2009-04-25 51 7
Arvid will go there. Options were either do 52 6 and 52 7(180km roundtrip), or 51 6 or 51 7(both around 200km). Since wind is from the south(east), I'll be heading southeast. It's somewhere halfway Dortmund and Bochum, in... a field!
At 10:30 I left home. I expected the trip to take 5 hours, because of headwind, and an unknown amount of hills south of Reken. Just to be sure I gave myself an extra 30 minutes, for unforeseen things. There might be some unpaved roads in my plan, that i'd rather not take, for instance.
I had some fun when a male pheasant saw me and decided to run past in front of me. Of course I accelerated, and then it happened.... it took off! After running up to speed first. I saw a pheasant fly once before, and it looked a bit like a chicken trying to fly, but I have to say, I was impressed this time. I think it flew up to about 5m off the ground, and a total distance of about 50m before landing again. This is one of the birds that needs some speed first to lift off.
I was familiar with the road until Reken. From there on it would be unknown. I know there are hills there, but I had no idea how serious they were. Nor did I know the state of the "service roads". Quite often these are perfect asphalt in my area. But they can be any sort of mud or sand. I thought I might have maybe 1km of unpaved roads. I was wrong. It was 3km. Most of the time the road was rideable, and when it didn't there was a cycle/walkingpath next to it. It had bushes growing over the path now and then though. On the way back I found out it wasn't level either.
Just south of Haltern there is a path next to the road that says it's a pedestrian path, and cyclists are free to choose between that and the road. Since I generally prefer the road, I did that this time as well. And this time even legal! That didn't stop 2 cardrivers from honking and pointing me to the path. And to be honest, they might have a point. The path is very, very nice asphalt, and I was going uphill, so not very fast.
After that I missed a turn(between Haltern and Oer/Erkenschwick), but decided not to cycle back, since I didn't remember seeing a real road there. I continued and just took the main road, since going back and take the shortcut wouldn't be a lot shorter anymore anyway. On the way back I checked the missed turn (I took the main road on the way back too), and it was another service road with a gate. As cyclist I'm probably allowed in, but I didn't really regret not taking it.
Other shortcuts were fine. One had a very nice sign. And although it was paved I got deja vu's to the Tour of Flanders and the cobblestones there. I never been on asphalt this bad. I think the Belgians will sue the Germans when they find out about this.
The hills and wind and shortcuts weren't a lot worse than expected: at 15:25 I arrived at the road closest to the hashpoint. Since there was no tree to park my bike against, I went back a bit and took a small sidestreet. I had a lot of time until 4pm, so I wandered around a bit, and saw a female pheasant near the little stream.
I had announced this hash, hoping I wouldn't have to go into the field to claim this a saturday 4pm meetup. Sadly no one showed so I went into the field with (what I think was) young corn. The ground was very, very dry and hard. I kept to the tracks in the field, or the side, when I found out that went more towards the hash. There was some trash in the field that I decided to take home. Of course the hashpoint was in the middle between two tracks. I walked in both of them, muttering about this "not trampling fields" thing. And then I got a brilliant idea! Which worked out to be the stupidest thing I ever did while geohashing: I decided to throw my GPSr from the one track to the other, so it would go through the hashpoint.(Geohash By Proxy) I didn't throw my GPSr far enough to get to the other track. So I had to look between the corn to find it, and trample some anyway. I kind of paniced, since all this corn all of a sudden looked very much the same to me. And it wasn't possible to see the ground from above it. After about 4 minutes I found it (tnx logs! It went from N51.48099 E7.35271 to N51.48098 E7.35284 in the throw). I don't know whether I have been at the hash, but I have been within 5m so I'll call it a success anyway.
After I found my GPSr I tried to stay calm and walked back to my bike where I made a picture of me being relieved, and another of me staring into the light without my sunglasses on.
I made a picture of the surroundings in the direction of Bochum from the road next to the hash when I went home again at 16:10.
The way back was nicer. It was generally more downhill, and I should have backwind. I even overtook a car on the right in Castrop, going 50km/h. And then my cap flew off. I felt quite silly and got a laugh from the woman on the passenger seat of the car. I also made a picture of a sign that I noticed on the way to the hash. I don't know whether it's translatable though. As I said, I should have backwind, but the wind had turned a little more than the forecast said: it was now southwest, so I had headwind or annoying sidewind on some parts again.
On the unpaved road I stopped on the way back, and made some more pictures. I didn't have to pedal and got up to 25km/h. I really didn't notice the incline going the other way.
At about 20:30 I arrived home again.