We enviously watched the two solo bike tourers camped near us, they both packed and left in the space of about 1/2 an hour. We took considerably longer but still managed to get away at 9:15am, which was pretty good for us and necessary given the big day ahead. We back-tracked the way we had arrived the previous afternoon, north along the Mosel and into Koblenz, before re-joining the cycle route.
Just after Urmitz we passed beneath the cooling tower of the mothballed Kernkraftwerk Mülheim-Kärlich nuclear reactor which only operated for three years.
With bulging bladders and hunger complaints from the trailer, we made our one and only McDonalds stop of the trip. Cheesburgers all round which kept the kids happy and tided us over for a later lunch.
Our luck with the weather continued to hold: warm and sunny. Even better though – we had a strong tail wind for most of the day and we made much better progress than expected. So much so that we had to call ahead to our friends, just outside of Bonn, and let them know that we would arrive several hours before the time we had estimated. We easily kept a speed of +20 km/h for most of the time and we were even able to sit on around 25 km/h at times.
We stopped again for lunch at a little park beside the river in Rolandseck. Knowing that we would have a warm bed to sleep in for a few nights, we unpacked the tent and dried it while we ate. Here the lack of public toilets presented a problem which could not be delayed and our children’s basic needs resulted in a small deposit being made in a (hopefully) discreet location. Leaving slightly lighter due to the deposit and a dry tent we raced on with the tail wind. We crossed with the ferry to the eastern side of the river and then cycled below Drachenfels castle, which we had visited earlier in the year, and then on past Koningswinter.
As we passed Bonn on the other side of the river we began to see familiar landmarks and the bike paths became busier.We left the route for the last 5 kms into Bergheim and met our friends where we were greeted with warm beds, clean sheets and German hospitality, complete with Wurst, potato salad and beer.
To see the route, elevation profile, etc., click the link to Ride with GPS below (it should be able to be embedded but WordPress does not allow this).