Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Day 6--Part 1--Using All Our Smarts At Once

Today started out great, even though it rained most of the night. It had stopped by morning. We packed up and went over to the Küche to fix our breakfast. I looked to the cook top paying thingy from last night. There was still .1 kW left. As Christian was getting out .20€, I said, "No, we can use the rest from last night!" Then he looked at the others. There was one with .2 left. We felt so smart! We outsmarted the Campingplatz people! Apparently, that was all the smarts we would get for the day because, the rest of the day we were not so smart. First, I put my hot chocolate in my bowl instead of my cup (not too bad, I just poured it into the cup). Then, Christian left his coffee at the campsite (that boy does not go without coffee). That was okay too as he found he had two packets of instant. 

Ja, so we finished our Frühstück, and finished packing. The tents were not going to dry, so there was no use waiting. We got on the road at 8:00. First we went back to the main street (up a steep hill), then realized we should have turned left...at the bottom of the hill (of course). Back down we went, made the correct turn, and were back on the route to Kronach. We turned from the street onto the path. We were going down a steep hill back to the river. Christian was going pretty fast. I was a ways behind him, going slower (the path was kind of rough, and very wet). All of a sudden, Christian's bike starts to fishtail in such a way that I knew he was not going to stay upright. I'm yelling, "OH OH OH!!!", then BAM, down he goes! Panniers come off, and the bike and Christian are in a pile on the path.
I'm thinking, "HOLY CRAP!!!" I stop and park Betsy so I can see how Christian is. He gets up, and says he is okay. His knee and elbow are scraped. Before I can get out my 1st Aid Kit, he tells me to take a picture! Okaaaaayyyy (take care of the important things first, I guess)...I take the picture, then dig out my 1st Aid Kit. I bandage his knee and elbow. He has some pretty good road rash on his hip, but it's not bleeding too much. He tore a hole in the shoulder and elbow of his rain jacket. After patching him up (and giving him Ibuprofen and Tylenol--"Yes, Christian, you need to take that much!"), he got the bike back up. Except that the quick release for folding came open (halfway folding the bike), the bike was okay. I tightened the QR, and he put the panniers back on. His fingers were cut a little bit too, but he did not need my help to put the stuff back on.

As we continued on the trail, Christian said maybe we would stop in Kronach so he could get a new rain jacket. He seemed to be riding okay. Maybe it was just before Kronach, we came to a Sporthaus. Turns out it was a very good shop. They carried Endura clothing, and Christian was able to get a nice new rain jacket. His handlebar bag was also torn, but he can fix it with duct tape for now. Of course, after he bought the rain jacket, it didn't rain again the rest of the day!

We continued on. We went past this covered bridge that had a picture frame hanging in it.

Maybe to give an idea for a photo?

As we came into the next village, we saw an Apotheke (pharmacy). Christian asked me if I thought there was anything he needed. I suggested Arnica Gel. We were able to get some. Back outside (and around the corner off the main thoroughfare), I had him put the Arnica on the soon to be bruised areas. I also changed the bandage on his knee, and added some antibiotic ointment. When he went to put the arnica on his hip, I noticed he had a nasty gash on his waist on the left side. I asked him if it hurt (it really looked like it hurt to me!). He said not really. Yikes! So, I put some ointment and a bandage on that one too. He said it was good to travel with a nurse!

On we went. We had left the river awhile back. Now we were headed for the mountains. We were on our way to Christian's friend, Beppo, in Thimmendorf. Two days ago, Christian had tried to get me to agree to take a train to Beppo's instead of riding. He said the elevation would be about 800 meters higher. That didn't seem all that bad to me, so I squashed his idea of a train (and teased him mercilessly)! However, if he had asked again to take a train, after his crash, I would have probably said yes, of course. He didn't ask.
Now we are going into the forested area, off the Main Radweg, but still on a dedicated bike path.

We stopped for lunch before beginning the climbing. It was just a small place. I had my last bread thing, and Christian had a Brot on a roll...and a coffee (of course). After lunch the riding was still pretty flat with just a slight incline. Nothing too terrible. We came to an intersection, and the bike route sign for the next village in the direction we were headed pointed to a steep (13% grade), long climb. Fortunately, Christian figured we could go another way. Eventually, we still had to do a long steep climb, but not 13%! For the first time on this tour, I spent an extended time in super granny gear. This was turn-on-the-music climbing--which I did.
Going up through one of the many little villages (you can see Christian ahead of me).

Here's some of the scenery.
Getting higher!
Seems like there should be cows or something.

At the top (of one of the longer climbs) we came to the old border between West Germany and East Germany.

Betsy thought it was important to prove she was here.

We still had more climbing to do, but also some downhill (Christian being very cautious on the downs).

In the last, but very steep, 2 kilometers, I dropped my chain. It was like in Texas last year where the chain got stuck between the bolt for the folding and the small chainring. Once again, I had to take the chain apart at the master link, pull it out and reattach it. This time, however, I was smart and put some rubber gloves on from the first aid kit (maybe the "smarts bank" has been replenished).

Finally we made it to Thimmendorf, and Beppo. It started to rain not long after we arrived.

Today's miles: 51--shortest day, but most climbing.

To be continued...

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