Friday, June 17, 2011

Day 24 - Europe 2011

Day 24 - Friday, June 17, 2011 - Allmendingen to Langenau - Trip 64.80 kms Time 4:29:23

In spite of it being a very quiet hotel (no traffic noise, no church bells, etc) I had a bit of a restless night due to some leg cramps from all the previous days hill climbing. The girls woke me up at 6:00. I later found out from Jurgen Dietz (the manager) that they were working on a local Telecoms? project. All quite young - in their 20s. by the time I got down to b'fast they were all gone. Checked out. Paid 48 E. When I went to collect my bike I asked Jurgen if he had a bicycle pump. He helped me check front and back wheel tire pressures. I left for Schelklingen (5.40 kms according to my GPS) at 8:20. The GPS took me up a very steep hill. The path was paved at first but after about 1 km it became loose gravel through very dense forest. At one point I came upon a couple of forest workers. They just stared at me as though I was some kind of an idiot!!! The hill became a mountain and I just kept climbing and climbing. I had to get off and push my bike up the hill for about 1 km twice. After about 9 kms I reached a village - no idea what it was called. I was able to ask an old gentleman, who was just about to set off for a ride on his bike, for directions to Blaubeuren. He pointed me in the right direction where I was able to find a sign for Schelklingen which said it was 7 km down the road. Fortunately it was paved and all downhill at 40 + kph most of the way. Because I was very sweaty I was quite cold going down the mountain. In S. as I was coming out of an underpass and going up a steep ramp I stood up to pedal and my chain broke. I had to go back 10 M to pick up my chain which had completely come off. I walked over to an ice cream place (it was closed) and found a bench in the shade and was able to repair my chain. It was 10:00 when I started and by 10:40 I was back on the road again heading for Blaubeuren. The repairs were good and my chain and shifting were working quite smoothly.
I reached Herrlingen at noon, saw an Asia Snell Imbiss and decided it was time for lunch. I hadn't stopped for a snack as I usually did around 10:30-11:00 so I was quite hungry and thirsty. I had a huge chicken noodle stir fry and tea. It was delicious but man was I ever stuffed. I decided to push on and give Ulm sightseeing a miss. I had just passed Thalfingen around 2:00 when one of my brakes stopped working. I thought it was the rear brake as my pannier was rubbing on the brake. I continued on to Oberelchingen where I asked for a bike shop. I was told I must go on to Langerau (7 km) which was not on the Danube trail. On the way I met Alex, a young student, who spoke very good English, and he took me to a bike shop in Langerau.
I was able to take my bike into the shop where a mechanic adjusted my rear rack support so that my pannier no longer rubbed on the rear brake and he also fixed the front brake. He said the brake pads were almost done!!! No charge. I left a 5E tip at the cash for the mechanic. Alex then helped me to find an hotel. The first one we tried was Gasthause Linde but it didn't open until 17:00. It was only 15:00 so we went around to several other hotels where there was either no answer, on vacation or only a bed (no hot water, etc). I finally went to the Hotel Lobinger and was able to get a room at 69 E including b'fast and Wi-Fi in the room. I thanked Alex for all his help and said goodbye. He had to go to the police station to report an accident where he had been forced off the road by another motorist who refused to pay for the repairs for all the damage that had been done to his car.
After putting my bike in a garage and locking it up I carried my panniers up to my room on the 1st floor. Very nice 3 star hotel. I washed out my cycling outfit and hung it up to dry in the armoire where I found a small fan. Thank goodness for the fan as there is no air circulation at all in this room and it is quite hot. I was able to connect to the Internet and check my e-mail. After a short nap I went out for dinner. There was a Queens Pub just across the street but they didn't serve food. They recommended the Gasthause Shinke? just 500 M around the corner where I was able to get a nice French Onion soup and a small Pils. As I walked back to the hotel it started drizzling. As I said earlier I walked into the hotel and there was absolutely no one around. I was able to complete Day 23 and 24 of my blog.
Cheers, Roly

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