We had a good start on that morning. We were definitely getting better at this packing thing! Little did we know that we would have one of our longest riding days ahead of us and the early start would come in very handy. We left camp and cycled though Worms and we found that a fun run was being held on that day, which meant a slow detour through the side streets because of the road closures. We finally made our way out of the town and back onto the wonderful German cycle paths.
Another unseasonably hot day. We took the alternative route from the guide along the Rheinterrassen-Radweg thought the vineyards, heading north back to the Rhine. After about 12 km we went through the little town of Osthofen and Emilie noticed her brakes rubbing on the front wheel. In the hot sun, with the girls in the trailer, we spent a good 15 min trying to work out and sort the issue. After some muttered expletives, it seems that the front fork was not aligned well on the axel and the brakes had been wearing unevenly. The bolts for the front fork had loosened! I re-seated the fork properly and re-adjusted the brakes, the problem seemed to be solved.
The Rheinterrassen-Radweg was quite beautiful and the vineyard scenery reminded us of the southern vales wine growing area around Adelaide. Each little village we passed though had its own cobbled town square, half timber-framed building and church. We re-joined the Rhine at Nierstein and then we had lunch in Mainz at about the 55 km mark.
The combination of glorious weather and a Sunday afternoon meant that the cycle ways around and through Mainz were packed with pedestrians and other cyclists. It actually slowed out progress considerably, especially with the trailer. We crossed to the northern side of the river. The congestion on the cycle paths continued all the way to Geisenheim, pedestrians wandered 4 or 5 abreast and always seemed a little shocked and put out to find cyclists behind them waiting to get by, even though our bells had been ringing (politely, if there is such a thing as polite bell ringing) as we approached. We even had to navigate though a wine festival being conveniently held on the actual bike path.
Regardless of the congestion, the way was stunning. Perhaps we might not have been as irritated by the oblivious pedestrians or the wine festival if we had had the time to stop or to just do a shorter day. We had plans to meet with friends in Bonn and were trying to keep to a schedule so that we would make it for the coming weekend. When we divided the kilometers and the days, we knew that we couldn’t both see them and just meander along. This last section of the Upperrhine is one that we still wish we could have maybe split into two days and enjoyed more.
After almost 83 km, we pulled into Rheingaucamping, Geisenheim and set up. A little worn out, we decided to splurge on eating out both for us and for the girls. They had spent 5 1/2 hrs in the trailer (just the moving time from Ride with GPS), and they actually did pretty well considering – it would be very hard to remain in the confines of the trailer for so long (and day after day). We quickly showered and then headed out to let the girls expend some pent up energy on the playground before having dinner at the Italian restaurant which is just next to the campground.
The food and service was great at Rhein Pavillion da Nico, but when we came to pay we ran into, what seems to us, a German/Belgian quirk: “sorry we don’t take any credit cards, cash only”. We didn’t have the cash and the guy said, “oh, no problem, just give me some ID and come back and pay in the morning”. This was in equal parts lovely (isn’t it beautiful to witness and benefit from the trust of our fellow man) and baffling (since when does a restaurant of that size not take credit cards and not have prominent sign saying so!). Of course, an early bank/grocery run the following day enabled us to settle our debt. We also started to be a bit more careful about having more than a few “centimes” in our pocket at any given time. Lesson learned (and nobody had to do the restaurant’s dishes).