Monday, May 17, 2010

Bill breaks the 2000 km barrier - by Wayne Heuff

I have the honour and the privilege of being the guest blogger today.

Today was replete with good omens. Perhaps it was Claude’s arrival and first day of riding with us.

We had a big day of cycling ahead of us, as we needed to complete about 90km from Regensburg to Deggendorf. The first good omen was that the weather gods were very friendly to us today. Mostly sunny, with a few clouds but no rain. Temperature was perfect for cycling – about 16 degrees. The second good omen was our cycle path was predominantly good asphalt along the bank of the Danube. Thirdly, we had a 20km per hour tailwind virtually all of the way, which allowed us to cycle along at 35 to 40 km per hour! Needless to say we made good time.

Today was a big milestone for Bill – he hit the 2000 km mark on his odometer! We will celebrate this great achievement at dinner tonight.

Bill was strong on the bike today- the day off renewed all of his vim and vigor! As we arrived at Deggendorf around 5:00 pm, after 105 km, Bill suggested that maybe we should continue through to Passau, another 60 km! We talked him out of that idea.

Once again, the scenery was amazing – the different sights, towns and villages along the Danube continue to marvel us all, as does the friendliness of the German people that we meet. We met an older couple from Westfalia along the trail this morning who took the photo of the three of us. We mentioned to them that we were going to initiate Claude to Sweinhax'n (large pork shank) tonight and the (large) lady responded that Claude did not look like the Sweinhax'n type due to his lean physique and that she herself only ate one per year!

Since joining Bill’s odyssey in Ulm on May 12th, we have yet to have a day of cycling without a detour and at least one memorable adventure. Today, we had two detours that added about 15 km to our ride. The first detour was finding our way out of Regensburg – a little trip up the Regen river to a small town before we realized that we were following the wrong river! Once we corrected this mistake, we did well for about 45 km before we decided to take what we thought would be a short cut along the Danube river, rather than the marked detour. This detour allowed us to introduce Claude to “field cycling”. The photo attests to this.

After lunch in Straubing, we made our way to Deggendorf and along the way we met a flock of sheep that were grazing on either side of the trail. Bill had to navigate around a few of them. Thus the adventure of the day.

I learned today that Bill has a secret cycling weapon - "special cream"" which he applied to his tender parts after about 80km. I am not sure if it is a performance enhancing cream or not but it has been sent to the lab for testing.

Tonight's hotel was a pleasant surprise as it was very close to the trail, modern and had a sauna, steam and hot tub. A welcome reprieve at the end of this day - the beers were well deserved!

We went hunting for a restaurant for dinner where we could introduce Claude to Sweinhax'n but no such luck - it will have to wait until tomorrow night in Passau. To our great surprise Bill went vegan on us tonight! Is this what happens after 2000 km on a bike or could it be that he wants to be svelte when Maryse arrives in a few days?

While I am sure that this "guest" blog has not been as witty or articulate as Bill's versions, it was fun and afforded Bill a post- spa snooke in the solarium.

Thanks for reading.

Wayne Heuff

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