Finished the Ahr route!
I am proud to announce that I have cycled up and down the Ahr river route!
I ended up with acute knee pain but it was worth it and I never thought I would go the full way but I did it am happy for that.

The Birthday night!

  • Riding on the evening before just with bare light (battery actually) thinking that I wouldnt be needing it later

  • Searching on map the exact road and asking people for that small road instead of actual landmark

  • Later happy to just follow the crowd not just the direction but also seeing them we fould nice place to securely lock our bikes.

  • Why not, "Its almost 12 and its my birthday" I stay enjoying awesome music from couchncocktail

  • The above thing means its 12 and we missed the last train. The event was finished by 1 AM

  • We decide or infact I am the birthday boy decide to go on bicycle to the next city

  • We meet a group who were friendly and a regular biker advises me not to go through the route as it was really bad.

  • We go and wow amazing experience!

  1. Amazing

  2. Wow with moonlight

  3. The bridge sucks

  4. Scary as its pitch dark

  5. We loose each other in the dark

  6. Dreadful as we meet with some sad incident

  7. One bike was damaged so slowly we try follwing lights

  8. Before we almost reach the town another incident happens to my friend.

  9. Wind gets chilly and we just wanna go home

  10. Boring conversation and a stay inside ATM room

  11. Reach destination but we see heavy rains.

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Karma works Big time!!
Remembering my previous nice thing I did returning someone's Identity, I also was returned mine by someone. The only reason there was any delay was the bureaucracy involved which took like 35 days or so. Those days were like hell and it was scary to roam around without id. I finally thought enough is enough and called to inform that I lost the id. I was told that no my id was found. Hurray the best day of recent times was today and the person who returned it returned everything including the little bit of cash it had. He/She returned it the same day.

A dream come true
I was planning this for long time, I mean to take the bike and just cross the border. This time we just didn't cross the border but we crossed the border at a place where the Crossing of borders became official! Yes I am talking about schengen. Its also a land of threee borders so 1 minute we crossed into one country and after 10 minutes we were crossing another border. 😄

So we actually crossed Fr border by mistake and we came back to De in like 5 minutes. What does it mean? Technically 5 minutes in another country lol. We did observe the change in boardw ith velo written on it.

Anyways we had to start with an uphill journey and then our first Fr town greeted us with speed bumps and there was a place for bikes to escape the bump and we just couldn't stop laughing at the thought of how the cars must slow down. Coming from De which prides in super fast auto routes this was was quite impressive 😝.

So we had to go down and join the velo route and wow these Fr people are really mad bikers there is just too much traffic. We both never faced so much velo traffic in our previous trips. So I tried with bonjour and I didn't get one back and slowly we got some back regularly. The cool thing is I could observe the tone in which the greeting was give. The pronounciation of 'Jour' was also varying from people. For the De people we said Gutentag much to their surprise 😍

So as we went there was a place where we had to cross the river if we were to continue, I was confused and ask the lady. I really felt it painful to communicate in Fr and she was speaking so fastly I couldn't understand much. My friend was just standing with open mouth as he tried parlez vous allemagne and no one said yes to him lol.

Anyways we crossed the bridge first time and damn the velo route it forced us a round trip through the small town. Maybe they wanted us to stop for cafe and it kind of improves tourism. It was undoubtedly well designed. We went ahead and there we came at a place where the route suggested us to again cross the bridge while our phone was not suggesting it. There was a curve and then I had to speak to a woman and ohh my god she was like follow the velo route its perfect I am also from the same town it will take you there. I finally had to tell no thanks I wanna go straight.

