Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Sly Dog Riding Around Mainz

 I did not sleep as much as I should have. Maybe I slept more on the plane than I realized, but I think it was more about the thoughts running through my head--mainly, was Betsy okay? Finally, at about 5:00, I gave up trying to make myself sleep. I got up and started to rearrange my panniers for riding. I couldn't see about Betsy until Christian was awake because she was in his storage room in the basement (along with Little Boy Blue--Christian's Bike Friday).

After having cake for breakfast, we went downstairs to put Betsy together. Everything was okay. TSA had opened the case, but the crush protector was still in place. It took longer than usual to make her ready to ride. I had to reassemble the front rack (it's not a fast folding rack like the rear rack), and also put the Ortlieb Handlebar Mount back on. Anyway, she is in one piece and everything seems to be in working order.

We headed out first for brunch at Proviant Magazin. They have a buffet style brunch. Christian had a gift certificate from his 60th birthday. We rode our bikes there, of course. Following Christian was a fun challenge. There are so many bike ways here, and most are separated from the cars. Some are actual paths, some are like a bike lane, but still more separate from the traffic. The traffic signals have a bike and a pedestrian. We went this way and that way, turning here and there. It was as if I had a blindfold on and was spun around three times. I had absolutely no idea where we were. Christian could have taken me in circles and I wouldn't have noticed.

Brunch was very good. A great selection of breads, meats, cheeses, and pastries. We sat outside. Here is a photo. The building next to the restaurant used to be a storage place for the military.

After brunch, we went to the post office to mail a package of maps to Alexandra and Markus for our route beyond Bremen. While Christian was inside, I watched the bikes, and the people, and the busses, and the trains.

Next stop was to check on the exchange rate for US$ to Euros (not so good for the $). Christian wanted to be my bank and exchange the money for me. It would be a better deal for both of us. We waited until we were back at Christian's to do the transaction. At the area where the bank was, there were a lot of bikes. It is interesting that there are many bike racks, but there are so many bikes, that the racks are frequently full. Or, as in the case of this photo, the bikes seem to be piled up. 
If we couldn't find a rack, we just locked the bikes in place (tricky when you are locking a Bike Friday).

We continued on our trek around Mainz. We went to the Cathedral. Christian says it was the only building not destroyed in WWII. He also said right after they finished building it, it burned to the ground. Then they rebuilt it of stone (reminds me of a curious little story about some pig brothers).

Near the Cathedral was this post. The base material is wood. The art on it is all done with nails--hence it's name, the "Nail Post".

From the Cathedral square, we made our way to the Rhine River. Of course there is a lot of barge and cruise boat traffic. They even like to race on occasion. In the example below, we see just such a race. The cruise boat won.

We rode along the Rhine for awhile, on a path of course. We came to where there was a train bridge across the river. We came up to the bridge, and turned away from the River.

Then we were riding on a narrow little path.

We rode through a park. Christian asked if I wanted to see "red birds". Well, of course! So we went up another road in the park and came to these pink flamingos.
(I wonder if they have any interest in Mah Jongg? Inside joke to Debra, Elaine, and Mary Beth)

We continued through the park. We stopped at another aviary with small birds (with German names that I don't remember). From the park we went to Christian's bike shop. His full-size bike was still in the shop since the accident. He was to find out how much it would cost to repair it. The bike shop wasn't ready yet, so we headed to the grocery store. On the way, I noticed an intersection we had been to on our way in to town. Just as I asked Christian, he was about to ask me if I recognized where we were. That was the only place I recognized.

The grocery store was much like a Fred Meyer. We got our beginning food for tomorrow. We had hoped to also get fuel for the stove, but they didn't have the correct one. We got our groceries and headed back to Christian's. We went another sly dog way, this time on a dirt path. Woo Hoo! Fun!

We made it back. Sitting in the apartment, working on this blog post, I started to feel veeeeeerrrrrryyyy sleeeeeepppppyyyyy. I told Christian I would go lay down for 30 minutes. I think I fell asleep immediately. I woke up about 45 minutes later, refreshed and ready to head out again in search of fuel. First we had to stop at the bike shop again to pick up Christian's bike. They weren't quite ready with it, so they gave Christian a voucher for the coffee shop across the street and we went over there to wait.

When we returned 30 minutes later it was still not ready (just the paperwork), so we rode down into the town to get the fuel. We were successful this time.

Back to the bike shop to pick up the papers, and we again returned home. Christian still need to pack, and I needed to finish up.

Tomorrow our tour officially starts. Christian has invited some of his biking friends to ride with us to Frankfurt. We don't know who will come, but I'm sure it will be fun. This time, the sly dog routes will not take us back to Christian's. 

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