A change of pace

a great night under the tarp
a great night under the tarp

There have been some really great days of cycling through Brussels and into Luxembourg. We’ve had opportunity to test out sleeping under my tarp and in our hammocks, the tarp in particular was fantastic; it’s better for mild to good weather but there is loads of room and it can be configured in a variety of ways. The night we used the tarp was our first night in a campsite and in paid accommodation (if you can call it that); a whopping €2.50 per person – actually the price was part of the reason we decided to use the tarp, there was a separate cost for the number of people and the number of tents and so one tarp beats using both of our tents. Every little helps!

However this is where the nature of the journey changes. A day of cycling through lumpy Luxembourg has made clear that Joe’s knee won’t take much more cycling, it’s giving him a lot of grief and it’s obvious now that he won’t be able to push on through Germany at the pace we need to meet friends in Slovenia on the 8th and 10th of June, just over a week away.

I think we were both quite down at the time, Joe wanted to cycle the whole ride, however far or long that might be, and I wanted him to do the same. Also it was clear that we had to look at other options for covering some distance, that would take the strain of our daily mileage and give us time to consider other options.

Patriotism - Luxembourg's Civil Ensign
Patriotism – Luxembourg’s Civil Ensign

Joe suggested we hitchhike or ‘hichbike’ I guess we should call it; perhaps it was because we had hit a bit of a low point in ride but I instantly liked the sound of it, anything that offered a glimmer of hope that evening would have been snapped up! There was a large-ish road close by that was heading in our direction, Joe could put his feet up and it would be free. Perfect, you might think… Wrong.

We cycled the couple of miles the next morning to meet the road, Joe took the back of one of my maps and wrote ‘Munchen’; on it and we stood in a lay-by and put our thumbs out to any truck, lorry or car with a trailer, of which there were very few. It must have been the quietest, main, big and fast road in Germany and most of that traffic was tiny cars. There was no chance of getting our bikes into those. Several hours later with frayed tempers and sun-baked grimy ‘road side’ faces we decided we needed a new plan…

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