We did go straight and guess what we had no more velo companions and wow what a relief it was. We went to a place where boats stop and there was a shelter. The water there was crystal clear. I found a old bottle and I filled with river water and we were both shocked. There nothing in the water. It rarely happens that you get to see such clear water. I later saw a bird refugee shelter and we were tempted to go inside but it was written forbidden to outsiders.  I felt very sad for my friend who is a big time bird lover.
We went to small place where we were redirected and there comes a super sportive boy. I almost died communicating with him with my poor Fr skills. He told us the name of the place and he even ran and found the correct road for us. He came back running and told us that he will show. We rode bike and he was coolly running with us. He ran the entire length of the village with us. We were very impressed by how sportive that kid is. I wish he becomes a marathon runner in future.😉

Next we almost reached our city and there was a bakery and obviously we ordered croissant and my friend was like wow much better than the De version. I sad Fr baked stuff is too good and the De ones come no where in comparison. So we went to the city and I was amazed at the construction these guys did in river side. They made the river banks like way back and they look so old and historical.✔️

We went inside the city and roamed around and finally found a market where we couldnt find anything interesting. But We talked to some guys who suggested a nice and cheap restaurant. We went there to eat. The cheese in rice was too good. I didnt need to add much spice, I guess I was adjusted to low spice varieties.😑

It rained and I had to run and get my jacket. We finally left the place and we had an hour to go, we just roamed around saw the old church then one more church. Later the synagogue was closed and the lady was looking at us strangely . She told me she works there and opene it exclusively to show us. We were surprised by this bumper offer. We saw the jewish stuff written, I couldnt find a brochure of the place but they had some fest recently and I got a small pamplet of it. It should go on my wall.

Ohh yeah there was Fr vs Ir match going on. Fr was loosing when we finished dinner and we were afraid fans would get angry. But much to our delight Fr won right when we were close to them. Then started the excitement, blazing horn.

So we were running out of time, we went back to the small village where we met the boy. Just sat near church relaxed while my friend walks ina  bar to ask for water. He cant speak Fr , they cant speak En or De and lol I had to translate it was a pain. Finally the bartender was rescued by a En speaking guy who suggested us to go to a stadium.

We couldn't find it and had to ask. It was a long journey on a reverse route and I wasn't so happy. We saw the football ground and there was a cafe for the local football club.❤️ We went there with bikes and asked for 'boisson' the word for drink and l'eau .. for water. We were invited inside and give free chilled water bottle and guess what they were so friendly and happy after Fr won the match. They invited us to have free bread with filling. The filling was barbaqued. That was just too much. We hung there for some time had a conversation and then left saying thankyou.😎

On the way back I really didn't want to go through the small village round trip, we found a shortcut and wow.  We also got some peas from the farm and somehow got a kilo of it. My friend also learned how to get a cow pic tempting them with lot of grass.
As we reached the last Fr town, the view thanks to the shining sun ☀️ was amazing.  took pics of the old church which was shining thanks to the sun. The old church combined with the old walls of the city buildings gave it an awesome look. We crossed border to Lu and my friend purchased some stuff cheap in Lu shops while I purchased water for 0.50 € which was cheap and he couldn't believe there was no pfand. He went on asking the shopkeeper about pfand, she doesn't have it in her vocabulary. We found a nice management office and its stairs at entrance to sit and have some food.

We met a De couple who had a nice chat with us. My friend is so happy to be speaking De again lol.  We told about our trip and they were pleased. The train was waiting at some place and we opened the door and was told that this is not platform lol by a lady who came back with the train to the actual platform and we had a chat with her later and she told us about the ticket we could use for this three regions. It actually is an awesome ticket but only for people in this region. I wish they had combined with with RLP ticket.

Overall I am too happy that I was able to make this trip despite the previous loss. Also I found that my Fr vocabulary is decreasing but its pouncing back after few minutes of conversation and that reduction is probably only due to the confusion among De and Fr.

A new find
As my previous post was about depression I was suggested to buy another bicycle to get over the last one. People should move on right? 😉

So I was searching online and I found one for 35€ and I was like wow it looks decent atleast in the pic, maybe its really broken or its gone off in sale. So I messaged the lady who was selling it and I didn't get a reply for 2 days and damn as if the old sadness is not enough no reply meant the bike for that price was sold off. I was delighted when she replied asking me how much I would be willing to pay for it. I was kind of thinking, maybe she will ask more and if she does I took a 10 € extra.

