The Grenzstein Experience Part 2
Day 2 was approached more business like… alarm at 4.30am.. we were packed and moving by 5.00am.
The riding in the morning featured a lot of equestrian trail, this means sand.. lots of horrible dragging sand. There is no real technique other than to soft pedal through this stuff.. impossible on a singlespeed so these sections were torture.
Another ominous highlight of the morning was riding past the Gorleben salt mine… now used for storing toxic materials. The huge structure of the mine towering out from forest that surrounded it, guards with alsation dogs patrolled inside the high wire fence.. I was happy to pedal on passed this particular landmark.
Our early start had put us on the route in first place overtaking those that had decided to catch a few extra minutes of sleep that morning. As we pondered the logic of following the gps track through the middle of a corn field we were caught up by course record holder Rene ... he let us know of a spot for breakfast so 10km later after riding a total of 70km that morning we got to have some breakfast… Vita Malz and Schnitzel :)
Soon after breakfast and back on the trail Rene rode away from us leaving me and Phil again to ride our own tempo ... the track was severely overgrown in places with more than a fair share of nettles to keep myself and Phil yelping for a few kilometres.
The lack of opportunity for food and water was again proving a real difficulty to deal with… temperatures were pretty hot so drinking plenty was a necessity. We must have passed through 6 villages with not only no sign of a shop but no sign of any people !!! Eventually we spotted a women getting into her car and before I could react Phil was out the saddle sprinting and performed a highly dramatic skid alongside to emphasize our need for water :) Although in general a very reserved nation of people their willingness to assist never came into question and we were soon riding with full hydration packs and water bottles.
Mid afternoon we came to another confusing section of gps route forcing us through the centre of a copse with no obvious route on the road… at this point we met Gunnar the race organiser who himself was circling trying to figure out what the hell was going on with the course.
Our now group of 3 enjoyed the quiet roads and good weather… taking time out to grab a pizza by a canal.
By the time we hit 200km we had picked up another couple of riders, Edward and Stefan, and the search for a spot to bivvi started… 20km later we were down to a group of 4 riders and by the time we actually found a spot to sleep we had covered 230km. The bivvi spot however was superb, located back off the road a local school had a sheltered walkway around the edge of the building and the trees and bushes at the front of the building meant we were out of sight to passers by, a good opportunity to dry out some kit after the few showers we had had towards the end of the days riding but also break out the stove and have a hot drink ... little pleasures in life :)