What a long fucking day! 9 hrs door-door with 6.5hrs in the saddle
It rained overnight, I saw in the window and read my book a little drinking Hoegarden – lovely. It was cool and rainy in Njimegen when I left this morning. The first few kilometres were all downhill, all the way to the border. What an uneventful border that was.. hardly knew I’d crossed into a different country except that at some point the roadsigns were in a different language.
Got to the town of Kleve and stopped for coffee. The lovely lady gave me some heart shaped cookies and I refilled my soul. There’s already a noticeable difference in the people compared to the Netherlands. Immediately I notice their less friendly and accepting here, a little more angry perhaps. Less patience and less likely to look you in the eye or smile at a stranger.
After Kleve it was relatively flat going, through the countryside. I stopped for a brief lunch at Xanten and from there met up with the Rhine. Following that for a few kilometres was pleasant, rolling farmland and bike paths away from the main roads. That’s another thing.. I’m finding I’m riding on the main roads a lot more already, less dedicated bike paths, and when there are pathways they aren’t nearly as well maintained.
Through Wesel and then I started climbing up. Got to Buer and had a quick rest on the grass, hoping it didn’t get any higher. But no.. Max lived on top of the highest hill in Bochum.. so onward and upward. After 120km.. the biggest hill was right at the end. I definitely contemplated throwing the bike in the bushes and getting a bus, more than once. Other than that it was a relief to catch up with Max and the shower and bed was definitely appreciated.