Leg 8 – It never gets boring

I set off at 8 a.m. to avoid the thunder storms (there had also been one on my free day). It was a lovely start on marked cycle routes, firstly on quiet roads then a proper cycle track. I had put the last third together myself on quiet roads. It had been grumbling in the mountains to the south since mid-morning, but just as I was going up a hill through the forest, it got really close. There was nowhere to shelter apart from under the trees, which is what I did. I covered my panniers and put my cape on and just stood there. It rained so hard that I could feel my shoes filling up with water. As soon as I thought the thunder and lightning had stopped I got on my bike and pedalled furiously with a head-on wind and torrential rain I could hardly see. Then suddenly a flash of lightning was followed almost immediately by a clap of thunder. I imagined feeling something hot on my back. I pedalled even faster to the Waldschenke, but it was closed. There was another close strike just before I got there, so I waited in a garage till it had completely stopped (apart from the rain, which was still pouring down). I set my navi to cat-med (it only has that and pedestrian – no bike-mode) and went on as quickly as I could. Fortunately there are many bike lanes or wide pavements, where you are allowed to cycle, as some of the roads were busy.

Tuesday 29th July, Plauen-Lößnitz, 62,47 km., 853 m. climb, 6:22:19 bike-time

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