So as I reached her place and ringed the bell an old man was like no she doesn't live here you get lost.. lol 😄 I was like yeah thats quite typical. His wife came and told her daughter is not home and I must wait. In 2 minutes she came and she was like "Ahh you are punctual" , well deutschland did teach me that one thing. The poor father was suffering from alzheimers. 😢 So thats the reason we had to wait before we go inside.

So as we enter the garden I see these two bikes. One grey and one silver. The silver was the worst one with complete body shaking like hell. So I checked the grey one. The grey one had good height and it felt nice but I was unable to easily change gears.  I was complaining about such an old gear system. I also had to pump air. It was easy to pump on the grey one but on silver one, my mind was almost decided on taking the grey one. The grey one saddle is unusable and had to be tightened to be used. The silver one had extra fittings, of all the fittings the lamps are waste.  I was told that the bikes are so old they belonged to the old couple who can't move anymore.

So I again put some air and went on silver one, this time the gears were atleast changing unlike the grey one whose gears didn't change at all. I had no choice and was complaining about air to fill and too much work ( arbeit 😜 ) I was given a bumper offer 20  € and I was like beaming inside.  She was able to find a better pump, I filled the air fully this time and rode it wasn't so bad and the shake was still there.  So I made up my mind to buy the silver one.

So I took the bike and rode to city and it was hard getting adjusted to the gear system. I thanks to missing a train did ride like 30 kms on day 1 itself.

I came home and brought the bike inside. I removed all the extra fittings like lamps, dyanamo and even the wire fittings. It was all a mess. I then sat and tightened all the screws. I took the bike for a ride and it was good. It was a nice find ☺️ and I later realised the tyres and wheel which the old man changed are well maintained this one was better than the old one in efficiency.

Next important thing is the saddle whose height cant be adjusted. I had to keep at the top most without moving the seat post. That was perfect for me but the saddle didnt last for a day as it was tightened at the edge. It came out right in the middle of my journey. I had to set it low for now. 😟

The most convenient thing with this bike is it came with a compartment to put stuff, unfortunately the key was lost but who cares I can put groceries and lock in it. 😎 I now purchased a touring saddle. It has got more height and that should be aptly enough, I am yet to check.

Bicyle was stolen
That was the sad monday when I walked out and saw that my favourite transport vehicle was no more. 😢 It has not just been a transport but a companion for many awesome journeys. It even helped me roam the streets of berlin. It did get its fair share of Rhine valley , mosel valley as well as also the lahn valley. ✔️ Infact recently it even went on  a long trip to bonn.

I got it repaired and wow it did feel smooth and I was really really enjoying it which is when I realised "All good things don't last forever". 😣 The guy who sold me wanted to partially repair the mud gear but I was adamant enough to get a new one fixed and extra repairs which costed twice I was supposed to pay. I did that cause I believed if this bike is like my companion it deserves the best treatment. Imagine the bike being taken away.

PS : The funny thing was it had a bike computer which is with me, the person who stole just got the wire. No one can use it. 😆

A bit too much of rail
I love those train journeys especially when you can just sit peacefully looking at the rhine river and keep reading your favourite book on the kindle. I also had some notes as I was reading some papers. Papers are a irritating thing to get into Kindle. I need to put them as just PDF and I am using a special KPDF Filemanager which allows me to read PDF as well as Epub files. The issue was that this program keeps on crashing and I had to endure the 5 minute Kindle restart cycle which may or may not restore.

Anyways this journey was important as I was on a mission to buy loudspeakers. The guy selling told me to come at 1 and as I removed my phone when I was reaching köln , I just passed the köln west then got to know that he wants me to come next day. So I was left in Köln centre, yes the same place which made news as I observed to find more security but just couldn't. I walked through the main shopping streets just like that feeling clueless and unable to decide what to do. I could go to my typical desi store which I just did and bought some stuff which I was planning to buy.

So I was on my return train and I messages saying "sad what time tomorrow is good?", then I was going home trying to read more stuff. Now as I reachged the halfway place I got a message saying that I could collect, was that before 6 or after 6 ? I got confused and asked my co pasenger what it means and he said before 6 today and I messaged back how about 4 and I got down to catch the next train in opposite direction.

