Day 29: Rest day

Today was pretty chill. 

  • French toast for breakfast sponsored by the Stewart’s! One of their daughters had a birthday. 
  • Swam in the river, skipped rocks. Stayed in the very shallow parts, the current is relatively strong.
  • Shopped.
  • Hung around and got some rest, and a little bike maintenance.

Nice beach for digging in the sand.

Here’s an email from the Pugmire’s about their journey since they parted with us, they’ve had an intense week! 

With some sadness, the Pugmire’s are going our own way today. After 3 weeks of riding with the Major’s and the Stewart’s in Paris and from Nantes to Orleans, we are taking our travels to Germany. Put plan is to drive to Dresden, and from there we’ll ride a few hundred kilometers into Berlin. 

June 29th 

After splitting with the group, we rode, in a downpour, about 6 miles to the car rental place. With finagling and difficulty, we were able to fit both bikes, the burley trailer, and all our stuff into the midsize sedan. We drove a little further than perhaps was safe with how tired we were, about 450 km, and stayed at a hostel. 

June 30th 
We woke up and went to a grocery store, then got on the road. We drove about 800km to Dresden. There was about a two hour period in traffic, where gps said that we were 4 hours from our destination. It was incredibly frustrating. Ashley had mostly stopped having contractions, but still wasn’t feeling too great. And apparently all the stop and go made Harper car sick, because she threw up. Quite a bit. We finally got to the car rental place, just after they closed. As I was putting the bikes together, I caught a rear derailleur cable on a water bottle cage and ripped the stuffing out (that’s my technical bike lingo there). So Ashley rode to the campsite limited to her lowest gear on the rear cassette. Arrived to the campsite at midnight, very tired. 

July 1 

Woke up and got some döner kebab and kebab fries. Found a bike store and they confirmed that Ashley’s rear derailleur cable needed to be replaced. I figured I’d rather learn how to do it myself than pay them to. So I bought the cable and went out in the parking lot and after a few confused looks and false starts, I got it installed. I did need to take it back inside and ask for some help adjusting it a little bit, but I was still proud of my work.  

The city of Dresden is very cool. We saw a cool palace and some cathedrals before riding 25 miles to Meissen. On that trek, I rode through a few hundred meters of mud and puddles before looking back and seeing that I had been spraying Harper pretty good. She didn’t seem to mind as much as I would have. 

July 2 

We checked out the quite nice town of Meissen before continuing on the trail. They had a very cool gothic cathedral and castle surrounded by a city square area up on a hilltop. 

I have been riding in my highest gear for basically most of the time the last few days. I thought the only negative to this was that my legs might bulk up too much and become a little unsightly. But apparently the stress was a bit too much on my chain. When it broke, there was a minute where I really didn’t know what I was going to do. The first time I had ever heard of a chain breaking tool was a few days earlier when Dale said that he didn’t have one I could take with me when we separated. That sounded like the tool I would need to do anything about my situation. Well, it turns out that the multi tool I had did in fact have a chain breaking tool on it. I didn’t immediately recognize it as such, but after looking at what needed done, it made sense. So I took the marred link out and put my slightly shorter chain back together. And to my delight, it seemed to ride fine. If there are long term consequences to this, I guess I’ll find out later. 

We stopped at a farmers market and got some strawberries, bratwurst, and grilled mushrooms. 
I got a very nice campsite directory app called ACSI, you can use it offline and it provides all sorts of information about the campsites. It is not comprehensive, as we have passed campsites that didn’t show up on the app. It tells you your distance to any given campsite, which is nice. However, the distance is as the crow flies, apparently. Our intended 30 mile day ended at 54 miles and a 10:30pm campsite arrival. Much further than we anticipated. And much more than my family of 3.5 could handle. It was a very tough day. I should have bought a map. 

July 3 

In the morning, we went to a grocery store to get breakfast. And after the very long day yesterday, that didn’t really include dinner, we were exhausted. As we rode up, I fell over in the parking lot, tipping over the burley trailer with Harper in. We were both fine, I got a little scratched up. 

Chop Suey is apparently not just a cartoon character. We got some Asian food from a stand in the grocery store parking lot. Didn’t hold back on varieties of German chocolate inside the store. Then rode 25 miles to Prezsch. 

July 4 

Rest day. Campsite had a kitchen we could use. €0.50 for 15 minutes of a double burner. Made some good food. Between a grocery store run and and avoidable emergency diaper run, we still managed to get 14.2 miles in. 

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