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October 12, 2023 · bicycle travel

Today I learned I’m waterproof, my bags are waterproof, my bike computer is waterproof, but my bike might not be. Oh my poor bike! I had been treating it so gently, always keeping it in my room and never letting it touch the rain.

Day 2: Andernach to Bodenheim

Strava: https://strava.app.link/mNwJgqShQDb

Today’s ride fully traversed the Romantic Rhine, the famous section of the river characterized by steep gorges and castles everywhere. But that’s not the story for the day. This time instead it was dominated by rain, from start to finish. There were pauses where my clothes would begin to feel dry again, but the sky knew this and would then immediately pour down another fresh load of rainfall. I was completely waterlogged by 30 minutes in and by the end everything (me and bike) was caked in a thick layer of dirt, mud, road grit, and all the unfortunate bugs that got in the way.

In short, it was a real struggle today, but I fueled myself from my reserves of extreme hardcore masochistic madness and completed the ride. Even though I was beside train tracks the whole way with plentiful stations that would have whisked me through the journey dry and fast.

A few downsides emerged from this quite avoidable ordeal that I might come to regret in the very near future:
- I spent about an hour cleaning all the external surfaces of myself and my bike, then found that the drivetrain is making a concerning amount of creaking and cracking noises, as if the wheel has arthritis. Hope it gets better when it’s dry…
- I only had one pair of shoes. Now I have a pair of wet shoes

And that’s about all, I’m exhausted! Below some photos, fewer than yesterday due to the circumstances.

with a little headwind for good measure
Industrial port area before Koblenz
An early cafe stop in Koblenz. Also the only one. The rest of the way I used my emergency stash of Dutch cookies to keep going
the distances put us right in the middle
Boppard, where I made a stop last year
Misty peaks in the distance
Obligatory bike photo, I'll spare the close-ups this time
The twisty part of the river comes into view, near the Lorelei rock
Mainz is a nice city, but this was not a flattering way to enter

Hoping for better tomorrow!

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