The bike trip day 4
Where am I going? What am I doing? Who am I? These are some questions whose answers evaporated out of my brain yesterday as I mounted my bike and rode out into the pouring rain again. So the reason I’m a little late in writing this one is that I didn’t learn the right lesson last time: apparently yes I’m windproof, yes I’m waterproof, but no I’m not cold- and wind- and rain-proof at the same time.
Feeling invincible after conquering the challenging last couple of days, I once again ignored the awful forecast and rode out from Heilbronn, immediately launching into a 100 meter climb out of town. As expected, everything was soaked within 5 minutes and no one else was braving the conditions on two wheels this Saturday morning.
Following that descent was a time in the forested valley, where I was finally seeing a significant amount of colors in the trees. The highest point of the trip so far was next up, as the road took me into the mist of the Swabian hills at Mainhardt of about 500 meters. Along with the higher elevation, however, was noticeably colder temperatures. I didn’t have anything that could keep me waterproof for hours, so my skin temperature was just the air temperature. Thanks to the extra exertion from the climb, I didn’t feel chilly at first. That warmth wore off quickly.
The decision point to end the ride early came on the steep descent (12%) from the sleeping village. My hands, frozen tight to my brakes, grew painful from the cold as I plummeted down the slick road at 50 kph. So although I had done the hardest part of the ride (by elevation profile) already, I called it quits at the station of Fichtenberg and got on the next train out. Funnily enough the train ride took almost as long as the bike ride would have, as the rails followed a circuitous route around the plateau I had descended from.
Somehow more exhausted from this ordeal than when I cycled three times the distance, I went to sleep very early. I’m catching up at the current moment, the day after, to wait out the rain which should end in an hour…