2008-08-30 52 8
Arvid wanted to get the longest bicycle hash again. And with a fairly large lead too. 200km would be good, just a bit more would be better. Since Arvid hates headwind on the way back, and the wind was from the east, it would lead him to Germany again. Enschede-Bielefeld is around 120km, so that was perfect. While he was there he would check if Bielefeld really existed (20km bonus). Leaving around 9am should get him back the same day.
- Virginity taken.
- cycled 198km. returned by train.
- Also crossed the border.
Arvid did cycle 80km the day before, and that didn't go so well in the end. On saturday when he woke up, he still felt his legs. The doubting took a bit of time, but at 9:35 he was off. 120km headwind to go. Arvid usually rides around 25km/h average, but today the headwind (and some minor hills) kept him at 21-22km/h average. All the travel through nature reserve parks with bad non-paved roads also didn't help.
Even worse was that at crossings where Arvid wanted to turn right, there was no crossing, but a fly-over. And no way to get onto it. This led to some routing problems, also because the route he planned was just for cars. Disaster really struck at 92kms. Arvid went for a pee, and jumped over a ditch to get to a tree. And when he jumped back, he sprained his ankle. That hurt.
Now what? 92kms from home. No disaster plan. No idea where the nearest trainstation is. Only that Bielefeld has one. Arvid went on, since cycling wasn't nearly as painful as walking.
At 121km Arvid arrived at the planned destination. Somewhat east of the hash, which should be at the edge of a field. Bad news: stinging nettles, often as tall as me. Oh, and thistles too. Arvid didn't bring any other clothing that what he was wearing. And that didn't protect arms or legs. But! There may be another way to get to the hash, Arvid now approached the hash from the north, that went a lot better. The hash was really in the crop field, and when he was at 12m or so, standing between the crops (he was really eager to get it by now), he decided that this was Good Enough. He could've done those 12m through the crops, but that wouldn't be any more of an achievement then it was getting to his current spot.
Success! Now what? He planned on going to Bielefeld, but it was 16:45 or so already. Arvid expected to be at the hash at least one our earlier. Arvid went to Bielefeld, if he felt really bad about going on he could get a train there. Getting to Bielefeld was still not easy, and the Bielefeld city centre at 17:30 is a busy place. Arvid made a picture of what he expected to be a big square, which it wasn't, but it had a fountain.
Arvid didn't really feel comfortable in this crowd, and cycling still went ok, so he decided to start on his route home. Arvid had a bit more main routes in this route, so he expected it to have a little bit less steep hills. Which was right. But just to get out of Bielefeld he had to climb the biggest one of the day, which was not expected. When he was finally there, he had just been overtaken by a couple of cars, and a couple of seconds later he had to brake because the cars weren't going fast, and the recumbent going down nearly reached 50km/h. While still in the lowest gear from the climbing. Very weird experience.
The way back went a little easier than the way to the hash, but Arvid's ankle wasn't really nice. Usually he pedals with a cadence of 110-115. Now 105 was maximum, otherwise the ankle would hurt too much. Also, every impact hurt, and with clicking pedals, every bump in the road is an impact on the ankle. Unclicking was also no fun. When Arvid got back to a place where he had to look for the road again, while sun was set, he noticed a lot of railroads, and hoped for a trainstation. This was in Lengerich. So when there was a sign saying "Bahnhof" he followed it. Being completely strange to the German railways, and with just some basic knowledge of German, this was a new, but completely different challenge. The station was closed, but Arvid could get a Journeyplan from the machine. It wouldn't accept his pay-card though. Luckily, it was only 20:50 or so, and the train he needed would leave at 21:33. There was a pub just across the street from the station, so he went there and asked how he should get a ticket. Apparently, when the machine fails, you can pay with cash in the train. Arvid did bring enough cash, so that worked out. Still over half an hour to go, he stayed in the pub, someone offered him a drink, he had icetea. And later he also bought a beer himself. The train brought him to Münster, and from Münster there's a direct train to Enschede. It arrived in Enschede at 23:20. Train costs were 13.60EUR for Arvid, and 3.30EUR for the bike. Which isn't too bad, since he was still 72kms from home in Lengerich.
Consideration for taking the train: ankle, looking for the right way to go in the dark, and cycling at main roads around midnight on a saturdaynight(the last 25km). If it wasn't for the ankle, I probably would've continued, since I wasn't exhausted or tired. The taking it easy in the first hours had really worked. I would, however, have arrived home after midnight. Now I was home at 23:30.