A rough day - The Bartletts Bike the Baltics - CycleBlaze

May 11, 2019

A rough day

We stayed last night in the Dessau Youth Hostel, a place we know well.  We stayed here in 2014 when we were toured the Elbe River route.  This unique Hostel has design elements of the Bauhaus style and features huge windows and linear spacious rooms which invite the outside in. We were so happy to see that Anita still works here. Her personable, caring manner is one of the reasons this hostel is so special.

The weather looks like it will be a challenge as it is predicted to rain heavily all day and evening with some wind thrown in. Yes, we know that we are west coasters who should not be bothered by rain. But honestly, the weather has been so consistently bad that we just want some sun. It is tempting to stay put, but we feel that we need to move on. 

Before  we can head out, we will need to seek out a bike shop as the front tire continues to give us trouble. We always instal 2 Mondial Expedition tires before each trip as they are typically “bulletproof”.  A week into this trip, we had a flat on the front tire and replaced the inner tube. Since then we have noticed that it has a slow leak...and this morning, after having pumped it up a few days ago, it was already down  by 50%. 

As it is Saturday, we know that most shops will close midday and reopen on Monday, so we need to hustle. We finally found a shop that would help us...and with a new tire and inner tube installed  we got back on the road. It looks like the original Mondial may have been a lemon. Lucky us.

There is no way to sugar-coat this...the weather today is foul. The wind is making the heavy rain feel like ice pellets hitting our faces and the build up of watering the trail  from the heavy rain makes it nasty. We have decided to stop in Lutherstadt Wittenberg  as it doesn’t make sense to continue. We are cold and wet through. PLUS, the motor died about 5 km out of Wittenburg. 

 This makes our decision easy -we’ll stay here for 2 nights and try to figure this motor problem out. We are also going with the familiar and will stay again at the bike friendly Acron Hotel, a chain of two locations: Quedlinburg and here. Good breakfast, comfortable, quiet, a lockable bike shed and a drying room for our wet clothing. 

Despite all the drama of the day, what with  bike problems and nasty weather, we enjoyed revisiting the Elbe route. We have good memories of this region. 

Anita at the youth hostel in Dessau.
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We met this wonderful Czech father and son at the the youth hostel. They are riding to Hamburg on the Elbe cycle route. The father worked on river boats that transported a variety of goods on the Elbe River. He said that he once he even transported giraffes to Hamburg on the Elbe. His father loved the Elbe. Since retiring he has canoed, cycled and walked the Elbe River route from Prague to Hamburg.
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Kathleen ClassenWhat a wonderful encounter. Those river barges have intrigued me since our first trip.
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1 week ago
A meeting of Czech Republic and Canada with many laughs and sharing of stories about our lives and mutual love of ice hockey. The father is 72 years young, with a twinkle in his eye. Wonderful to see this father and son find time in their lives to share such a meaningful journey.
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While our tire and tube was being replaced we had lunch at a food court in a mall. The food was amazing at this butcher shop.
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Fleischkase, bratkartoffeln and salad for 4€. We say many seniors (I guess that includes us!) meeting for a hot lunch at this mall.
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Raw hamburger meat in a bun is a hugely popular item
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You don’t find food like this at a food court in Canada
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The mechanic is trying to find the leak in our tube, The brand new tire had an irregularity in the tread -perhaps a gash or slice.
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Seeking shelter from the rain
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What rain?
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We rode the more direct Elbe Cycling Route route to Wittenburg instead of the R1 to avoid gravel and its winding route.. Dessau is surrounded by nature and this section along the Elbe is particularly beautiful.
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She found her glove!
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Our poor trailer was taking quite a beating from the rain and mud
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The route crossed the Elbe at Coswig, so Barry rang the bell which summoned the ferry to come and pick us up.
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We have the ferry all to ourselves
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Each side of the river has a bell which you use to call the ferry if it is on the other side.
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On to Wittenberg. Our route at this spot is shared by three cycling routes: Luther Weg, Elbe and R1.
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Today's ride: 44 km (27 miles)
Total: 1,049 km (651 miles)

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Kathleen ClassenKeith and I stayed put and did an unloaded ride in the area when the weather cleared for a short while. Some of the clouds have been dramatic and beautiful, but all seem full of water.
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1 week ago