Of course, a lot has happened since the last entry form march 18th 2014. I will try to explain my absence in a few words before picking up on the latest developements.
- For our holiday trip to the Czech Republic we needed two "normal"recumbents, so I had to develop and build them.
- I got married :)
- The marriage preparations took a lot of time.
- After the wedding I had to clean up and eat all the left overs.
- finally it was time to go an vacation.
- After my wife :D had pointed out that my last entry was from march 18th I sat down and began this little defence about why I didn't write anything until now.
A while ago we had the idea to cycle to Prague during the summer holiday. But to be able to do so in the limited amount of time that we had, we would have to take a train back. That would mean we couldn't use the Vrijwiel Solo's but normal bikes instead. Since my backside is spoiled by recumbents during the last three or so years I didn't really want to go on my normal bike. The only realistic solution for me was to build two "normal" recumbents with two wheels each. So I did some research about what I had in mind. I don't really like the looks of recumbents with small wheels and according to what I've found everywhere, bigger wheels provide a better ride. So it had to be something fancy.
After some research I settled for a front wheel drive moving bottom bracket design. This way I had my two big wheels and I could use as much normal parts as possible, including a single chain.
I made some 3D drawings in Blender and went to the workshop. After making a kind of prototype/test case and learned how to ride on it the matter was settled, I would have to make two more but better. So I went on spending time in the workshop until I came up with these two.
This was the trip:
Saturday Juli 5th
Kockengen - Grietherort 138 km
On the first day I learn ho to get chocolate (and later other sweets) out of the bag under my seat while driving. A skill much used and appreciated during the trip) I am now definitely the king of the road!
In the evening we witness the Dutch team winning from Costa Rica.
Sunday Juli 6th
Grietherort - Werne 140 km
We experience some rain during our perfectly timed break. After the break we are able to cycle on dry. In the end we get soaked 200 meters away from our destination, the unofficial but totally luxurious bike hotel Stockum. Thanks a lot Herman and Gisela, we really enjoyed our stay.
Monday Juli 7th
Stockum - Werne - Hamm 21 km
It's nice weather outside, let's take a rest day. Maybe we have started off a bit fast with two long days. So we just decide to take a day of rest and visit some friends and family and eat at the famous Papa George in Werne.
Tuesday Juli 8th
Hamm - Schloss Neuhaus 88 km
It's a bit rainy and we cycle on. In the afternoon we arrive at a camp side outside of Paderborn next to the Lippesee. We get our own bathroom there and it starts raining. In the evening we can see the historical match Germany-Brazil and I can still hardly believe what I saw there.
Shortly after we arrive it starts raining and it won't stop until Wednesday afternoon...
Wednesday Juli 9th
Schloss Neuhaus - Scherfede 63 km
Rain rain rain, it is amazing how wet one can get on a bike. I have one fleece jacket with me but I don't dare wearing it on the bike because I am afarid not to be able to dry it. We stop in Paderborn to buy some dry socks and a new fleece jacket for Marlies and a cheap warm jumper for me. happy with our new gear we spend quite some time in a bakery to warm up and fuel our engines with bread.
We cycle on until Scherfede where we are allowed to stay in a garden hut of the local restaurant. Thank you very much "Louis"! We try to dry some clothes, have a wonderful dinner and visit my grandparents and family on the grave yard. In the evening we watch The Netherlands - Argentina ...what a waste of time...
Thursday Juli 10th
Scherfede - Hemeln 92 km
A nice, quiet cycling day with good weather and beautiful German cities. For example Warburg. If you are in the area, visit it, you will like it.
We arrive on a campsite in Hemeln just in time to put our bikes and our selfs under a roof and to see a very impressive thunderstorm above our heads.
Friday Juli 11th
Hemeln - Heldra 91 km
We are able to take cover twice for the two thunderstorms that day. So we consider our selfs lucky. IN the afternoon we get very nice weather and even a warm sunny evening.
We are allowed to pitch our tent in the garden next to the Biergarten where we stop to drink an evening beer. It's great to meet nice people. At this spot it is time to write about a little pest thing this holiday, the slugs. They are everywhere, I even had one in my bag and carried it along for a day. Not only that they slime on everything everywhere, they also shit on everything everywhere. And they are faster than one would expect...
