'Bent Miles, An Online Bike Touring Magazine
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May 2008 Supplement Volume 6 Issue 9
May 10, 2008:
Nolan had been after me to go to Eibelstadt for quite some time. Last night I stayed up till wee hours in the morning and Dolores and he allowed me to sleep till about 1100 hours. After a breakfast of eggs, hash browns, bacon, orange juice, and coffee, Nolan hit me up again to go to Eibelstadt. The reason he wanted to go so badly was he remembered going there on a school trip when he was in the third grade about two years ago. There was supposed to be a large playground with water works and a cave nearby.
So, Dolores informed us in no uncertain terms we needed to take the truck and fend for ourselves because she was going to stay home and clean and, in general, get ready for our upcoming house clearing. Nolan wanted to ride the distance on bikes. I tried to explain to him that it would be a long trip. We computed the mileage and it came out to be about 15 km.. I knew along the river it would be longer. I also, felt even by the highway it was longer.
So, I started getting things ready for the ride. I told Nolan, remembering our other long trip, that he needed to put on his biking shorts that Granny had bought for him on the previous ride. He was adamant that he could not find the shorts and had no idea where they were. So, he wore the tights that he uses for long handle underwear. I grabbed one of the cameras and went outside to ready the bikes. After storing an extra liter and half water bottle in my day box, I used another to fill the onboard water bottles that are mounted on my handlebars.
Making sure he had his helmet on and I had on my floppy hat, it was down the hill to the biking trail. The bike computer was not mounted where I wanted it as well as not working. I stopped. I moved the handlebar bag to better accommodate the bike computer. Oh dang! I didn't have my hip bag with my wallet. Now, just how long did you think we boys were going to be able to get along without our woman? So, it was on the handy asking Dolores to bring the bag down that monster hill so we would not have to walk back up it.
Starting back up the incline toward the (real) hill, Nolan wandered into my path. Guess who got a blasting from good old grand pa. Yep he did. Soon after pedaling back to the bottom of the hill, Dolores arrived with my wallet. Now it was back down to the trail that led to the bike trail. Swinging under the highway and turning right, we were on our way to Wuerzburg. I constantly warned Nolan about veering off into the oncoming traffic. Coming to the first of many play grounds, I asked him if he wanted to stop at that one or the next one just a few moments up the trail. He decided on both.
It truly is amazing how Bill Gates can sell crap for the same price other folks sell finished and productive products. Ever since I started using this sorry Vista about half of my pictures get distorted from the camera to the computer. At first I thought the camera was going bad. So, I used my other one and had the same experience. Then, I got to noticing that sometimes I'd do the transfer of pictures again and others would be distorted and the original distorted ones would be ok. So, some of the pictures you could have enjoyed in this issue you'll never see.
Anyway, one of the secrets, if there are any, of how to keep kids interested in the biking trip is a lot of stops along the way at places they like. What kids don't like playgrounds and mini-golfing? Well, we didn't stop at the mini-golfing like Nolan wanted, but we did have a lot of ice-cream along the way. Then, of course, most kids don't have the kind of seat I have on their bikes so added stops just to let their butts and backs, hands, and necks rest is always good as well. While stopped in a park-like area along the river just after arriving into Wuerzburg one of my student's moms came up to me and we enjoyed a few moments of adult conversation. Then it was off and to the ice-cream parlor where Nolan was misunderstood and given two ice cream cones. One had one scoop of chocolate; the other had one coop of strawberry. He had ordered one cone with one scoop of each flavor. Oh well, Pa Pa got the last half of the empty cone.
Some years ago, my daughter took me to a coffee shop/ice cream shop/restaurant on the walk-across-bridge in Wuerzburg. I've loved it ever since. Each time I go, of course, I think of her. While sitting watching Nolan eat his two ice cream cones, I saw a young woman on a cell phone. She reminded me of my daughter standing out side in the sun.
