The stage Freiburg-Strassburg, with its 80 kms at plain level, should have been the ideal occasion to relax the legs from the efforts of the previous day and to share the way of riding of the group that completely renewed that day. In fact, the leaving of Maurizio, Roberto Gu. and Nadia matched with the arrival of Alberto LG., Corina, Stefano, Roberto Gi., Mario and Renato.
The weather forecasts for the day anticipated an unstable weather, but fortunately without long-lasting rains, accompanied by a pleasant wind from south-west that was equivalent to a tailwind for a section of the track. The perfect conditions for a nice cycling in good company in the countryside.
At the departure also Hans, Markus, Thomas, Claus, Philipp and Christiane from the Freiburg section of the German cyclist’s association ADFC (almost the same as FIAB in Italy) joined us, deciding to cycle with us to Strassburg.
Unfortunately, just during the bikes’ preparation phase before the start, Viviana slipped on the reception’s floor thoroughly wet that the hotel decided to clean just in the peak time of the check-out.
The bad fall of Viviana required the intervention of the local healthcare and suggested to call back the van just left to be ready, in case, to take her bike home.
Our two doctors Renato and Roberto stayed with her with Paolo and Ugo, so as to have a good bunch of cyclists able to quickly reach Strassburg.
The rest of the group slowly started to move toward the destination of the stage, even to avoid an unnecessary confusion with about 30 people waiting with their own bikes just outside the hotel.
After the short city tour to the beautiful Cathedral and the Municipal palace, we started our cycling in a good and warm spring-like day. We checked the calendar to be sure we weren’t wrong. It said 2 November but, while our minds gave into the evidences of being indeed at mid-autumn, our body was certain it was a spring-like day and at the first stop we all stripped the clothes too heavy to actually wear something… more spring-like.
Clear signals of a climate that is changing even quicker than expected, and that requires to be faced by concrete actions and not by empty words.
This encouraged us even more to cycle towards Bruxelles with the claims of a rapid action contained in the letters that we were carrying.
The friends of ADFC meanwhile told us a great initiative ongoing in Freiburg. There it’s emerging a group called “Rad un Fuss Entscheid Freiburg” that aims to introduce even in Freiburg a local legislation like the one in Berlin, through which it is assigned a key role to the soft mobility (pedestrians and cyclists) at town level, in terms of road legislations, infrastructures and investments.
The German friends welcomed with enthusiasm our proposal to extend such a request at European level, instead of at town level only, and they promised to give us a letter that in turn we committed ourselves to deliver to the European institutions.
While we kept cycling through the Rhine’s canals and the river’s locks, we received the news that Viviana couldn’t continue the tour with us and that she had to stop for a few days in the hospital before going home.
The three cyclists that were going home loaded her bike on the van to make her easier the return trip and the four of the group that stayed with her in the hospital for assistance departed at about 1 pm to reach us in Strassburg.
The main part of the group arrived shortly after 3 pm in the French city and went to the European Parliament headquarters for a customary picture in front of the institution from which we expected a serious and strong answer to the ongoing climate change.
Just the time to relax about one hour and a half in the centre of Strassburg and Paolo, Renato, Roberto and Ugo reached us, after riding the stage at cruising speed despite the bikes full of luggages.
Even the eight stage is then in the archive, with the first arrival in one of the three cities symbolically chosen to represent the Europe and the role we expect it achieves at international level in the fight against climate change.
But the tour was not over yet, and the day after the over 150 km of the ninth stage toward Ludwigshafen were waiting for us, with the weather forecasts stating we would be accompanied by the rain, but it looked like (we all hoped so) even by a fair tailwind.
The time to raise the glass for a toast to the health of Viviana and all we all going to sleep for a deserved rest.