Saturday, November 28, 2009

Sunday September 13th - Down

It was a cold morning and my bladder woke me at precisely 6am as it had got into the habit of doing. After taking care of that, I snuggled back into the warmth of the sleeping bag and took my time over getting up properly. I left at 9, picked up a pretzel and some rolls at the bakery and continued to climb further into the Black Forest.

I stopped to eat the pretzel at a pretty spot overlooking a valley.


Close to the top of the hill I was diverted onto a cycle route leading away from the road and towards Titisee-Neustadt. The route kept me going for most of the way and all the way to Bonndorf - there were some ups, some downs and some gravelly bits.

The section from Neustadt to Bonndorf ran alongside a disused railway line. At Lenskirch it crossed a valley, doubling back on itself. I stopped in the town for lunch at an Italian restaurant - I had some delicious pasta stuffed with artichoke, and a hot chocolate (since it had been a while...)

After Bonndorf the previously excellent cycle route signage was reduced somewhat. Rain had threatened earlier but never happened, but now I kept singing rain songs. "Oh now I wish it would rain down" (and trust me I am not a Phil Collins fan), "Raindrops keep falling on my head" and of course "I'm only happy when it rains" (which is definitely not true). I struggled to think of any sun songs.

Cycle path

The descent started at Bonndorf. Unfortunately my front derailleur wasn't behaving - it refused to shift properly and kept springing back to the smallest chainring. Which was an annoying problem to have on what should have been a fun and fast downhill, but I'd rather that than be stuck on a large chainring on the way up!

I saw a motorcycle crash on the way down. The guy was coming the other way and skidded on the corner, the bike sliding sideways and lodging under the crash barrier. He got up straight away and dusted himself down, insisting he was OK. His two friends stopped to help and there wasn't much I could do other than gawp and struggle to string a German sentence together, so I went on my way.

I camped near the small town of Untermettingen. Upon examining the dodgy derailleur, the problem turned out to be quite simple - a loose gear lever.

Distance: 42 miles (570 miles so far) • Day 13 RouteDay 13 Photos

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