Once Nolan was done eating we were back on our bikes picking our way through the walking traffic. I got off and told him to do so as well while we crossed a major street. This criss-crossing of major streets continued till we married back up with the city biking trail. Once off it and headed to the bridge to cross over the river, Nolan started having second thoughts about riding all the way to Eibelstadt. I told him once we crossed over we would rest and he could play in the playground below. He was soon back in the mood to ride on. I waited at the top of the hill in the bridge till he got to me. Once seeing the playground, he was off the other end of the bridge; and, unlike his grandfather, he did not have to think about which way to exit the bridge. I coasted down, turn left, in the opposite direction one would expect to turn, slowed and put my foot down to round the next left. My bike was so long it would not negotiate the turn as quickly as Nolan's shorter bike.
He had no sooner parked his bike and took a swig from the water bottle than he was invited to a ping-pong game with a couple of young ladies in their twenties. This lasted until he figured out he was not experienced enough in the game to keep up with them. He then thanked them and handed back the ping-pong paddle. Just a little further and he wanted to hit the bench again. This time we parked between a pond and the Main River. We found a bench with shade and rested and for a few moments while I told him a story about a young boy who started his own secret agent agency.
Before leaving the ice cream parlor, Nolan had wanted a piece of bread. I told him we would get something later. We passed a sign that said food and drink was served somewhere off to the left of the bike trail. After passing it, I stopped and asked him if he wanted to eat there or after we got closer to Eibelstadt. He looked back and read the sign out loud. Then he decided it would be better to eat closer to the end of our ride. So, we pedaled on. The day was sunny and beautiful. The bike responded like a dream to every exertion of the pedal and each changing of the gears. I had no desire to get off. I felt I could ride for ever on such a sweet ride.
A short time later, I recognized that we were coming into Randersacker. Getting into the city limits, the bike trail split. I had been there before but could not remember which fork was best to take. After taking the straight-a-head route, I became concerned that would not take us where we wanted to go. I hollered ahead at Nolan to come back and turn right. He continued, and we met up at an imbess without any problems at all. I had eaten there once a couple of years before when Ralph when I had reconnoitered
it for a school bike trip that year. I remembered the food to be good and not too expensive. I was correct on the good. With the euro dollar rate right now, I automatically wanted to capitalize euro for this writing. So, nothing is inexpensive over here now with the weak dollar and idiot for a president. I ordered a large bottle of Mezo Mix and one Donor cut in half. That was enough for Nolan and me both to feel comfortable and not stuffed.
Then, it was back in the saddle. Meeting some folks on the trail, I asked how far it was to Eibelstadt. I received any where from one k to 4 k. I would say we were more like four k away. Nolan went past the exit. I called him back. Once in the little town, we started asking about the playground he was looking for. Not only did it not exist in that town, the street it was supposed to be on was not even there. Disappointed, Nolan said, "You mean we made this trip all for nothing?" Then he started to cry. I reached and hugged him and asked, "Did you not enjoy the bike ride?" We decided to go inside the imbess where we had inquired about the playground and buy us each a pop and call granny to come get us boys. Any you thought she really meant that we were on our own. When she answered the phone she said, "It's about time you decide to turn on your phone. Of course I did my usual and cussed the phone and again swore I'd get another one that did not turn itself off all the time.
Since my computer was not working, we don't know how far we went. But, I'd say fifteen miles would be a good guess. Dolores arrived and we put the bike into the truck. I started to get in and she asked me where my wallet was. I started to get it out of the handlebar bag and she told me the lady at the imbess had brought it to her window. I had left it on the table where Nolan and I were drinking our sodas. I offered the lady a reward but she wouldn't take it. Thank her and God that she was honest. All is well that ends well. Our ride ended superbly well.
PS Just found out the place Nolan was looking for is Eberstadt. It is about sixty miles from here. I doubt Nolan will be riding his bike there. Even if there are bike trails from here to there, they would likely be considerably longer than 60 miles.
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