10th August: Köln to Duiven (near Arnhem)

I think these two screenshots say it all:

image image

Here’s the full cyclemeter map. Cumulative distance 354·52 miles

Our first actual stop was for lunch at Restaurant Alte Post, Neusserstrasse in Neuss, after about 27 miles. The waitress there was super-friendly, divining that I am vegan from my attempt to order a baked potato without cream-cheese, filling our camels and generally being excellent. The restaurant appears to be mingled with an arts centre – if you’re ever in Neuss, it’s well worth a try, especially for the peppermint tea made with fresh leaves.

Our next stop was in Moers, after about 48 miles: I described this in a hasty  email as a ‘Kurbiskernebrotchen- und Tee-pause’. Again, I can’t recommend German bakery/cafés highly enough. Lots of yummy bread, cakes, and drinks, friendly staff, toilets – what more could you want.

We did stop once more to buy water and fruit (ring-peaches for me) at a wee roadside shop near Kalkar after about 75 miles. With just 25 miles to go, it was simple enough to push on, especially as cycle-paths improved as we got nearer and then into the Netherlands.

I recall an in-route conversation with a woman who was cycling home – she thought I was Dutch becuase my German is so bad – and too many waits at traffic lights. Distance-cycling is fine, but when I stop, the pressure on my bladder-nerves is relieved and then I know that I need relief right now. Convenient trees away from possible spectators aren’t where you need them, and ‘paula radcliffe’s aren’t always possible either. They don’t always relieve everything, and it’s not quite the done thing to piss on your faithful steed’s crossbar. I guess crosswinds might help, but anything is better than wetting yourself en route!

Digital evidence

IMG_0822

radio-sheep!

Digital video evidence

Leaving Köln

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