Gentle Pressure, Relentlessly Applied

Trip Start Jul 04, 2013
1
6
29
Trip End Aug 29, 2013


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Flag of Germany  , Baden-Wurttemberg,
Saturday, July 13, 2013

Or - I'd give my eye teeth for a triple-ring. Yesterday's 93k incorporated a 15k climb up to a small French ski resort. But the 18k descent was worth it, with spectacular views into the Alsatian town of Munster. We set up camp and had a delicious dinner of Cod w/ olive and dill tapenade, potatoes Bonny (our great Canadien cook), grilled beats and walnuts and fennel/orange/feta salad. After dinner, I walked into town and ran into some others from our group where we sat at a cafe and watched the storks put on a sunset show as they flew to their various nests on top of a building across the street. It was like Wild Kingdom.
Today we crossed the Rhine into Germany. A very easy, flat 67k (about 40 miles) on another beautiful sunny day (about 78 F) w/ little wind.
We're staying in a nice luxury hotel in Freiberg for a rest day tomorrow. Freiberg is a college town of about 230,000 and sits in the heart of a major wine-growing region. It also serves as the primary tourist entry point for the Black Forest. Sounds ominous....
I'll miss practicing my French (thought my pronunciation was excellent as I read off town names and menu items). I'll also miss sharing a pastry and cafe au lait each morning w/ the boys but we've already discovered soft pretzels and streusel. Unfortunately, when I try to read German out loud it sounds like I have a bone stuck in my throat.
So it looks like we have another beautiful sunny week ahead. And the last few days w/ Jules and Rodney....

The Israelis
Jules and Rodney became friends in 2008 in Tel Aviv after Jules heard about a man (Rodney) who'd just ridden across America to raise money ($100k!!!) for cancer after losing his wife to pancreatic cancer. The two of them eventually rode a transcontinental ride from St. Petersburg to Lisbon. Rodney has also ridden across Israel several times as well as being a veteran of the 2010 Tour D'Afrique which took him from Cairo to Capetown ( he had to use an Australian passport to get through Sudan). A retired hotel developer and manager, he managed a 5 star hotel in Jerusalem where he's hosted many heads of state and Christian evangelists (we had an interesting discussion about John Hagee who's stayed there several times). These days, he volunteers twice weekly w/ an organization that takes disabled children and adults on tandem bike rides. He especially enjoys taking autistic kids on the bike with him and finds this work very fulfilling. He and Jules will be leaving us in Ulm as Rodney's daughter is about to give him his first grandchild and Jules has a major project in the works. Jules and his son have an architectural firm, designing primarily sports and fitness complexes all over Europe. And for the record, they both ride Giant composite road bikes.

So hopefully our beautiful weather, safe journey and growing fellowship will continue. I'll try to take every opportunity I can to share a little about the places and people I come to know along the way. Because it's really NOT about the bike....;-)
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Comments

steve on

Are you still in Texas and these are all photoshopped? Just wondering. They did fake the moon landing ya know. Well have fun whereever you are.
You could probably rent an ebike and no one would know...

Ginni on

Wow! I'm sure they do VFSS there to check the progression of that bone!

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