It seems easy…but it isn’t, when you have several stop and go
The stage from Darmstadt to Kobkenz seemed easy, with an almost flat profile and our legs that are now well trained to ride for 130 km per day, but when you’re on a bycicle to perform in complete autonomy such a long distance, everything may be an obstacle to your plan. For example, the weather: we started to cycle in Darmstadt with very cloudy weather but no rain yet. In this situation everybody has a different choice in terms of water proof clothes. But after few km a light rain arrived and we had to stop to change our clothes. After a dozen km the rain stopped and we needed to change it again.
In addition, we had a stop to fix a problem with the support for the bycicle luggage of Gabriele and another two stops for punctures on the wheels of Giuseppe and Paolo. Some minor problems to the wheel of Tony required a further stop.
When you have so many stops the muscles find it difficult to warm up and become more “rigid”, requiring a more intensive effort. In addition you need to ride faster to catch up with the wasted time. With this condition it is unavoidable that the people who are less trained or more tired will have additional difficulty to keep the speed of the group so we needed to reduce the speed below our normal average. The conclusion is that we arrived also in Koblen in the darkness, just after sunset.
The first part of the track has been often boring because we rode on the main road or very close to it, but when we arrived at the Rhein we found a very nice bycicle track that in the area of Lorelei become wonderful with a lot of castles, the fascinating landscape of the river and the mountains and very nice villages along the way.
The ninth stage of our trip was over and we went to sleep thinking that tomorrow we’ll ride to Bonn where the city Deputy Mayor will be waiting for us at 14.45 at the Old Town Hall.