Vexen Crabtree (vexen) wrote,
Vexen Crabtree
vexen

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Cycled 68km...

Edit: I can't believe it! It's the weekend *and* my Internet connection has just started working! *in shock*

Cycled 68km!

That's 40 miles for those antiquated (British) wierdos who still think base 10 isn't a sensible number system.

40 hilly miles... (I think in miles because I'm a backwards Brit...)

I was learning a route from Elmpt to Wildenrath in Germany, but my initial route down roads 230 then 221 met with quick failure when I saw big red "No Cycling" signs on the 221. I backtracked beyond Niederkruchten until I found a way that, in English, is called a "Remote Cycle Path". Using nothing but the sun as pure luck as my guide, I set off into unmapped, unchartered territory, where no Human Being (except the locals) had gone before.

If I went wrong, I could have easily emerged 20 miles inside of the Netherlands before I'd even realize. If I went less wrong, I could emerge anywhere in Nordrhein-Westfalen. As it happens, things went swimmingly and I emerged in Wildenrath against all the odds.

Admittedly more than a dozen times I stopped... "Right... Land of the Rising Sun is in the East, sun is over there, off-center, setting to the West... so *this* is probably South-ish!"

Well, it works.

OK, admittedly it did help that the entire fermradwanderweg was labelled "R9", "E9", "A1" or "8" along the route through the forest, although confusingly at some junctions various combinations of those numbers would point in random directions that weren't South.

Only after arriving in Wildenrath did I realize that I didn't know *exactly* where I was going. Where, in Wildenrath, was my workplace? Well, not in Wildenrath for a start. No. I saw some vehicles with British number plates and asked them where my work was.

After leaving Wildenrath and going near a place called Klink, I went through Petersholz, and eventually found it. I got there at 16:10, 10 minutes after the local shop had closed. Grrrr. There is a swimming pool there (woo hoo!). Which I care about, because I'm moving to Wildenrath in October.

Anyway, finding my way back was much easier. All I had to do is head North, by keeping the sun on my left. I travelled over farms, between farms, over some dirt tracks, and without navigating a single large road with unfriendly "No Cycling" signs, or any other type of real road, did I magically emerge in Oberkruchten. Which is basically Elmpt, where I live, only a mile away. And to top of the amazing luck, there I found a cycle shop where I now plan on buying such things as tyre pumps, water bottle holders, lights and a badly needed new seat.

Took me 90 mins to get back, still, 'cos I did go on a few explaratory diversions. Sometimes, you see, just "going North" gets you into Private Property, and other such problems.

I will cycle this route every Sunday, there and back, to learn the route and get my time down.
Tags: cycling, fitness, germany, work
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