Well I’ve just reached Passau, the end of the Danube in Germany, on my last leg from Dillingen. Nine days cycling with no rest days (only one 50km half day), all camping bar one night in a hostel and I must say I am weary! Whilst I am significantly fitter than I was when I left I’ve found that gradually, when cycling everyday, I still seem to build up fatigue. At the start of the 9 days I slept 7 hours a night, at the end I am up to around 12. I think I may be pushing too hard but it’s good to learn what I am capable of whilst still in the safe surroundings of western europe. Anyway on with a quick summary of riding this leg.
My pace is starting to pick up now and I’m well on my way down the Danube, it’s been an interesting week or so since I last posted on the ride from Luxembourg to Strasbourg. Firstly I spent a day off resting in Strasbourg and spent a couple of hours seeing the place, I don’t know if it’s because I had no real expectations of the place (mainly stopped there as it was a logical place on the route to the Danube) or because of the nature of cycling all the way their but I really enjoyed just walking about the town.
So the next little leg of the trip to Strasbourg is now complete and I’ve got myself another day of sightseeing tomorrow so I thought I’d do a quick write up whilst having a night off in the hostel. Last time I left you in Hollenfels, Luxembourg where I then did a short 18 mile cycle into Luxembourg city, the first 5 miles towards Mersh through winding forests being some of the nicest cycling scenery I’ve ever seen!
Well it has certainly been a long week! My first real taste of long distance bicycle touring and I am relieved to say I am really enjoying it, even with the cold and rain. I’ve learnt a lot about my equipment and bike, how it all performs and also how I perform in terms of how much food I need to cover the miles (way more than anticipated is the answer to that!).
After a day recovering in Hove saying goodbye to friends and playing a farewell gig with my band I had a short ride to Seaford where I’d be staying in holiday bungalow with my parents for a night before catching the Newhaven-Dieppe ferry the following morning. The ride down Cycle route 2 was much nicer then the one on Routes 21 & 22 from London to Brighton mostly running along the seafront and away from main roads. Crossed paths and said hello with another fully-loaded (four panniers) cyclist who’d come from Germany.
Quick post on how my first day went! Smooth sailing for about 40 miles and then hit a wall when my energy levels dropped and I became very aware of the weight of the bike (14kg bike + 36kg luggage). Going to have a bit of a prune before leaving on the ferry on Sunday, I’ve been a bit overzealous with spares (I don’t really need to carry a spare tyre in Europe as I have tyre boots etc.).
About an hour of rain early in the day made me glad of the money I spent on decent waterproofs, the same rain also reduced a half mile sand section of the UK’s cycle route 20 into quick sand but I made it through. Not the most scenic of bike routes but reaching the “Welcome to Brighton” markers was rewarding! A few pictures;