I had to wait 15 minutes and this is also a place where two compartments get coupled and I saw them doing that for the first time that close. Its a very nice locking mechanism. It reminded me of how Indian train wagons are coupled.  Anyways a clueless desi asked if I am pakistani I said yes and he was asking stuff about a small town and I told him where to go. He was like "ahh you are indian na" which place I told him and his companion was shouting at him to get a proper timetable of directions. They are crazy enough to go bug a train conductor or someone who is located in a glass box.  That guy has a door which was locked and this guy instead of asking him from outside tries to go open the door and obviously that guy was pissed off. I told the other guy that this one wont give much info.

Anyways as I am other train I realise my message hasnt left the phone, I had to send it with other phone then I get a call saying that no he wont be available till 6 and it was just 3:15 , I said "ok"  and then get down at a city which I never bothered to go. I keep roaming and go to the tourist centre for a map and it wasnt free but an ad book was free, took it mut its not as simple as a map but is a full blown guide riddled with countless ads. I asked a couple where I am and was told to go to the biggest church. It was a roman church with quite a history to it. I went from back entrance strangely and it was probably a resting place for poor people. I went out to find beethovens place and on the route found a flea market selling tomatoes for cheap and tomatoes are the most price variant commodity and I just purchased a kilogram of the precious vegetable.

I just followed some tourists into a modern church and later thought that inorder to bite this cold I better go to a museum which I found. Its not the big national one but the state one, got a discount and it was 1.5 euros . I went to see the museum and how the rich used to live in 19th century. It wasnt much different. Strangely as time was running for me I couldnt see roman and middle ages which werent interesting for me. Maybe I was getting bored of museums I dunno. Also they had no english titles except the guidebook which I read , I just literallw saw the pictures and came awy this time.

So now I found that the station wasnt far, this was a small town for sure and I didnt walk away quite far. I got some cash and then went to find I had 20 minutes for the train. So I just went on the other side bakery bought some sweet foods which I could instantly eat like a cake and a bread in circles probably dipped in sugar syrup. I needed the energy :D

So this was a nice resting place and despite crowded train I got a place as people got down. So I got down and walked on the straight road and finally I got the call where I was. I met the guy with loudspeaker. I asked to test it. Later found that he was afghani and instead of troubling with deutch we spoke hindi. I told him I came from far and he said ok and I tsted the speakers , they were good. I came back happy ;)
Well it was worth the time ! I came back reading stuff till I was bored to death.
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Resolve to climb
Yes and that was something I took this new year and why not start on the first day?

I continued the path which I mentioned in the previous blog post. This time path till oberheimbach was like a cake walk to what was left ahead. I was happy that I got rid of the main car way and was given a route which says "Only for farmers", yeah thanks it would mean no one as none of the farmers do anything in the winter. So I was completely left on my own, since it was like 8 AM there was not even the occassional walker.

Coming to the path it was steep for sure and I gave up like in the begining itself started walking. Then again started riding. It went on like a process. I saw that the road has this pin head curves which make it easy for vehicles to go up but not me. I reached a place where I saw some horses and I sat there for some time. I later saw some sheep which were looking at me strangely like WTF am I doing at that place.

I think after that sheep, I was loosing energy and there was no way I could ride continuously without stopping for rest. I was looking for a bench but couldn't find any. Finally I reached a place where there was nice map. It was the corner of oberrheimbach "wander weg" aka hiking trails. I found that there are too good a hiking trail in this region. I sat for sometime drank some multi vitamin water to refresh myself. I was also sweating so had to remove the jacket and face the cold weather which was 5C at that time.This hut like place is a nice one and I guess it was sponsored not by the cycling guys but the hiking guys which had UNESCO sponsorship. There were also emergency numbers and nearest hotels listed with phone numbers. I also saw some events listed for june :D

Next on the place was these continous pine trees like a plantation. It was not steep at all in any consideration but it was a gradual elevation( as I learnt in the journey down hill) . I was scolding myself for being unable to go forward. I think I was bad in fitness. Well I just walked this wonderfull pine plantation road. I think this would be a nice place for a movie.

