This morning we all knew that rain was likely at some point during the day. We just didn't know when, but we found out soon enough.
After we polished off another giant German breakfast we headed east. It wasn't but 15 minutes into the ride that the drops started to fall. We stopped, threw on our rain gear, and pushed on. Fortunately for us the rain was relatively light and the temperature was fine.
We decided to stop after an hour for some coffee, and to our delight, our German friend Thomas spotted a bakery that turned out to have delicious, handmade pastries and cakes of all sorts. Yum! By the time we left the rain had almost completely stopped, so the stop can only be viewed as a spectacular success.
We pedaled on with an occasional drop of rain or two, finally reaching our destination village called Rückstetten at about 1:30. Another lovely "Gasthof" (somewhere between a hotel and a B&B) and another wonderful lunch.
We decided to make another afternoon excursion, our third this week, into the next big town called Teisendorf, just four short miles away. In Teisendorf we visited the local brewery to inspect their products (seal of approval granted) and then walked around town to see what we could see. We then headed to the outskirts of town to the public swimming pool for a refreshing dip in the 50-meter pool.
A thunderstorm loomed on the horizon so we decided to make a run back to our Gasthof in advance of the storm. We made it with about ten minutes to spare; a thundershower rolled over the Gasthof as we were relaxing in our rooms.
And yes, we raced back from the pool like little kids. It seems like some of the team members floating near the back suddenly snuck up at the very end for a strategic breakaway victory.
All in all, it was another wonderful, 48-mile day. We are preparing for our last ride to Salzburg tomorrow.
Bob has become our official record keeper, and he shows our cumulative mileage at 484. Thank you, Bob, for your painstaking effort to record and log all of our efforts. We plan to stop when we reach 500 miles and celebrate our success. It certainly feels good to know that our goal is within reach, and more importantly, to know that we are honoring the commitment to raise funds for our military. Everyone has been focused on achieving our ultimate goal.
We look forward to our final days together and to the camaraderie. It has been a team effort in all respects with everyone being so thoughtful, helpful, and considerate, in particular our hosts in both countries.
Please see below for a few random musings not particular to any day.
Biking Ups and Downs:
Cycling performance can vary quite a bit from day to day. Sometimes you feel like your legs are like powerful pistons in a Porsche 911, while other times you feel like you need to call 911 because of your legs. You ride at blazing speeds and climb high mountain passes, but the next minute you are entering a village where very young kids on bikes are begging their parents for permission to race you through town because they are sure that they will be victorious!
Biking it and Liking it:
In Germany we are finding ourselves on smaller farm roads and back roads very frequently. We roll by yards, farms, cow pastures, (complete with special land mines!) homes, small places of business, and still others, all with a closeness that gives each ride a certain intimacy. In one instance when we were looking for the bike path in a small village, an elderly lady on her balcony shouted down friendly instructions that took us behind her house directly through a small cemetery (picture attached).
When biking in the rain it is always a challenge to find the balance between rain protection vs. not overheating; rain gear is just not all that breathable. Today it rained (or threatened to rain) several times so we had to be prepared and change clothing quickly and hope for the best outcome. Fortunately there was no thunder or lightning. We saw enough of that in France to make us cautious and jittery.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!