Almost everyone at the campground is still asleep as I get ready, pack up the tent and load my bike. The weather is still cool and cloudy.
I go along the Rhine River in the direction toward Bonn. I can already see the Siebengebirge mountain range in the distance.
I have breakfast in a bakery in downtown Bonn. I am happy to be out of the traffic and to continue my journey along the bank of the Rhine River. It is warm now; the sun is shining. I go over the Rhine bridge to Cologne-Deutz. The entrance is hard to find; I find myself on the northern side. But there is a large construction site here.
Only pedestrians are allowed on the left side, and only bikers on the right side. Cars are not allowed at all. I am on the wrong side, and I end up pushing my bike for 1.5km.
Here I leave the Rhine River and go toward Leverkusen, where I get delicious tea and freshly baked croissants from my niece Anna. I also get to meet my newborn grandniece who does not want to know anything about me and just sleeps. The break does me well, as I have only finished half of my journey so far.
I then pass by Langenfeld, Mettmann, and Velbert. It becomes mountainous, but I am already used to that.
I have not followed the news for three weeks now. In the meantime a law must have been passed to the effect that every resident of a nursing home must be given an e-bike. I cannot find any other explanation for the flood of older e-bikers.
I see dark clouds ahead of me. I ride along wet streets; it must have rained heavily shortly before. I end up staying completely dry though.
The area becomes more familiar, and I find myself at Lake Baldeney which I have run around many times before. I arrive at the Erzbahntrasse after passing Essen-Steele and Essen-Kray, and I am finally home.
This was yet another lovely tour with brand new experiences. I enjoyed it a lot.
The most difficult moments: Hypothermia at the Grimsel-Pass and biting houseflies on some of the steep uphill slopes in Switzerland.
The nicest moments: everything else.
I am very thankful that I was able to regain my former athletic performance level after the accident so that I was able to do a long bike tour again.
It should definitely not be the last one.
Thank you also for the many encouragements and messages on the home page. We really loved that so many people took part in our tour.