Leg 9 – The Longest Day

This must have been the longest day! I set off before 9 and didn’t arrive till after 6! I had decided to take a slight detour, as my hostess had given me a map, which had a cycle route on it. When I did eventually find it, it was only partially completed and not signposted at all. I finally got to Chemnitz after a kind man had escorted me a short way and followed a cycle route. It was taking me in the right general direction, and I just wanted to get out of the city. I stopped for a short lunch-break on a park bench and shortly afterwards came to a point where the cycle route separated into 2. They were only marked by colour but not on my map. As I stood there deciding a man asked if he could help and then offered to escort me in the right direction. After about half an hour we passed his house (he was on his way home from work). He asked if it was OK for him to accompany me further, which I graciously accepted and sent me off in the right direction ( a long gradual uphill slope), while he popped his things in. A few minutes later Thomas appeared at the arranged meeting place on a different bike. He took me a beautiful way I would never had found till 6 kilometers before my accommodation, where he was sure I couldn’t get lost again. That was about 25 kilometers and he had to go back again. He then gave me € 5 – 1 cent per kilometer that HE had cycled for freiraum-europa. Such encounters are a very valuable part of these trips. I then had quite a climb to my hotel and ad I got to the top of a hill, where I had been pushing a field of cows, some of then white, were ALL staring at me. It’s hard to believe that it took me 9,5 hours, when the cycling time was only 7, but most of the rest was taken up with searching and asking, consulting maps etc. and in the end zI had cycled far more than the planned 63 kilometers.
Wednesday 30th July, Lößnitz-Oberschöna, 86,71 km.,806 meters climb, 6:59:38 bike time.

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