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April 2009  Volume 7    Issue 4

 

Local Ride To Grafenwohr on April 4, 2009

 

By:

 

Archie L. Tucker

Publisher

 

 

Spring break promised a few days of good weather.  So, it was back to the planning of the Grafenwohr to Regensburg trip.  Once again, my two  trusted reconnoiter buddies, Dolores and Nolan accompanied me on another scouting expedition of the Regensburg route.  That being completed, it was with great anticipation I awaited the upcoming vacation.  As soon as school ended that Friday, I was on my way home.  After finishing an early dinner, I was on the bike in route to Grafenwohr.  The sun was beautiful, and spring was in the air.  My body's organ, the skin, coupled with the sun was a vitamin D making factory.  All was good in this old world once again.  The endorphins and natural chemicals of my body were just running amuck.

 

Once again, Saturday was an absolute treasure of golden sunbeams.  Just for spits and grins, I did the trip all over again, only taking a slightly different route.  My lungs had seemed strong on Friday.  However, by Saturday, I was getting a sore throat and coughing a bit.  Dolores and I had agreed that Monday would be the day.  So, Sunday, after church, we headed to the mess hall for brunch.  I filled my plate with rice, potatoes, cabbage, squash and had them top the potatoes with a bit of gravy to which they added two dinner rolls. Proceeding over to the drinks, I poured myself a glass of juice and a great cup of mess hall coffee.  Arriving at our usual table, I sat my tray down and grabbed two bowls, one with an already prepared salad and proceeded to fill the other with vegetables not already included in the readymade salad such as green bell peppers, raw onions, coleslaw, and carrots.

 

I'm always conscious that folks may be looking at me shoving it in with both hands with barely room to breath between bites until I look up and see no one considers me important enough to look at over their pile of meats, fats, and cholesterol. I had not, yet, finished the last bit of my meal when my lungs seemed to get heavy, tight, and almost lockup. It hurt to breath.  I started a series of violent coughs directed down and into my shirtsleeved arm.  I reached for my shirt pocket.  I knew I had no inhaler with me.  It was just a habit.  Dolores implored me to load the bike, I had ridden to church, into the truck and allow her to drive me home, to which I acquiesced without hesitation.

 

I spent the next few days with night sweats and coughing.  Previously, I had made an appointment to see the doctor about a swollen lymph node.  I just added the respiratory symptoms to the list.  After my doctor's visit, I spent the remaining time taking medications and doing a little gardening.  That is what lead me to writing about my Grafenwohr trip.

 

As I stated above, the beauty of these days was just insurmountable.  On Saturday, I left the house about 0830ish and arrived on post about forty or forty-five minutes later.  I road around to allow for all the oohhs and ahhas for my bike.  Then I parked it and went into the food mart.  Being told that I could not get a cup of coffee until after 1000 hours, I mounted and rode to the Burger King, a place I usually try to avoid.  One of my water bottles had frozen and burst during its winter in the garage; so, I had taken a, what appeared to be, small thermos to place in my second water bottle cage. When one of the guards commented to another that I had a coffee machine on my bike, I decided to get my money's worth and poured two cups of mud into it for later consumption.

 

Of course, as I always tell Dolores, you get what you pay for, it started to leak.  I drank it past the overfill stage and proceeded to bike once again to the PX in the area of the food mall.  Not finding anyone with whom to talk and otherwise waste my time, I rode to the city of Grafenwohr. Arriving at one of our regular Italian restaurants, I called Dolores.  By now she was at the PX area.  I tried to convince her to come and have lunch with me at the restaurant.  She said that Nolan was home and she needed to get back.  I thought, "What could he get into..." then I remembered it was Nolan we were discussing and agreed.  Hanging up the phone, I noticed an Easter decorated fountain, I parked my bike and took pictures of it with the fount in the background.  Then it was back onto the sidewalk enjoying the steady turning of the pedals and warmth of the spring sunshine, until I rolled past the Asian "Tea Garden" restaurant.  I rode past and noticed the door open.  I looked at my watch; it was 1055.  I rode on.  I met a person jogging; I saw a hill before me; I smelled the Tea Garden behind me; which do you think won out?

 

Arriving to its open doors, I spied that it started serving at 1100 hours.  Ah!  Providence!  It must be a sign from above that I should eat here.  Parking my bike without locking it, I didn't have the key to the monster lock I keep attached to the back of the seat, I went inside and scouted out a table near the window.  Placing my hat on the table, I went back and placed my bike near the window where it was never out of my sight.  I then placed my order for what was to prove to be the most delightful salad I've ever sunk my teen into.  Then as a complete after thought, I requested an order of rice to be added to it.

 

When my meal arrived it had two large scoops of rice in addition to a monster pile of various cabbages, lattice, and other vegetables.  The Chinese cabbage was marinated in their special sauce and was indescribably delicious.

 

Pictures of my ride are posted below for your viewing pleasure.  Hope you enjoy them.  May you have great weather and a perpetual tailwind.

Polish workers live in these .More Polish workers live in theseApproaching one of the gates.

Just outside one of the gates

 

Bac-kroad home.

 

 

 

 

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