13 April 2023

Day 2 Inner German Border Tour

Our BBF did not sleep really well despite being exhausted. Muscle cramp and Bladder issues all worked against deep slumber.
He was up at 0700hrs and after ablutions packed a little before breakfast. The day started well with no rain and we had quite a view from our breakfast table.

After breakfast it was back to packing and then we loaded the bike and off we set. No one looked at the time, but we think it was around 0900hrs. Our intention was to go as far as possible today. We Bears now discovered that the Cursor of the COBI Bike App when in Nav mode tended to wander onto the track that we had just come on if the bends and turns were sharp. This was clearly something none of us noticed in the rain of yesterday and explains why we so often went wrong.

Here is one place we went wrong today! We should be up by the Chappel on the hill. Fortunately we could get there directly and not have to back track.

We managed to stay on track from here on in. Initially the going was good, but it got steeper and steeper.

At one point the track was just that, no longer concrete and our BBF had to peddle hard to get to the top of a hill in the woods. Sadly the back wheel slide sideways of a protruding root and we all took a tumble.

Initially our BBF was like a beached turtle on his back and he couldn’t get up until he managed to roll over on his front. No one was hurt or injured, thankfully. What to do now, as without speed there was no way we would get to the top by cycling? Well, Pat and Dan would be pleased to know that we now practised “Portage” or humping as Alan calls it.

You can just see the black bike in the above picture. Alan made three trips in all carrying the bags up the hill. It was hard work too.

At the top we checked that we were all OK and after drinking lots of water against the shock our BBF now sucked on a tube of condensed milk to gain some energy.

Then we cycled on.

The path is hard on the bum as the holes are not designed to help cyclists. We took another short tumble struggling up another hill. Alan had difficulty keeping the bike on the concrete and slipped off into a depression on the side of the road. Only pride was injured.

We took a run at the next steep hill, but didn’t make it to the top so had to portage again. You can just see the bike down the hill, which does not look as steep as it was believe us.

The ride down the other side was great. Just after this photo we had the third and last portage of the day, only a short one this time and Alan told us it was great getting pulled up the hill by the bike on walk assistance mode. 

Downhill is so much more fun. We had a rest stop at the next point of interest and took selfies, as it told us to!

Getting to this old watch tower we actually missed our turn off and should have back tracked, but our BBF never likes going back so we cut across country to rejoin the path further on. Muddy it was too.

We passed through one village where they had decorated the old water well for Easter. 

We got to Irmelshausen, Point 15 on the map, around 1330hrs and now sat by the church to consider the next bit.  We had used a lot of energy and Alan was concerned about managing to get to the next place if it was as steep as the last one.

Here you can see the profile of where we had come from. The profile of the onward path was even more horrendous and we felt our BBF didn’t have the energy, let alone the bike battery. The prospect of being stuck in the wilderness without power on the bike was not something any of us relished. As we were outside a pub we went in and asked if they could put us up. The woman mentioned that the next bit of the journey was indeed horrendous and served our BBF with an isotonic drink to fortify him.

Here you can see the profile of the next bit of the path and none of us had the energy to continue.

Our room is a little cooler than we like, but we all had siesta and then our BBF did his washing and showered. 

As the Church outside the pub was a St James Church, Alan went in and sang the Pilgrims Hymn.

Tomorrow is another day!

P.S. I am doing this journey to raise money for the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal, so would ask you to donate some cash! You can do so easily using the following link, every little helps. Thank you.

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