Almost 1.200 km travelled thanks to our legs
It is always a strange emotion when you arrive with a bycicle powered only by your legs, and in full autonomy, to a place more than a thousand km far from your starting point. All the time I kept thinking about the moment when I took my bycicle out of the garage, fixed the luggage on it and moved for the first time on the pedals.
Now I have the strong feeling of haveìing performed a real trip. Nothing similar to what happens when you travel by car, train or airplane. I believe this is due to both the awareness that our iron horse moves only if we use our own energy to push on the pedals and the feeling that, meter after meter, the distance flows under your feet.
These are only a few things in my mind during the last stage from Koblenz to Bonn. I’m sure something similar is in the heads of all the RWU cyclists because whe are riding in silence. It is not the empty silence that sometimes creates embarrassment in a group of people, but a kind of rich silence where everybody is thinking and has full respect of the thoughts of the others. For this reason today we have only a few moments when we sing together and the chatting is more essential.
We passed close to the ex nuclear power plant of Mülheim and we understood there was something strange because the bycicle path was exactly on the border ot the plant. Only later Jurgen, a German friend, explained to me that this is a very strange case of nuclear power plant in Germany because it operated only for a few dozens of days leaving now all the cost and the burden to manage it.
The stage was quiet and relaxed, but we kept paying attention to everything because the first and the last day of a bike trip are always the most dangerous, since you feel more excited and less concentrated. We had two punctures on the wheels of Toni and Dino (the final ranking of flat tyres is 2 for Toni and Paolo and 1 for Dino, Giuseppe and Ugo) and the breaking of Alberto’s luggage rack. This happened at few km from Bonn and we fixed it temporarily with a plastic hose clamp. But the most risky thing was Dino’s pedal that had serious problems 5-10 km from Bonn. This was a critical problem requiring a change of the pedal and maybe also of the central movement if it had been completely broken. But we were lucky enough to arrive in Bonn with the broken but still working pedal.
We rode through the very nice park along the Rhein until the “Bonn zone” of the COP23 where we had the first picture of our arrival. Later we moved to the other compound of the COP 23, the “Bula zone”, located where the head office of the UNFCCC is and finally to one of the main squares of Bonn, the Market Platz where the nice building of the Old Town Hall is located.
There we received a warm welcome from Markus Goell, of the Internationalization office of Bonn, and the Deputy Mayor Reinhard Limbach, on behalf of the Mayor Ashok-Alexander Sridharan.
They showed strong appreciation for our initiative and we agreed to investigate the possibility to create a similar initiative of RWU in Bonn.
Our tour was concluded later with a “prosit” with the local beer and a sincere thank you to everybody.
We shall start with the dozens that took part in the prelude whern we rode together for the first time along the new bike path that completes the connection between the island and the land area of Venice. Than to the hundreds of people that rode from Venice to Bassano. We don’t know everyone’s name but we’d like to remind that a bycicle World Champion, Italian Ultracyclist Champion and a crowd of friends rode with us supporting our initiative. We want to recall some of them by name only as an example, like Angela, Renzo, Moreno, Sandro, Silvano, Alex, Marta, Renzo M., Stefano, Fabrizio, Marco, Manuel and Filiberto.
After Bolzano Romeo, Lucia and Alice left us and later (in Vipiteno) Giampietro, Nadia and Luisa. In München Alberto LG, Corina, Giampaolo, Roberto, Renato, Augusto and Ivan got off their tandem and bycicles.
Finally the list of riders that arrived in Bonn: Tiziana, Ugo, Paolo, Toni, Dino, Giuseppe, Alberto F., Mauro, Gabriele, Ivano, Claudio M., Gigi, Claudio B. and Daniele. Special thanks to Giancarlo that came to Bonn to collect all our bycicles and the “Venexian legion”. Sorry for all the other friends we forgot to mention here, but the list is very long and it is easy not to remember the name even of a person that rode and chatted with us for several km.
Another warm thank you to all the people that participated or facilitated each evening events, like: Sandro, Marco Co, Renzo M, Renato, Carlo, Roberto, Ulrich, Marco Ca., Gunda, Samuel, Michael, Bernd, Andreas, Markus, Reinhard and all the other people we can’t mention here.
But if RWU has been possible we need to thank also the active role of the RWU Committee, the support of Stefano and Marta of Aequilibria for the back office work, Selene of Grafis for the fliers, Alberto for the support to update our website, Alessandra for a bit of English final check of the posts and all the other people supporting our project.
A particular thank you to Selle Royal for their very comfortable seats (really appreciated when you spend more than 8 hours per days on your bike) and to Girolibero that offered us the bike cart to bring back home our bikes.
RWU 2017 closes here, but from tomorrow will start to consider if and how to organize an edition of RWU 2018 to Katowice, Poland. Stay tuned and continue to Ride With Us!