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Europe by Tandem

From Castellon (Spain) to Northern Cape (Norway) by Tandem supporting the fight against cancer.

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Day 26. Bruchsal- Ringsheim

Posted by admin On Agosto - 5 - 2010

132 kilometers. 6 hours and 51 minutes.

IVAN: Today’s 132 kilometers would have been merely a formality…Well, in fact this was the last entire stage in German lands. We cycled along a national road dotted with towns, built-up areas, villages and so on and so forth. I guess there are so many of these because two large cities, Karlsruhe and Strasbourg, are in close proximity of this road.

I’ve just touched on two issues that I’d like to clear up. First off, “the last entire stage in German lands”: tomorrow first thing in the morning we are crossing the French-German border by cycling across the Rhine river and we are finishing the stage in Gaul lands. Secondly, “today’s 132 kilometers would have been a mere formality…”; (that’s right, sheer red tape, paperwork in the cycling world) IF it hadn’t been for the head wind that whipped us up right from the start. We had to pedal each of the 132 kilometers; this, in the long run, will have an impact on our bodies. Hope this happens over the long haul. In fact, this extra effort and the fact that the scenery worth taking in is conspicious by its absence (I repeat myself, “a national road dotted with towns”) make the tandem back rider become an autist, lower his head, stare at the crankset and sprockets fixedly, and pass the buck to the front rider. In this way, you focus your mind on making the engine, which is at foot-level, work; the engine becomes part of you, an extension of your body that creates a biomechanical entity.

Regarding today’s peculiarity section, we went past the famous German town, Baden-Baden, which became known by a joke that our beloved Eugenio (a popular Spanish comedian) cracked. It goes like this:

“Two friends get together. One says to the other:
Hey, where do you usually spend you vacations?
In Baden-Baden, and you?
In Vilanova i la Geltrú- Vilanova i la Geltrú.”

It may seem silly but because of this joke I expected Baden-Baden to be a summer town. I’m not saying it is not pretty or nice, not in the least. In fact, I admire how harmoniously the Germans build their towns; but, of course, Baden-Baden is far from being a summer town. What’s more, it is a known fact where the German people (who aren’t dumb at all) spend their summer vacations; they travel to Majorca. The most interesting part of this is tha they rent Record-Go cars, which means they are somehow chipping in for making this sports and solidarity challenge possible. Best regards to the German-Majorcan people.

Here go some photographs we took of some strawberries we bought in an improvised fruit stand in the middle of the road. We gobbled them up before we got to our destination. Hey, don’t be green with envy!

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