On The Road Again, Literally (August 29)
After a great reunion with Moritz, it was time once again to get back on the open road. Destination? Hmmmm. That’s a good question. I should probably figure that out in more detail. For now, I figured I’d just continue south along the Rhine. It’s worked out pretty well thus far.Much like the past few days, today was another beautiful sunny day and the forecast called for the hot weather to continue. And unlike recent days, the winds were a bit calmer today and in a slightly more favourable direction. So, with my bike loaded up once again, I bid farewell to Moritz and headed off for the Rhine. I have no idea when our paths might cross again but I really hope they do.
Before officially hitting the road, I stopped at the same cafe from yesterday to send out a Warm Showers request for tonight. Given the short notice, I really didn’t expect a favourable (or any) response. But it was worth a try.
While the long term goal remains unclear, today’s goal was Speyer. The route to which would essentially follow the Rhine. Or, that’s what I thought. Somehow (and somewhere) I misplaced the Rhine and found myself cycling on actual roads. Not crazy busy roads. But I was clearly not riding along the Rhine for much of the day. Yes, there were also trails and cycle lanes but there were also several long stretches of riding on a real (although, lightly travelled) highway. I’m not going to lie, I probably enjoyed it more than I should have.Despite the route not being on the Rhine it was still very scenic. Maybe even more scenic as there were actually a few hills on the day. Not Scotland-esque hills. But there were the occasional elevation gains on the day.
There were also quite a few grapes being grown. And yes, it was very tempting to stop and take a sample or two of said grapes. But I didn’t. I did take a photo though.
When I arrived in the town of Otterstadt, I spotted a Deutsche Bank in Otterstadt. The only reason that’s notable is that I’ve discovered that Deutsche Bank branches seem to consistently have a free WiFi connection. And this one was no exception. That said, I had received no Warm Showers replies so I needed to come up with an alternate plan for accommodation. As usual, that plan would centre around camping.
As I stood outside the bank and browsed the internet, a guy going into the bank offered his assistance. His English was a bit tough to understand at times but he mentioned a few camping areas nearby. Of course, I actually was hoping to travel a bit further south before finding a campground. That part of my story seemed to get lost in translation.
Anyway, he offered to show me the way back to the Rhine and the camping areas. The only problem was he didn’t have his bike with him. So, I followed him in his car to his apartment where I waited on the street while he retrieved his bike. It was all just a bit odd but also good.
With dinner over, we continued on towards Speyer. During the ride I finally managed to convey that I wasn’t going to return to the previous campgrounds – that would’ve been WAY too much backtracking. He seemed satisfied that I knew where I was heading and wished me well as we parted ways. I have to say, it was a very unexpected encounter. By the time he got back to his place I’m guessing he would’ve pedalled about 30 km.
The campground was still about 15 km away but it was a very easy 15 km. And it was a pretty conveniently located campground in terms of facilities – there were THREE grocery stores within walking distance. Although, none of the grocery stores had a particularly great selection of individual-sized ice cream products.
As I set up my tent tonight, I really noticed that it’s in serious need of a cleaning. Of course, the same could probably said about me and my clothes!
After a beautiful, sunny and hot ride today, It was another somewhat muggy night so I again opted to go with just the silk sleeping bag liner. That’s worked out well so far – although, it does get a bit chilly in the wee hours of the morning.
With all that said, the big revelation of the day is that in addition to battling the backlog of daily updates, I’ve also built up a bit of a backlog of freelance projects. Given the inconsistent internet access I’ve had of late (actually, for most of my time on the road this year), I’ve come to the realization that doing these projects remotely may be ill-advised. As such, it saddens me to say that I’m looking at flights back to Canada. The challenge? Finding an airport with a cheap flight (including bicycle fees) and that is within cycling range in the not too distant future. Wherever that ends up being, the result is the same. The end is near.
Distance travelled: 119.52 km
Ride time: 6:05:33
Average speed: 19.61 km/h
Maximum speed: 35.20 km/h