Thursday 26 September 2013

Day 6: Re-crossing the Rhine

The morning begins with a rainy sky, it does not rain, but the road is wet and the sky is not encouraging, the clouds lick and grab in the tall trees of the forest.

The landscape is surreal and has some charm. From Todtmoos to Wehr the road runs smooth, downhill, I can enjoy, with fresh air on my face, the last moments in the black forest I'm leaving.

Arrived at Wehr there are still a dozen kilometres to reach the national road 34, which runs along the Rhine on the German side. I doubt whether to continue on the main road or divert to secondary roads.

I decided to follow the directions of the navigator and cut it for Dossenbach with the idea of riding as less as possible the national road that I expect to be busy and with the usual little space for bicycles. I am caught up in an intense thunderstorm and shelter me under a canopy of a football field at that moment desert time.

I wait the rain stop falling, I dress with the rain equipment and share, unfortunately the stretch of road just after the stop is uphill (like all the deviations on today's secondary roads) the clothing makes me a little sweaty, Considering that since I left the footbal area stops immediately to rain, the raincoat has been quite useless. Arriving on the road along the Rhine, as I expected, I find intense traffic. Thanks to an OSM suggestion I try to go south and cross the Rhine crossing from a pedestrian bridge, although the sign prohibits bicycles, some people say I can pass.

It is a dam and a power plant on the Rhine (one of the major European rivers that in this section delimits national borders between Switzerland and Germany, photos from Google Maps).

When I arrived in Switzerland I hope to be able to take advantage of the Swiss cycling route network, but I miss the directions right away and find myself again in the midst of deafening traffic, I therefore decide to follow OSM's proposal to go through several smaller villages.

Unfortunately, the choice is not easy, the views are wonderful, but these secondary roads are drawn on the hills without too many bends and reach impossible inclines. I had to stop several times to check the map and look for the right way, I would say that this stage regarding navigation is one of the most difficult of the tour.

I have seen at some point the odometers mark 17% slope. In this section in the woods I had to push the bicycle. At the third hill and the third impossible ramp, I stop, and I decide to return to the nearest main road. I reach the state road 12, which among other things is also quite bike friendly (in many sections the lane of marked bicycles). Still climbing, but this time with reasonable slopes and almost pleasant of 4-5%.

Taking the national road 12 for Solothurn seems to be almost all on a bicycle trail. At some point, however, I have to go to Wolfisberg, where the hotel is, and here I find myself again one of those deadly ramps on the hills between the cows pastures.

Arrived at the Hotel I find with a bit of disappointment that the room has shared bathroom but the most fun thing is that in the upstairs room there is a meeting of more or less fifteen people and to access the bathroom I have to go through this room, imagine you being in a business meeting and seeing a persone on one side of the room dressing a bathrobe and flip-flop ... fun, but also a bit embarrassing.

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