We Ride to Bonn - All Roads Lead to Italy - CycleBlaze

August 9, 2017

We Ride to Bonn

We have been camping at Pleiser Camp just a few km from Oberpleis for the past two nights. Our host has been exceptionally kind to us. When we arrived, tired and late the first night, he drove us to Oberpleis to the Rewe supermarket for groceries. He has been very accommodating and has helped us with whatever we need. It has been great to be camping here - the facilities are good and it is a quiet campground. As we are perched up a hill, the view to the surrounding countryside and the village of Oberpleis is very nice. Plus, it is very convenient in its proximity to Akkurad.
After spending the day at Akkurad getting Seavo travel worthy again and quizzing Jorg about our concerns regarding our heavy bike and load being compatible with the power of the motor, we were assured that the motor we have and the super battery can handle our bike, two people and our trailer, no problem. 
So, now we can decide about what to do with our remaining time in Europe. We have about 7 weeks left. One possibility is to head back to Frankfurt (Oder) and tour northern Poland, the Baltic states, and then back to Germany by ferry. We had done extensive research about this route last winter. Sounded good. 
But we kept going back to our longing to return to Italy as planned. So why not?
Even though we have been told not to worry about our load with camping gear, etc., the experience in Poland has made us a bit tentative. So we came up with a radical plan (for us, that is) to greatly lighten our load by sending our camping gear to Georg and Cora, along with most of our cooking gear and anything else that seems non-essential. We have always toured with camping gear. We love camping and have a great Hilleberg tent and comfy double sleeping bag. But knowing the demands of the hills in Slovenia and crossing the Alps, we both feel that for this year, we will not camp. This way, we can give our motor a good workout and learn to trust its capabilities.
So, the adventure continues in a different way. We will have to be diligent about finding inexpensive accomodation as we have no backup with camping gear. The other option is using Warm Showers for a place to stay. Warm Showers is an international organization for touring cyclists and it provides free accommodation. We are hosts in Canada, and if a cyclist contacts us, and we are available, we provide them with a place to sleep and a "warm shower". If we are not home, we offer advice and tips about our area. 
Our friend Georg works in Bonn, so we made a quick decision to pack up and meet him at his office. He has a colleague who lives in his village who will take our extra gear to their home for us. What an ideal solution. We are grateful for their help.
The ride to Bonn is quite easy and follows the River Sieg. It is about 25 km and we have just enough time to get to Georg before he has to leave and head home.

Barry making our final breakfast at camp.
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Pleiser Camp - a good place.
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Our neighbour at camp, a youthful 75, has been an avid cyclist/camper and has toured with his wife in the past. He spoke no English, but spent much time with us talking about his tours and trying to understand our bike. Somehow we understood each other. We gave him our business card with our journal web address. Just as we were leaving, his daughter came to visit them and she came over to share with us (in English) everything that her father had been trying to tell us.
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Georg in his office in Bonn, "command central". There is no end to the helpfulness of the Reitz family. He told us, "I have fifteen minutes before I must catch the last train home - what can I do to help?" Well, he rode with us to nearby Max Hostel and helped us get a room for the night.
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Today's ride: 32 km (20 miles)
Total: 1,050 km (652 miles)

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