11 June 2024

Home Again!

Our BBF was annoyed and perplexed last night ( Monday 10 June ) when he couldn’t find affordable accommodation for our next night! His lack of fitness for maintaining 80-100 Kms per day meant that we would take longer and so the whole Adventure looked more expensive than first thought! The weather was far from perfect for rain was forecast on our route for the next two days. As we went to sleep our BBF announced that we would return home. He‘d rather spend money on outings with his patchwork families than on a cycle tour where only rain was our steady companion!

The next morning it was not raining yet which was a bonus. Alan was the only guest for breakfast after which he packed and then collected the bike! Once loaded we had a look at what Bergheim had to offer. 

As it was mildly sunny we Bears could sit where we too could enjoy the countryside. Bergheim, appeared to us to have far more Italian Ice Cafes than decent restaurants.

Once the right direction was found we headed out of town on a different route to the one we came in on. Eventually we did find and follow the Erft river again.

Without rain the ride was more entertaining and enjoyable! 

Once again we crossed over the river on small bridges! 

Occasionally we would see the odd human walking a dog, but we had the paths to ourselves! 

Then the route took us over a hill we did not cross before to find ourselves on the edge of a large windpark! 

Close by was also a brown coal fired power station. Later we came closer to one and found our small hut again!

It was cold on the bike which explains our BBF‘s head covering. Then it was on again until we reached home in good order. 

Alan left us to take a short walk into town to buy a few bits.

He didn’t fancy cooking so took himself off to Bowl Brothers for a meal. 

He was the only guest, though they appeared to do a brisk trade in takeout/deliveries! 

So ended a brief adventure. 

10 June 2024

The Three Rivers Cycle Tour Day One

Our BBF was in need of an adventure and so he decided we would cycle a route following three rivers. The suggested route started in Cologne and follows the Rhine North then follows the Erft to more or less its source and then the Ahr back to the Rhine. This morning 10 June it was overcast and rain was in the offing. The thought did occur to us not to go, but if we put it off we’d never go.

Coming from the North to join this circular route we cycled to Grevenbroich to pick it up, some 15 kms. The rain was light, but steady which meant our BBF put on all his oilies or what ever cyclists call their rain gear. It was good that he did as the rain didn’t stop. The route took us down Konstantinstrasse in Mönchengladbach where there is Stadler a large cycle shop. Our BBF stopped here to buy a rain cover for his helmet and a pair of new Galoshes. The ones he had were missing a strap and not the best one could buy. The first pair with his shoe size wouldn’t fit so he exchanged them for XL which did. Then after using their toilets we set off again. 

The route followed minor roads but with a fair amount of traffic which made it noisy. The cycle path out side of town was more often than not on the other side of the road. It got colder as we progressed so at a bus stop hut we stopped to put on another layer under the water proof jacket. In Grevenbroich we had a bit of a problem picking up the new route to follow the Erft, but eventually found the right way. 

Now the route was along one bank or the other of the river, through woodland where we were afforded some protection from the rain. At just the right time we came across a little hut with a bench where we stopped to have a sandwich lunch. Sadly opposite us was parked very a noisy soiled water tanker which had stopped to pump out the rain water drain. 

Were it not for the rain the route would have been pretty with places to stop and enjoy the river. We cycled on though. After some four hours of cycling our BBF was tiring and decided to find somewhere to stay. He found a small hotel in the middle of Bergheim and so we went there.

The hotel when we got there was all shut up, so after calling the proprietor we sat in the Italian ice cafe opposite to await his arrival. Our BBF indulged in a Coffee ice cream which was far larger than he expected!

The bike was parked in a garage and locked up and we made ourselves at home. After a wash and brush up our BBF had a nap. 

We found a Cafe not too far from our hotel for a meal and an isotonic drink. 

It has stopped raining as we write, but the forecast is for more of the same. Not nice but all part of life’s adventure our BBF says.