Today was a bit of a challenge. I’d massively underestimated how long it would take me to disassemble my bike and trailer and cram it into the bike bag.
It took a while – unfamiliar trailer and some rookie mistakes kept me up until 10.30 and a long bath extended that by an hour. Probably wasn’t a wise move when you add on the “getting to sleep when you have very little time” scenario to a 2.15 alarm call.
I woke up at the alarm, felt wide awake for 5 minutes so neglected to hit snooze, switched the alarm off and was rudely (but bloody helpfully) awoken by my mate banging on the door at 3.05 to tell me that I was late! Darryl had graciously volunteered to drive my car back from Heathrow and then bring it up to Gatwick at the end of the tour to pick me up. Saving me over £200 in taxi/parking fees. Awesomely generous…but there was I snoring away when he rocked up!
So we got on the road around 3.30, still enough time to hit McDonald’s for an early breakfast burger before Heathrow drop off. Not the perfect start to the day but all had panned out ok and I was easily in time for my 05.50am target.
Some fun with the mechanically unsound oversize baggage scanner didn’t do the stress levels much good, but a smooth and faster than expected flight made up for it. Still all going good and I’d landed in Stuttgart.
My plan to keep the trailer dissembled and carry it as a bag while pushing the bike through the 3 trains I had to catch fell at the first hurdle. Mainly my own fault …I’d caught the “I’ve got a trailer, I can carry as much crap as I like” bug and it was totally impractical. It might have been helped if the lift from Stuttgart subway to main station had been working but even so, it was going nowhere. So I sat in the subway station and put the trailer back together.
The trains were a pain. Really not fun with two large heavy objects, but I got there and checked into the hotel in Donaueschingen before heading out for a beer. There must be 20 bikes in their garage – this route is going to be crowded! But I suspect from what I saw from the train windows it’s going to be great riding.
The morning will see a major redistribution of weight (sadly not mine from my stomach) to try and keep the trailer balanced and a little lighter.
Being a one wheeler I’ve discovered that it hates slow speeds, hill starts and waiting at traffic lights. Some of the features of previous tours. When it goes, you either fight like hell or you and the bike go with it! Fun times ahead!