• 26th July 2017

Frankfurt and two stormy days alone

Sunset at Tylösand - the first I've seen since leaving the UK. I've not experienced nighttime for a month!

Rest / Climbing in Frankfurt

  • 23rd/24th July 2017

It would be fair to say that doing four 200km days running, on max 6h sleep every night, made me quite a liability. First 'rest' day, my zombie self arose early & desperate for my caffeine requirement, melted my host's electric kettle on the hob... The gooey plastic was strung out around her kitchen as I stressingly tried to recover it. I then proceeded to drop food on myself whilst attempting to eat breakfast. Quite funny, really. Except for the €60 I had to spend to replace the kettle!

It still functioned though!

Tasty curry by Gabi & last night with Rachel

Gabi, Max & their friend Lars took me to Bassenbach for some climbing on quite dense dark sandstone. I had definitely lost a lot of my climbing stamina, but what an awesome experience, & a great passion to share with these lovely people.

Lars showed me the self-made protection he has to use to climb in parts of Germany - made from rope, as metal isn't allowed!

The following 'rest' day was a bit stressful with many errands to run, as usual. Things are so simple when you're just on your bike!

I must also add that Gabi was incredible to me - obviously she hosted, & cooked, but she even took the hooks off her own pannier (the luggage bag for the bike), & gave them to me, since mine had broken. What a beautiful & caring person. Thank you for everything you did for me Gabi, I hope to see you both again soon.


Goodbye Frankfurt!

  • 25th July 2017

Kriftel to Karlstadt

Day 38 of riding | 120 miles | 193 km | Ascent: 965 metres

A wet & fatigued day along the great River Main, I found something sunny!

Escorting me to the River Main cycle path, Gabi & I shared 10 miles together as this is her daily commute!

Bye bye Gabi...

A&E eh? Unfortunate initials...

I made great progress on this wonderful path from Frankfurt - covering over 30 miles in just 2 & a bit hours. Then, of course, the heavens opened. Occasionally the rain was of that annoying strength that affects your line of sight, & makes everything more difficult.

Castle after sweet castle...

I was passing some picturesque fairytale villages with their proud preserved fortresses & castles, but unfortunately was unable to appreciate them given the conditions!

I slowly developed this strange fatigue which came over my head. This was despite 2 espressos! By 90 miles I could have closed my eyes & immediately slept: it was such a battle keeping them open. 2 pro-plus tablets & 2 further espressos later, no help. Food eased it for only 10 minutes at a time, ahh!

Dream cycle path...

In addition, my front wheel had begun to feel unsteady/shakey. I'd tried (in torrential rain & with luggage all over my bike) to tighten the wheel, but it didn't make a difference. There must be a loosening in the hub, I thought. Oh, & yes, of course my gears started being unresponsive again! In fact, I lost my easiest gear, a bit annoying on any hills. Yes I tried to alter them, but to little avail, & again, the circumstances I was in made that quite difficult.

Hello cutie!

I was hoping to cover 140ish miles that day, but when I saw a direct road to Karlstadt, which would cut off a lot of distance despite adding in a hill, I jumped on it!

7pm at the campsite, & a little shelter for me to hide & scoff some food in. Not bad. I enjoyed videoing it all & sending it to my best friend: showing her what she may be enjoying for herself in just a few days. I maybe killed her excitement a little.

Forget tan lines...mud lines are the way forward

  • 26th July 2017

Karlstadt to Nuremburg

Day 39 of riding | 107 miles | 173 km | Ascent: 1020 metres

More rain, terrible routing, & a THIRD CABLE SNAPPING!

Another fun day in fun conditions!

So, I had mapped today onto my bike satnav, trying to keep off very large roads. Unfortunately using maps, you can't often tell the road quality or size... this can lead to many issues with dirt tracks, fields, or just apparently disappearing paths!

Went on an insanely big busy road for 25 miles, to Wurzburg. At least it was direct!

Imagine these route issues when you have 120 miles to cover; & the rain is so hard you can't even see or use maps to find another way around; obviously you can't get out your phone; & opening any bag to get some food out is not an option all ride ( unless you want to drench your belongings /carry water in your bags all day).

So basically, having navigational issues in 12 hours of solid heavy rain, is slightly unappetising.

Food will always make me happy

This was pretty much my day, as well as stopping when I saw civilisation, to use a brief bit of shelter to aid me /warm my soul with caffeine!

The front wheel continued to shake, & slowly my gears were receding.

By halfway through the day, I had lost 3 gears. This was getting quite ridiculous... I was so close to the city! Just get me to Nuremburg now please!

I redesigned the route whilst scoffing valuable calories at a supermarket café,  & handwrote towns i must go through; sticking this list under my waterproof opaque cover on my handlebar bag.

This worked perfectly, & by Erlangen with just 20km to go...click, click...nothing... noooo! The same gear cable has snapped, AGAIN!
The 3rd cable, now in a brand new shifter from Copenhagen. What is going on?!

To be honest I was praising the luck I was given - to have this happen in a town, with a train station. As opposed to a Norwegian mountain range!
Also, I'd already covered 100+ miles that day, so it wouldn't hurt my average  (the most important thing, obviously)!

Hallo pretty Nuremburg

I managed to get to Nuremburg, & was greeted by my wonderful & accommodating 'Warm Showers' hosts, Max & Johanna. They are also doctors, & let me join them in a lovely dinner, between night shifts. Thank you to both of you!

Now in a safe place, I was to get my bike sorted (if it ever can be!), & await the arrival of my best friend.

Ride days: 39
Miles: 3,860
Ascent: 48,401m

Thank you for your interest. If you can help me by supporting aid in Syria, I'd be ever so grateful. Thank you!

Alaina Beacall

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