A light breakfast and off we go around nine as usual. The sky is clear and it’s pretty cold in the shadow, my odometer says it’s 11° Celcius. Not quite cold enough for gloves, but I’m happy with the extra merino wool layer – I’m up to four layers and a scarf now. We’re still heading east and the wind is still in our backs, I feel my legs have finally gotten used to the long hours of pedalling and it looks like it will be a beautiful day. Except that I’m craving sugar, but that’s easily fixed: the route passes through several villages and in one of these we procure a sweet second breakfast. We have a quick look at Schloss Sythen, it looks like there will be a wedding reception here soon. A lot of the castles and grand houses along this route are in private hands, housing schools and institues, hotels or event services.
At ten thirty, after about twenty kilometers, we gingerly plunk our behinds down on a bench and enjoy our second breakfast with hot tea. You can recognize bike travellers by the careful way they sit down, trying to save their tailbones more agony. Though I must say it’s been getting better again, it takes a while to get used to the saddle and by the time all’s good, the holiday is over.
The road has been getting hillier and hillier since yesterday afternoon, this morning we have long, slow ascents and decents but we’re not too bothered. We deviate from the route to the market of Dülmen, where we find an organic food store with a café and sit outside to enjoy a light, healthy meal. We still have some sugary breakfast stuff left over anyway, in case we get hungry again. We skip Schloss Buldern (it’s not really along the route and you can’t visit it anyway) and start the final stretch towards Coesfeld, our destination for today.
It continues to be sunny, though not too warm at 16-18° C. We have our breakfast leftover near Rorup, on a bench in a nicely organized picnic site: benches under a tree, an old pump for decoration and an insect hotel. Many of the benches here – even in the middle of the woods – have some sort of standardized safety information, showing a code representing the location of the bench and what to do in an emergency. A lot of them have trash bins, none of which are overflowing. They’re really making an effort to provide clean and comfortable resting places, I’ve only seen equal or better in New Zealand.
After Rorup we start climbing. It goes up and up to the Roruper Holz, from where we can see a lot of the surrounding country. Nothing but hills ahead. Up and down it continues to Coesfeld, we see street names like Bergstiege (meaning mountain climb), Bergallee (mountain lane) or Coesfeld Berg (Coesfeld mountain). We’re nowhere higher than 200 m above sea level, but it still requires quite an effort to go from 0 to 200, then down and up again and again. Even so, it’s not so bad: muscles are warmed up, the sun is shining and the wind keeps us cool while climbing.
We around in the hotel around five, have a long, hot shower and then eat in the adjoining restaurant. We’re actually sleeping in a brewery (though I haven’t seen the beer brewing machinery) and so we try out the local beer and I have a schnitzel with beer sauce.
- distance: 79,2 km
- ride time: 5h25
- average speed: 14,6 kmph
our cruising speed has improved with the wind in the back, but then the hills slowed us right down again. We did notice that Arne is a bit faster, but experiments in the last few days have shown that this is at least partly due to less friction, as he always overtakes me on the way down even if we both stopped pedalling. Maybe I should consider changing my tires to a less rough (but then also less safe) profile.
A small note on corn fields: we’ve seen many that have a one or two meter wide border of wildflowers, sunflowers etc. I’m supposing this is some way to prevent animals to go into the fields themselves, but I have no proof. Pretty, though.