'Bent Miles, An Online Bike Touring Magazine
Kira's Cycling Expedition for Charities.
Click her picture to visit her site.
February 2005 Volume2 Issue 7
Need a tax consultant? Write firstname.lastname@example.org
Peter Weiss Recumbent Bike Shop
Ride To Mainbernheim:
On the first of February 2005, I had a doctor's appointment at 0830. I thought it was going to be a surgical procedure when I made the appointment and made arrangements for an all day substitute. But, I found out later that it was a pre surgical visit. As always, I arrived early and was out by about 1130. Dolores was working and Nolan was in school. What to do with the rest of the day? Let's see...bike??? Well...why not?
At about 1130 I fixed 3 fried eggs, five pieces of bacon, two pieces of toast, coffee, and orange juice. I then went down to my office and commenced to figure out how to set my printer so I could make a batch of business cards. Once this was completed, I loaded "Tweety" up into the Dakota and was out of the parking area at about 1330. "Where do I go. I've not planned out a route. I'll go along the river", I thought. I turned left onto the street at the bottom of the hill and swung right on the main street toward Karlstadt.
"Na, I don't want to go that way; but, where do I go?" Then it dawned on me. "I'll go to that walled city I've been wanting to ride around for so long", I decided. Arriving at the turnoff to Zellingen, the exit was too busy to make a u-turn. So, I pulled into a construction area and backed out into the street. Mainbernheim it was.
After arriving at the Medieval walled city of Mainbernheim, I swung right at the first street past the end of the wall and found a parking lot. Seeing an older German couple walking my direction, I left the parking lot and asked them if it was ok to park there. Finding out that it was, I unloaded Tweety and snapped several pictures then headed for the walled city on the opposite side of B8
It was cold and snow still lay in places where the sun had not been able to reach during the day to melt. It was cold enough that two pair of biking pants did not seem too much. While taking the trike out, I had placed my keys in the side pocket of the new fleece shirt that Dolores had bought me with the intentions of taking them out and placing them in the zipper pocket of my jacket. But, they were riding so well, I soon thought no more about it and busied myself exploring the wall of the city.
I would encounter long stretches at a time only for them the run out and require me to turn right onto a street not within view of the wall. I'd continue looking to my left for signs of streets that hugged the wall. I was always able to angle back to my left and find a street that followed along just inside the wall. Passing lawn tables, and chairs, it was obvious that many families' houses opened up right onto the cobble stoned street near the wall.
Sliding sideways down a hill I soon encountered my first arched gate to the city. Crossing the street, I swung Tweety upon the sidewalk to investigate the wall just outside the city. It soon became clear that the half foot or so drop off from the curb was not going to get any smaller; so, I got off the trike and picked up the rear-end and turned it around. With each mounting and dismounting of the trike, I could tell that my knees which had sustained a fall down the stairs at school a week before, were far from being healed.
As I made the turn, a lady with a baby carriage came by so I waited till she and her little girl passed. The girl got so enthused with looking at Tweety that she almost fell over the baby carriage her mother was pushing. Like I said in a previous article, Tweety has that affect on kids. However, in that issue the child had been a boy.
I pulled on past the lady and children. Dropping off onto the street I soon swung left were I encountered a large opening and the start of the wall again. As I pedaled up an incline, an older lady passed by returning from shopping. She waddled along till she came to a some steps that dropped off into a small alleyway and soon disappeared into the shadows.
I snapped a few shots of the very old building next to the alleyway and was soon pumping and sliding along the cobbled stoned street only to intersect a street that passed through the second arched gate to the city. Taking a few more pictures, I picked up Tweety and turned her sideways to get through the traffic posts designed to keep out cars.
Now time to pump up another hill. A few turns of the cranks revealed that the cobbled stones, and street slicks combined with the ice and snow made not for good traction. So, it was off Tweety and pushing her up the entire length of the hill.
I encountered more openings in the wall that demanded exploration. Some openings required you to meander through dark cavities before emerging out into the light on the outside of the wall. Then it was a pause for quick shots and pivoting Tweety back around and onwards with our little adventure around the parameter of the medieval city.
After a few hours of dismounting, shooting pictures, mounting and over again, the knees were fairly well spent and the wall had been conquered. It was time to head for the house. Just a few more pictures of the gate out which I exited and we were on our way to the Dakota. Alright, I'm tired and hungry as well as a bit cold. I could do with a bit of Dolores' good old cooking.
Pumping out to the sidewalk, I swung left and headed toward the intersection. Swinging wide I was able to negotiate the drop-off and after waiting for traffic to clear pumped through the intersection of B8. Dodging one mud hole after another, I was soon at the parking lot. Gliding up to the Dakota, I dismounted. One last picture of Tweety sitting behind the truck just before loading her up. I aimed and was just a little too close. I backed up just off the trail and almost into the brush. "Good shot", I thought, as I dropped the tailgate and loaded Tweety.
Slamming the tailgate, I reached for my keys; where are those dad-gum keys? I know I had them in this pocket!" I checked each one of my pockets. I looked in the truck. No! I remember putting them in my fleece shirt pocket. On no! God, help me find those keys. I've got to have them. Lord you know that no one needs those keys except me. They are not like my watch that someone else might need more than me." I prayed.
There was nothing left to do but to retrace my steps all along the wall. I unloaded Tweety and followed my tracks out of the parking lot. "Lord, please help me find those keys", I prayed all along the way. I stopped just before crossing B8 and looked in the grass where I had dismounted to take the cover picture of my trike with the wall in the background. The only thing I saw was dog poop that I was glad I had not stepped in or kneeled into as I was snapping the picture on my first trip around the wall. I called Dolores and asked her to pray that I find the keys. She was in the car and headed my way. She would have to let me use her key if I didn't find mine.
Darting across the street between traffic, I, once again, swung left up onto the sidewalk. Speeding down the walk to the city signs, I looked on each side of the walk. Not finding a trace of the keys, I pivoted Tweety and turned left toward the gate I had entered and exited on my first roundtrip. Again, praying along the way, "Lord, I have to have those keys." I swept through the gate and stopped a couple of kids and asked if they had found any keys.
It was once again along the wall, swinging right away from the wall, back left to the wall. I stopped and asked folks if they had found keys at the gate where you had to pass through a shadowy cavity and then back into the city. No one had found any keys. Back past the old building where I had seen the little old lady returning from shopping, I stopped and looked all around, no keys.
Once again, I picked up Tweety and carried her sideways past the guard post and pushed her up the snow covered hill. All around the wall I retraced my steps; no keys. I crossed the street. Dolores called. I told her where to turn. I sat there and waited for her so she would not miss the turn. The thought that I should check around the truck just kept gnawing at me. I sped up the trail and swung into the parking lot. I looked. I looked. I walked back out to the trail. I looked. NO KEYS!!! I returned to the truck. Then I remembered that I had taken pictures of Tweety behind the trunk. I had backed up to the brush line. I looked down no..then they just jumped up into my view. There they were along with money that had fallen from my pocket as I was taking pictures.
Laying back in my mesh seat, the keys had slid out of my pocket into my jacket. Once I stood up they must have slipped out of the jacket and onto the ground. Snow and leaves being on the ground had likely muffled their sound to prevent me from hearing them hit the ground.
Dolores was having a hard time finding the turn. I called her and told her the good news. It was then back into the Dakota and ,as Nolan would say, "a speedy-fast" trip home.
Please feel free to peruse the pictures of the trip below.