Regensberg, Germany. I hope you`re looking at the www.tourdafrique.com website periodically because there are a number of photos posted there now of this trip (on the Orient Express webpage). I`ve only just looked at it myself, so thought I`d mention it to you. What a fabulous city this is! So old (Medieaval – our hotel dates back to the 13th Century!) and so people and cyclist friendly. We are situated in the heart of the old downtown which is mostly a walking district.
We arrived at our hotel late yesterday afternoon and not a moment too soon for me! We did three days of 100 Km each and I have to admit I was feeling pretty pooped yesterday. It must be a cumulative tired thing that happens. Each morning I started out feeling pretty good (“Back in the saddle again – tra la la”) then I`d slump mid to late morning, but a revivifying kaffee und apfel strudel would generally do the trick until lunch, then another little post-prandial slump would occur each day. However, once I got a whiff of the old campsite or hotel it would be chocks away and all systems go as I`d head for the barn at top speed. (Did I mention that I live for the rest days”) At dinner tonight, I was told that we have, so far, climbed 9,200 metres on this trip. To put that into perspective, for my non-riding friends and family, that would be the same as climbing Mount Everest! (It dilutes somewhat, of course, when you consider that that`s over 14 riding days, but still…… …… (And, as Bruce just said, we had more oxygen to breathe. HE can say that – but I think I was out of oxygen a number of times!)
We continue to be lucky with the weather. Three days ago we spent the afternoon outrunning an enormous black rain cloud. We were zig-zagging across open countrside and every time we zigged north this massive blackness would loom, then we`d zag south and the sky was blue with white clouds then back towards the black again. I didn`t know I could ride so fast for so long! We were zooming along at around 35 – 39 Kms per hour for ages. (Just got to find the right motivation for me, apparently, and luckily the land was flat.) We found a barn just in time to get inside as the heavens opened up, then ten minutes later it had passed and we were on the road again. On arrival in camp, we just had time to get our tent up and again it poured so we sat that one out inside our tent with a bottle of vino we had – quite fortuitously – picked up en route. That thunderburst also passed within a few drenching minutes. I`m paying the price now, though, for thinking I could ride like that. My knees are still aching.
Bruce had a bit of a tough day a couple of days ago himself. His pedals need to have the bearings re-packed, but in the absence of getting that done he bought some new pedals, but the clips gave him trouble a couple of times and he had a couple of falls. I mention this only because, as you now know, Ive had my own share of clip problems………. 🙂 Hee hee.
I`ve just been told that tomorrow`s ride is “only” 65 Kms (did I really say “only” – who`d think that that was me saying that!). I`m suspicious though………… Does that mean it`s going to be hilly” This group has gelled so well and, sadly, some will not be continuing after Vienna. I`m going to miss them. Thanks so much each of you who drops a line or makes a comment on this blog. It`s great to hear from you and I really appreciate your words of encouragement.
posted Tuesday June 2007