Thursday, May 13, 2010

Serge saved the day

When we started out from Hochstadt this morning, I didn't know that in addition to it being Christi Himmelfahrt Day, it was also Father's Day in Bavaria. As we were cycling through a town called Altheim at around 2:30 p.m., we came across six German fellows (Hanse, Gallas, Carlo, Jul, Fish and Tiger) out for a bicycle ride, by the side of the road, trying to fix one of their bicycles that had a broken chain. Serge, who can repair anything, immediately took out his tools and repaired the chain. The German fellows were so grateful they invited us to the restaurant they were headed to for a beer, and before we knew it, we were all sitting around the table at the Land-Steakhaus Sonnen in Marxheim, not only having a beer, but when they all ordered the speciality of the house, a 600 gram T-bone steak, marinated in Jack Daniels whiskey and steak spices, Serge ordered one as well and we all shared it. We also shared huge mugs of a local speciality, a mixture of dark beer, coca-cola and cherry schnapps (think cherry coke on steroids), which actually tastes a lot better than it sounds.

This was yet another chance meeting on the road, getting to know some really good people and having a really great time. The world is indeed a small place, just laboring over a broken chain triggers friendships and a shared experience. We may speak different languages, but in the end, we all enjoy the same things and can partake in them together. We all had a great time, and the really amazing thing is that we managed to get onto our bikes afterwards and pedal another 25 kilometres to Neuberg an der Donau (on the Danube), with a very large castle (that's a schloss here) built between 1530 and 1555 and beautifull old city.

The rest of the day was equally great. The bike route was extremely well maintained, almost completely paved (and even where it wasn't paved, it was very hard packed) and ran through beautiful German countryside, farms and villages. It is really quite amazing what an effort has been put into the bike paths, and what a wonderful network it is.

We stopped for a while at a small town called Donau, which was, as the expression goes, picture pretty. Lovely German architecture, nice shops, cafes, and cobble stone streets, some of which must have gone back to the middle ages. The wonderful thing about a bike trip is that you never know what's just around the corner, and everywhere you look, you find unexpected pleasures.

Before I left on my trip, CTV interviewed me and Julianne, and have prepared a segment to be broadcast on the Montreal nightly news on May 16, as part of the series called The Power of One. The journalist, Aphrodite Salas, asked me if I could send her some video footage from our trip, and Serge taped them for me on a small video camera we have, and I have posted them onto YouTube, you can find them by searching "Bill Brock Eurovelo".

I have also uploaded our interview on TV3 in France, you can see it at

As I was cycling down the shores of the Danube, which is growing wider by the day (it is now probably a little over a hundred meters in width), I was reflecting once again on how lucky I am, and how I hope that the money we raise on this trip will help others have the second life that I am having. Every moment of every day is a gift, to be enjoyed, cherished and shared with others, and if we can give that second life to others, we will all be better for it. 

Please give generously.


  1. Wow! Looks like you guys are having a ball. I definitely have to add a trip like this to my bucket list. Wayne, looks like your enjoying every minute, you make a 54 year old look like a kid.

    All the best and keep up the great blog


  2. Carlo , Fisch, Tiger, Jul, Gallus, HansiMay 14, 2010 at 5:13 AM

    Hi Guys,
    many thanks for your help yesterday. It was a great afternoon with you in Marxheim. Today we watch your great blog with the storys an the wonderfull pictures. So we add the Website with your blog to the Favorits to follow the rest of your trip.
    All the best...keep well and keep up the great blog.

    Carlo, Fisch, Tiger, Jul, Gallus, Hansi

  3. Well, it looks like you're still having fun even with the wet weather; also nice to see Serge is keeping up his "decorative AND functional" reputation!