2009-04-18 52 7
What was it going to be? A pretty southeastern hash means 53 5 is reachable. But that one is in a canal. I could bring swimming gear, but night temperatures are still about 4°C and the water probably isn't a lot more than 8 or maybe 10°C. Common sense tells me not to try that.
I also still haven't been to 52 5. What about that then? It's inside a national park with a 7 euro entrance fee. And I heard sunny saturdays are very crowded there. Since my money is pretty short... Sadly that also takes out 53 4. The hash was on Texel, but getting there would take 5 hours and somewhere between 50 and 60 euro for a return trip.
Of course 52 6 is way too boring, since that is only 3 fields away from last mondays hash.
Leaves 52 7. On a road. Reachable. Not very interesting. But! It is actually fairly close to the largest amount of hills in my neighbourhood, and I have found some gps-tracks in that area with promising names like "Teutoburger climbing route". Click So lets combine (part) of one of those with the hash. Of course this hilly area only starts 60km east of where I live.
It was a bit cold in the morning, so when I left home at 9:05 I was wearing long tights and a jacket. At 11:20 I stopped to change pants and take the jacket off. I realized I left my sun lotion at home. It was very sunny and sunset is around 20:00. Nine hours in the sun will destroy my skin. Luckily I know that every German village with a church and a pub also has a Schlecker, which is a drugstore. And since it was still well before noon it would also still be open!
At 11:45 I arrived in Riesenbeck where there was indeed a Schlecker. I bought sun protection lotion and muesli bars. From here on the hills start. Around noon I left Riesenbeck. Everything went fairly well. There were two 25% descents (or that was what the sign claimed). Those are scary. Pull the brakes from the start and pray they'll hold. The second was a walking route and not a cycling route, and it had gravel bits. My rear wheel started to slip and bounce a bit, but I survived.
The hill to Tecklenburg started to be annoying. I was very hot and sweaty when I finally made it, and of course there's an immediate descent that cooled me off, probably a bit too much. From there I decided to go to Lengerich and on to the hash, so I would be there at 4pm. I managed that, but I was cold and nauseous.
The hash was at a dead end road leading to a house/farm. Nothing special there. I went back to Lengerich and from there on I would decide what I was going to do. I know Lengerich from the trip where I strained my ankle, I took the train from there then. I also know it was still 70km from there to home, shortest route. I cycled to the train station to see whether the pub against it was open. Sadly it wasn't. I noticed the phonebooth, since Ekorren mentioned one having the wrong color somewhere. I guess this was one of the newer ones. And a bit further there was one of the older types, but in the correct color. Only at home I found out the car in that picture has a Dutch license plate.
So, what was I going to do? I sure wasn't going to finish the Hillroute, but would I take the shortest route home, or take the way back to Riesenbeck as the route suggested? Since I didn't plan the short route and I was feeling slightly better, I went for the latter.
Except for the bit back into Tecklenburg that was fairly easy. I was rewarded with a broad view though, although it was a bit foggy/smoggy in the valley. And after that I set a new speed record: 80.00km/h downhill. The road was nice and I had a ladybird exploring my GPS.
After that it was just going on to get home. One more remarkable thing though: there was a cat in the middle of the bikelane, probably interested in some other animal, when it noticed me. It just stared how I approached at 28km/h or so, right at it. I steered past it, and at that moment it went through it's knees, like something would fly over or something (which I did, of course). I guess Darwin will take care of this cat next time. I arrived home at 21:05.