbreaker, my green fleece jacket, and my red rainjacket. I was toasty, warm, and comfortable gliding down to Hornberg. From Hornberg we road 2 km north on a busy road before turning left on the road to Elzach. This road took us up over another big hill. Climbing uphill I got warm enough to remove all my jackets save the blue windbreaker.

After rolling downhill to Elzach through some beautiful mountains, Matt and I meandered through Waldkirch, Denzigen, Gundelfingen, to Freiberg. We had hoped to stay in Freiberg, but found that all the hotels were full. We kept riding through Freiberg, stopping and inquiring at each hotel we found, until we arrived in Guenterstal, a small town just south of Freiberg. In this town we found a reasonably priced hotel run by Greeks, where we put in for the night.

Last Updated: Monday, September 2, 2002
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