Tuesday, April 28, 2009

SPEZI 2009 - the journey home: Day 3

Raining this morning, so I took a little extra time to re-pack the trike, and put on the rain pants and jacket. I eventually hit the road around 9:00am. Heading west and the north along the Rheine, I tried to follow the 'cycle wander way' but the dang sign - a blue square with a yellow cycle in the middle - kept moving around. Sometimes it was on the left, sometimes on the right, sometimes on the side of a house, and sometimes facing the wrong way. For several kilometers it disappeared altogether, forcing me to do a bit of guesswork: 'hmm...river over there, train track over here, autobahn on *that* side, so the road I want must lead *this* way....I hope....'

I have a fairly good nose for heading in the right direction (I've been known to recite the old Buckaroo Bonzai mantra "no matter where you go, there you are" many times), so I eventually abandoned the 'tourist cycle route' and struck out on my own, using the straighter 'bundesstrasse' roads to get me on the way. It was a good choice because I did the 100km to Koblenz (the next big city on the river) in just over 4 hours. The last hour was a bit severe, drenching me with several bouts of heavy rain mixed with a surprise 5 minute hail storm about 20 km south of Koblenz.

It was about that time that my left knee started to complain. The entire trip home has been against the wind so far, so I'm not surprised. In Koblenz I jumped on the train, and skipped the next 136km, ending up in Düsseldorf at around 08:00pm. It looks like the weather might stay clear, so I'll find a camping spot along the river and attack Day 4 with a rested knee. Oldenburg, my next major 'destination', is about 265km to the north-east. If I split that up evenly over the next 2 days, I can cruise easily into Oldenburg on Thursday afternoon. At least that is the plan, and is subject to change if the knee does not co-operate. Must remember to stretch well before I start cycling again.

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