Piling on the kilos

Alberto is no longer allowed to take photos of me from behind. He keeps assuring me that once we start travelling, it will all resolve but I can’t quite see this happening. How is Belgian beer and Pommes frites going to help reducing the size of my arse? Or Italy with it’s pizzas, pastas, gelato and Chianti? My best bet to shed some sneaky kilos will be June = Spain. I’m not a huge fan of Paella and deep fried anything.

This week has been less frantic than last week’s motorhome hunt but preparations kept us busy still. The standard will slip inevitably and therefore we decided to start out high. We were waiting for Alberto’s Visa to come through anyway so all curtains came down and into the washing, all upholstery got washed, the walls scrubbed and so did the cupboards and cabinets… in short, our new home is like new. It’s now registered and insured and we are ready to move in and take her for a test camp when it returns from Dad’s Garage today.

I imagined March to be a complete write off cycling-wise but, with some incredible good luck with the weather, we managed to ride about 900 km in those three weeks.

Sunday we met with Kai from Team BikeTech24 again. With no pre-agreed route, we drifted towards Kamenz and Hutberg, as an all-time favourite. This time we rode via little villages Strassgräbchen and Bulleritz, which meant a gentle climb into Kamenz before hitting the Hutberg wall. Kai claimed the gradient reached 19% but I think it’s closer to 13-14%. It feels like Clear Mountain, just a little longer, about 800m.

The spring temperatures and sunshine drew out Germans in flocks. Even chilblains like us braved the ride in just undershirt and arm warmers. In Kamenz we got surprised by a drizzle and temperatures dropped by 8-10C within minutes, something I had forgotten. Luckily Alberto came prepared and was able to add knee warmers and a gillet to his outfit.

On the long flat stretches the Aeroad was flying and I was happy to contribute to the pacemaking but on the climb the “boys” left me for dead (which was rather to blame on my weight than the bike). Riding through Bernsdorf on our return leg, the rain stopped and we were rewarded with a beautiful rainbow.

Alberto and Kai talking bikes
Slow down!
Hutberg in the background
I made it to the top of Hutberg
Bernsdorf and a rainbow

Then we were invited for coffee and cake at Mario’s home and afterwards we stretched the legs on a short loop that allowed us to re-visit the F60 Förderbrücke. Mario also found some proper cobbles for Alberto, which I wasn’t able to catch on photo because I was holding on to my handlebars for dear life.

A different perspective of Förderbrücke F60
Riding on roads closed to car traffic through previous open coal mines

Another easy ride saw us enjoying woods and forests and lakes and last but not least I took Alberto to Welzow Süd, one of the last still active open coal mines, to see an F60 in operation.

Bike pathes through forests
One of many churches and the bike signs that keep me from getting lost
Cobbles for Alberto
And just plain unsealed!
Testing out my new rain jacket. It will be perfect for fast descents in the Alps.
An active open coal mine. Alberto was fascinated!
Shame we didn’t bring lights on this ride. We could have just kept going…

Another couple of days, and hopefully still that outstanding ride through Saxon Switzerland, and this chapter is coming to a close. A little sad to say Good bye to my parents but excited at the same time, we are looking forward to start the next chapter. The spring classics are calling!

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8 Responses to Piling on the kilos

  1. How exciting (you'll get so sick of me saying that). Thanks for all the photo's, it look fabulous! I'm so jealous but I just know that you'll keep me happy with all of your exciting trip updates!Your new (gently used) motor home is gorgeous, what a great find!Have a wonderful weekend and again THANKS for sharing all of your adventures.

  2. Nice stuff. I'm enjoying your blog but have a bit of catching up to do since I'm new here and you have been doing this for a few years.

  3. Colin says:

    Exactly what Lily says above.

  4. Groover says:

    Lily – I won't get sick of you saying how exciting this all is because we feel exactly the same and I fear this blog will become very repetitive over the next few months with my exclamations of excitement. ;)A Midnight Rider – Welcome back! We are just about to start the biggest adventure of our lives: A six months cycling holiday through Europe.Colin – Exactly what I replied to Lily above… 😉 You must be getting fairly excited yourself about your trip in September!

  5. I notice the shoes on your feet, are you satisfied with them??

  6. Anonymous says:

    hi there! good lucky to you ! kiss hug Ana Luiza from Brazil see you soon . beautiful photos congratulations and nice motor home.

  7. Madeleine says:

    Wow, makes me realise how beautiful our country side is and how much there is to explore. Just amazing, lovely pics and stories.

  8. Groover says:

    Nils and Anke – I meant to log back in and answer your question but with patchy internet it somehow got forgotten. I love the shoes. They are very comfortable but are already not as white anymore. The material is hard to keep clean.Ana Luiza – Thanks for your lovely comments. Beijos para voce tambem. ;)Madeleine – Yes, it's just funny to see "die alte Heimat" through the eyes of a tourist and go "That's a beautiful part of Germany". 😉

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