Oops again

So yesterday evening we were going through the PDF folder again and we noticed that the distances between towns are marked on the overview map at the end. We calculated that we would have to do about 80 km today and also notice a small note in the description of the Nort loop: teilweise stärkere Steigungen, in diesen Bereichen auch für sportlich Ambitionierte geeignet, which means: sometimes steeper inclines, in this area also suited for those with athletic ambitions. The area they are talking about is Tecklenburg, which we’ll be passing today.

I’ve also put the Google maps route on a map showing the terrain and indeed, we may expect ‘some steeper inclines’ today. We have a healthy breakfast on the terrace, it’s already pretty warm and then we do the whole packing/sun screen/loading up thing again, setting off again around nine. We climb out of Bad Iburg at slow speed, up and over one of the three ridges that make up the Teutoburger Wald in this area, admiring the view over the castle in the distance.

The morning is very hilly, but never too much so. We follow quiet asphalt roads up and down and up again. The speed varies from 5 kmph uphill to 52,4 kmph on a long stretch downhill. I must admit that though it’s a lot more tiring then yesterday, the views are also much nicer. We make a small error of sign interpretation before Lengerich, deviating from the route along a busier local road. By the time we notice it’s much shorter to just continue on, so we decide to skip the nice-to-see Haus Vortlage for efficiency’s sake and get the admire the gigantic cement factory instead. Back on the trail we follow an old railroad, nice to have a bit of flat land under the wheels but it finishes quickly right before Tecklenburg. We admire the water castle at the bottom of the hill (private property, not much of a view) and then climb up to the old town, tackling one long 12% slope and another one even longer, where the % was not even indicated, but which was – at least for me – to steep to take on by bike. Once my speed drops below 5 kmph, I get off and do it on foot. My heart rate is not so high and I’m not that much out of breath, but my knees turn to jelly and refuse to push anymore.

We skip the local castle because it’s even higher than the old town, stop at a bakery for the usual (sandwiches/muffins to go and a refill of the canteens), climb up the final slope and have our picnic at the top of the ridge. We speed down towards Habichtswald, where we follow bumpy forest tracks through the beautiful woods and completely miss the nice-to-see hunting lodge. No way we’re turning back so on it goes up and down over long, steep slopes. I made it to the top each time, so can’t have been more than 10%, that seems to be my limit. Fortunatley we have a lot of shade, because in the sun it’s really hot. We decree a water stop every 5 km, going quickly through our water supply of 3 liters. Near Ibbenbüren we take a longer break at a beautiful lake side park, 34 km to go according to the map.

We follow the small Ibbenbürener Aa river for about an hour, grateful again for the flat terrain. A drink and an ice cream at Kloster Gravenhorst, another refill of the canteens and we start on the final 20 to our destination for the day.

We make another mistake near the Bevergern river locks, following the big canal west instead of going south towards Haus Surenburg. By the time we notice – at one of the water breaks – it’s again too late to fix, a bit of a disappointment really. We improvise and find the local bicycle path to Rheine. Even there we get lost as the signposting stops in the middle of the forest. Some judicious googling and the advice of a dog-walking local get us back on track and we arrive in Rheine around five.

A cool shower, a quick wash of my most smelly clothes and then a nice dinner of local food at a very fair price. A small walk to finish, a drink on the terrace of the hotel, which we flee when the thunder and lightning show comes too close.

Distance today: 74 km

Saddle time: 5h

Average speed: 16,2 kmph

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