Saturday Juli 12th
Heldra - Wernehausen 125 km
We have a good start this morning. We find nice bakeries to fill up on fuel and make a quick stop at a lake to fresh up. In the evening we are allowed to camp on a field of family Müller which we appreciate a lot.
Sunday Juli 13th
Wernehausen - Elsa 90 km
It's a gray day today. It never really stops raining. We try to find a cheap room in Rodach-Elsa but the renters aren't too friendly and the prices are very high. By "accident" we meet the very friendly famile Buff where we are allowed again to stay in their garden. I can watch them milking their cows and we are invited to watch the Championship Final. What can I say? It couldn't have gone better. :)
Monday Juli 14th
Elsa - Wirsberg 90 km
The day started gray but in the afternoon it got better. We spend the night in the garden of a youthhostel. It's a very nice campsite with good showers and we get a breakfast buffet in the morning! It's a good end of a day.
Tuesday Juli 15th
Wirsberg - Wölsauerhammer 70 km
It allready got steeper the last few days, but today we finally went over the highest point of our trip. The climbing went very well, even though we both were wondering before the trip whether it would be so handy to use front wheel drives for that. Driving on the forest paths between Bad Berneck and Fichtelberg was difficult because of the soft and deep gravel there but we make it through without accident.
In Wölsauerhammer we experience prototype hospitality: We are not only allowed to spend the night on the gras field of the fire brigade, but we are also invited to drink some beers with the people of the village. We meet very nice people and we are even invited for breakfast the next morning by Richard and Susanne. If you read this, thank you very much again!
Experiences like this let me look at people in a positive way. There are a lot of nice people out there, you just have to go and meet them.
Wednesday Juli 16th
Wölsauerhammer - Zádub 76 km
After a great breakfast Richard joins us on our first 10 km towards Czech today. We eat the rest of the big breakfast exactly on the border.
Thursday Juli 17th
Zádub - U Jezera 88 km
We continue cycling through Czech, a beautiful country as far as we can see. in the evening we find the Camp sight U Jezera. The two big Gambrinus we drink before going to bed are cold and very good.
Friday Juli 18th
U Jezera - Dobrichovice 78 km
After a nice warm day of cycling we find a perfect campsite next to the River Berounka where we can enjoy a swim and a Kozel before going to bed. We could cycle on to Prague the same day, but we don't feel like it. We give our selfs some rest before the big city.
Saturday Juli 19th
Dobrichovice - Prague 30 km
We arrive on the campsite Cisarska Louka where we are told that we can get a 5% discount because we are members of the ADAC. Unfortunately the discount won't show up on the bill... After asking about it we are being told that they forgot to put the discount in. "Sorry, it is in the computer now. We can't do anything for you." ... After explaining to them that it was them who made a mistake here, one of the workers, a young guy, offers us a beer instead. We accept his offer and leave in peace.
We enjoy the city for a few days before we leave for Dresden.
Tuesday Juli 22nd
Prague - Hrnevice 80 km
I'm glad we made it out of Prague alive and in the right direction. It still is a nice city but on the list good cycling cities it will show up somewhere at the bottom. Luckily we find the route after some searching and we are off. Because we only have 60 Crowns left we look for a cheap accomodation and we find it in Hrnevice in the form of a village playground/field.
Wednesday Juli 23rd
Hrnevice - Königstein 116 km
We make it to Germany and cycle on to Königstein where we find a very nice camp site with the right atmosphere. It's a nice place with nice people if you ever come to that area, stay at Ferdinands Homestay.
Thursday Juli 24th
Königstein - Dresden 49 km
We arrive in Dresden and enjoy the city. Our train leaves on monday, so we have enough time to spend in this relaxed and nice city. I can recommend the military history museum. (Militärhistorisches Museum) And don't be too lazy to cycle around the Heide, a forest area big enough to spend a day or more in just next to the city. We could walk 10 min from our Hostel in the Northern city to the beginning of the forest.
I'm impressed if you made it down to the end of the short summery our vacation. You must be really interested. In a few days i will make a post just about the bikes that brought us all the way and back again.