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November 2008 Issue       Volume 7    Issue 2


August 15, 2008 Ride from Schwarzenbach to Weiden:


I had considered making the ride from Schwarzenbach to Weiden several times; but, I had always postponed it. I kind of kept it on the very back burner.  I think I figured it was probably not much of a trip.  However, when my friend, Ralph, suggested we make it, I brought it off the back burner and turned the fire on under the front burner.  The plan was for Ralph to arrive from Wuerzburg to our place Wednesday and spend the night. We would have breakfast Thursday morning, ride to Weiden, and meet Dolores and Nolan at the Tai Restaurant for lunch.  When Eric indicated he would like to do a ride with me, I suggested we go on the Bockl-Radweg from the Czech border to Neustadt.  Having something already planned for that day, he agreed to go with us to Weiden.


I still didn't give the Weiden trip serious attention.  When Ralph arrived on Wednesday, we did a truck recon of the route, so as to not have too many surprises on Thursday.  Wednesday evening found us enjoying each other's company watching movies and just relaxing.  Between emails and phone calls it was agreed that Eric would meet us at my place, have breakfast and we would all depart around 0900.  Come Thursday, Eric had a project going with his Land Lord and would not arrive before 0900.  So, Ralph and I found something to do while Dolores cooked Eric's breakfast. 


After Eric finished eating, we all fell outside and it became a Kodak moment.  After snapping Ralph's picture, I noticed Eric on his cell being the great guy he is, asking John if he could help him in his move in any way. A few more moments were spent chewing the fat, pumping tires, and making last minute adjustments.  They each spoke of taking a rain jacket.  I didn't think it necessary, however, I didn't want that gnawing feeling that I might be wrong bothering me during the trip.  Lifting the rear of the bike to get it off its kickstand, I noticed if felt like about thirty additional pounds.  Knowing that Ralph always travels as light as possible, I asked if he had tube repair patches and glue.  After some rummaging, with a big grin, he held up his repair kit.  It was settled, I was going to leave the day box and its 30 or so pounds in the garage.


Not taking a picture of my watch, I can only guess that we must have started about 1000 hours.  The bike path was paved and ran along side the highway.  Once we got into Weiden, Eric led us to another route that runs along the river.  Had it not been for him, we would have missed the best part of the route.  It took us through a city park, and on to the restaurant.  I think we established the trip took about one hour and twenty minutes and we arrived at the restaurant at about 1130.  Even taking the tour, we arrived before my family.  This gave us time to peruse the menu, and do some fat chewing.


Dolores and Nolan arrived about 1200.  We all ordered and had a great meal.  I remember that Eric made a comment something about it being too much and Ralph agreed with me that it might be uncomfortable riding after such a meal.  I even suggested we pile our bikes in the truck bed and drive back.  Seeing that I had absolutely no support for that suggestion, I resolved myself to endure the full belly syndrome, and just "TUFF-it-out".


Once again, our tour guide, Eric, led us by the sparking waters of the Naab river where he pointed out trout just laying under the surface of the water as if basking in the sun.  Just before the shoals he again pointed out a large Carp.  The trout picture turned out great.  However, in order to see the Carp, one would have know just where in the picture to look.  Since my bladder operation, I am not supposed to hold my bladder at all.  So, while I was visiting the Burger King, Eric spotted an arch and it was not the MD kind.  We got off our bikes and pushed them through the passage way lined with stores on each side.  Eric asked if either of us wanted an ice-cream.  Ralph and I both thought about our slim and trim figures and declined the offer.  I offered to wait till he finished his ice-cream, but Eric wanted to push forward.  So, on we went.


On the trip out, I had to take several hits on my inhaler.  However, on the trip back, my lungs felt good.  On the hills, I had to pass Eric and Ralph in order to get a run.  Being on a-frame bikes, they can stand on the pedals or lean their weight on the pedals, on a recumbent, it is all in the gears, momentum, and legs and knees.  It can get really painful and the wheezing can rekindle if one looses the momentum.  Passing a lake, Eric stopped.  I was going at fair clip and just leaning to the left and back to the right maneuvered the Tour Easy safely passed him.  He wanted to take a picture.  And he was right.  The lake made a very good backdrop for us and our bikes.


I was in no way disappointed with the ride.  The path was good, the scenery wonderful, the meal complete, and the company could not be beat.  Thank you, Ralph and Eric for a great and wonderful experience.  I'm sure this ride will reside in my memory for as long as DoDDShimmers allows, at least another thirty minutes.




Sunday, August 18, 2008 Ride from Schwarzenbach to Pressath:


Lance and Barbara, had been talking about biking with me for sometime.  When they returned from the States, Lance sent a message that we should get together and do something.  Of course, you know my response.  If you don't want to at least discuss biking, don't send me an open ended message about getting together and doing something.  So, it was; we made plans for them to come over, do a bike ride and then have a catfish dinner with all the trimmings.  Now in order for this fabulous meal to be ready when we returned from our bike trekking, someone had to volunteer to stay home and slave over the stove.


Need I remind you who is the most giving, kind, and awesome one in our marriage?   No! It's not me, silly!  Yes, it is Dolores.  So, it was established they would bring their bikes to our place, since I knew a few trails; we would bike to the small village up the road, Pressath.  Since I, once again, didn't take a picture of my watch, I don't recall what time we left the house.  However, it was sometime after lunch and before dinner. 



The below pictures were taken on one of my early morning rides to work.


The ride is about five miles along the bike path which is a combination of back country paved roads and a stretch of gravel.  Of course there is the normal sprinkling of hills that always seem like more up than down no matter which direction you are traveling.  Arriving in town, we decided to get a soda at the only guesthouse on the trail.  While sitting on our bikes and trying to ascertain if they were serving, I questioned a kitchen worker from the doorway who I understood to say they were not open.  However, upon further inquiry we established they were, indeed, open and would serve us in the beer garden.


After a few moments of conversation, we all agreed that we had better get back to the house before Dolores threw out the dinner.  The bike ride back was, a shortened version of the ride out, shorter because we no longer stopped at places along the way.  Besides, I knew what kind of fish Dolores was preparing, "CATFISH"!!!  YUM, YUM.....And as you can see above, we did get home before Dolores threw it out.  Wow, what a good spread.  The round trip was just over ten miles and owing to the great company, very satisfying.  Barb and Lance, thanks for the fun.  Let's do it again.


As you can see from the deformed pictures above, I'm still using Bill Gates junk, Vista.  Usually, I can reduce the pixels in my photos enough to upload and still have a full screen.  However, for some reason, the same reduction now reduced the size of the picture to less than a full view and it takes forever to go back from large size to thumbnail.  Gates! FIX IT!










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