Our first holiday of the year is only a few days away! After our winter holiday in Gerardmer in December 2019 we had plans to take a long week with family in the spring, but these of course got cancelled due to corona. We planned to take a week off and picked the end of July for it, hoping that the borders would be open in Western Europe and the hotels and restaurants too. We had a few options in mind and resolved to wait as long as possible before deciding and making reservations, so that we could also take the weather into account. We don’t want to spend seven days on a bike in the pouring rain and strong winds!

So last Tuesday we took a final look at the weather predictions for the Münster area and decided to go for it. We already had our route mapped out so we spent a few hours chopping it in bikeable pieces, looking for hotels and now we’re all set. Though there was a recent outbreak of corona in Rheda-Wiedenbrück, where we’ll be staying one night next week.. hopefully the hotel will remain open.

We’re doing the south and east loop of the 100 Schlösser route, you might remember the blog posts from September 2019 when we did the north and west parts and how we did on average 81 km per day even though we aimed for max 70? This time I was a bit smarter and used the Garmin Basecamp application to prepare the route and calculate the daily kilometers. I had been practicing working with Basecamp for a few months with smaller tracks, but even so I had to resort often to manuals and forums to get everything the way I want it. Turns out for example that setting a route to Activity Type Bicycle makes it about 15% longer somehow, probably because the navigation points on the track I downloaded are not exactly on roads sometimes and it does crazy things to route between the points. In any case I have the tracks for each day, starting from hotel A and driving to hotel B, following – I hope – the official route, with regular stops for castles left and right.

My mom and I tried out the Garmin Edge but I thought it was a bit small, we then tried out my dad’s Garmin Montana but had to conclude that on that device routes were limited to 50 waypoints and tracks don’t generate turn-by-turn navigation.. I might stick with the Wikiloc app on my phone.. At least I have a better bike this time, mine is great but very old so I borrowed my mothers, which is even better and quite new! We use much of the same gear, no problem fitting my bags on her bike, only thing I had to do is switch out the saddle for my own!

Still a few days left before we leave, Arne is finishing up the renovation of the veranda, I’m still working so honestly we’re not very well prepared yet. Fortunately I have my trusty lists: Holiday packing – bicycle trip and Before leaving home so even if we have only a few hours to pack, it should be alright. Right?

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