|Journal for 21-aug : White River|
A nice, slightly overcast, almost sunny day. Headwind of course, but I'm starting to take comfort in that.
Good (mostly) downhill riding on the open road to Gro▀laden for bakery breakfast. Only 2km of crappy gravel thanks to roadworks deviations.
The Fulda Radweg (literally "wheel way", but it means bike path /route) fantastic. Very scenic, mostly very fast (either paved rail trail, country lane or excellent secondary public road), next to no hills and a sign marking *every* intersection. For the first time since France I was able to ride more than 10km without needing to check my maps. The only place I had navigation trouble was when I tried to take some suggested short cuts.
Stung by a bee I hit with my forehead at 35kph.
Lunch outside supermarket at Malsfeld.
I've yet to work out where Germans go to the toilet if not their own house.
On the outskirts of Melsungen it was starting to rain and I was busting to go. Every German town has a "sportingplatz", which is invariably a soccer field with a shed containing club headquarters, change rooms, a kiosk, and (as I hoped and suspected) public toilets. These ones were locked, and were probably only open on game day.
There were a few houses overlooking the fields, and given the reaction I evoked in Worms, I thought it best I find somewhere discrete to relieve myself. So I walked across the sports field to a tree line and found a tree to pee behind.
I walked back, got my bike back to the road and just as I was about to ride off, the
stazi police drive up. They saw I was about to ride off so we just exchanged waves, but this time someone really had called the police!
Serious navigation problems in Kassel. One dud sign and a succession of roadworks (which means a substantial detour in Germany) made life tricky. I'd hoped to find the tourists info there, but in the end was lucky just to find the way out.
Maybe I 'm getting tired and grumpy but I felt I was getting lots of attitude this evening. "you can't park your bike there, it's too late to buy ham from the deli, you must *not* leave the campground before 8am in the morning". I don't know if Germans like all their rules, but they sure seem to enjoy enforcing them.
Woke early and packed tent in rain.
First 90ks hilly, but very wet and cold.
Feet completely numb, and blue.
Stopped at Northway roadhouse, temp=10c. put socks and clothes in dryer. Left roadhouse when it got down to 8c.
Great fun riding with tailwind over gentlish undulations through wildlife refuge. Saw no wildlife. Visitor info really interesting (and warm), which turns out to be mostly a migratory bird refuge.
Crossed into Canada as sun came out. Tailwind died.
Unable to get CAD cash in Beaver Ck.
Wonderful evening ride to White River, but slowed down by horrible rough road surface. Last 20ks done on 1/2 tyre pressure. Got there at 10:30pm (getting dark).
Cooked & hung around camp fire. Met Ian of www.mountaincyclediaries.com, who is cycling Argentina to Prudo Bay.
Spectacular northern lights show!
Frost on tent when going to bed at 1:30am.
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