At the end of the pine route I reached this electric substation. I have to mention that there are wind mills nearby. The station was unmanned but there are dishes on evey building and it look s like its full of sensors and is automated. Yeah it felt so modern but I was more interested in going forward. I wanted desperately to sit and this time I wanted to even relax my back.

Guess my shock when I found a nice display board explaining how the electric wires are going and are living sustainably by making sure the forests , its animals live in co-habitat. They mark some trees which are about to fall down or dangerous with some paints and remove them regularly to avoid a fall down.

It wasn't steep any more and guess what I found a slope going down and I was like yay down let me use gear 7 and finally I found my park bench. I just took off jacket and made it my mattress and slept for some time. I also met a guy walking and said "morgen" for morning.

After some time I started my trip and I found that it was foggy and I saw some high platforms probably built to watch cattle / horses. I could smell the village air and it felt so good.

I reached the highest point on the trip and found that my actual destination is down hill and I went ahead, the road became bad and finally I saw my destination, took a pic and returned back.
The fog at previous place increased and visibility was down to 5 meters or so. This was also a road so I was a bit concerned.Later I found the pine plantation region to be really down hill. I got down and changed jacket to complete cover mode so that no wind comes. It was also windy by then. It was easy to come down but was dangerous and attention was very much in need. The wind was freezing my hands which are protected by gloves. I did come down pretty fast like literally 6 times faster :D

Anyways I am happy I did my first 400 meters climb. This path would lead to 800 meters. Next time I need for sure some food which I can eat warm on top. Or maybe just go on a working day and eat at the town?

Overcoming Sickness
Normally Christmas food is something which people celebrate, I did go out especially to eat with a friend at a viatnamese restaurant. I came back and in the late night since I was hungry I ate some baked beans. As the night went on I did a big mistake which was to eat more.

So the next day woke up feeling bad in stomach. I felt it was only to do with stomach but later I felt cold and feverish. I get normally that throat feeling whoch makes water taste weird and not allow me to drink water much. Yes its typical sick stuff. So first instinct was to think of Anti Biotics, should I take it? I already heard so many horrible stories about Anti biotics in chicken, eggs etc. I took some " వాము " which apparently is called Ajwain in english. This herb makes sure the stomach issues are solved. But I am still left with the feverish feeling.

Went for a walk, a little ride and finally got some energy to cook some kichdi and ate a little, yes I do remember that eating  more made me sick in the first place and then again went for a walk chewing some వాము and then watched something which made me laugh, happy and interested !

I slept and I did sleep well for quite a long time. I did sweat which is a classic symbol of the fever going down. I woke up feeling fresh. I was able to go on a pretty long ride. Now that I am able to blog about it, I guess I am cured.

Riding up
Once we are finished with both mosel and rhine bicycle routes which are now mostly accessible from Mittel Rhein Bahn, I had to turn my attention towards the slopes and the view which we will get as  a gift for all the hardwork put.

So one of the roads was near mosel but it was just too steep, I could go for probably 2-3 Km and it was always getting dark and the prerequiste here was to already ride 25 kms in advance. So it needs better "cycling fitness"! Another important thing was there was no cycling route but it was more like a hikers path.

So when I was looking around for proper cycling paths into the hills. I found this place called neiderheimbach which is a railway station on rhine close to bingen. I could take the bike on the train and start the ride. I went there once to find the path and it was pretty clear. I returned back and went after 2 days.

This one is a power generator which uses the water flow from the river.

There might have been a reason why the road was marked as UNESCO path. There were lot of hotels and shops for tourists which are closed for winter. It was also a marked as cycling route, though the climb was too much it was not so straining on the rider as the angle was not bad.

It was totally a 4 km ride to Oberheimbach which means upper rheimbach and once I reached the place I found another route for panaroma view which was more steep. But the view was just spellbounding.

I could see the steep cut and nothing else but wild forest infront of me. It was just dark brown and I was imagining how awesome it would be in the summer when the greenery is back.

Overall its an amazing place and since it was getting dark and cold I had to return back. The next time there is a steep climb of 200m from this place and Its one hell of a challenge to finish the next climb but with sufficient rest I am pretty sure I could make it.


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