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 it has some charm. From Todtmoos to Wehr the road runs smooth, almost all downhill, I can enjoy, with fresh air on my face, the last moments in the black forest which I'm leaving.

When arrived at Wehr there are still a dozen kilometers 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 take it shorter for Dossenbach with the idea of travelling as less as possible the national road that I expect to be busy and with the usual little space for bicycles. Suddenly an intense thunderstorm caught me up  and I shelter myself under a canopy of a football field at that time it was desert.

I wait that the rain stop, I dress  the rain equipment up and I start again, unfortunately that the road just after the stop is uphill (like all the tpday's the deviations on secondary roads) the clothing makes me a bit sweat, the rain also stop therefore the raincoat is quite useless. Arriving on the road along the Rhine, as I expected, I find intense traffic. Thanks to a suggestion of Open Street Map I try to go south and cross the border over the Rhine passing through a pedestrian bridge, despite the sign prohibiting access to bicycles some people at the yard tell me 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, so I decide to follow the Open Street Map proposal to go through small villages on smaller roads.

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 slopes impossible. I had to stop several times to check the map and look for the roads, I would say that this stage from the point of view of 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 ramp impossible, I stopped, and I decided 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 pedal 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.

Once I arrived at the Hotel I find out with a bit of disappointment that the room has shared bathroom, but the most fun thing is that in the upstairs room is holding a meeting of more or less fifteen people and accessing the bathroom I have to go through this room, imagine you being in a business meeting and seeing one person crossing the room dressing a bathrobe and flip-flop ... fun, but also a bit embarrassing.

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