Today is Sunday and tonight we are sleeping in Beckum. Up at seven, the usual weekend breakfast and afterwards we can start packing. We had a family BBQ in our patio yesterday, fortunately everybody helped clean up and the state of the house is not so bad, but we will have to tidy a bit, as my sister and her husband are babysitting the cat while we’re gone. She’s in good health but absolutely ancient (you can read her story here) and we feel more at ease if she has some company.
The weather predictions include lots of sun, little wind and high temperatures, so packing is easy. I got a new Craft bicycle pants and a colorful, light bike shirt that I bought at a discount in the winter, shorts and t-shirts for in the evening and sandals. All in all about 19 kg for me including my laptop, camera and extra lens, much lighter than last year! We remember to take mouth masks as well, we expect them to be mandatory occasionally. Arne even remembers to take some in the car for when we stop along the highway.
I finish up the dishes while Arne starts loading the car. Before I go to take the sheets of the bed, I leave some fresh laundry, covered with an old shirt in the laundry basket for the cat, I deposit her in it and she looks very pleased. Arne has quite some trouble getting the two bikes on the rack, I’m using my moms bike and the configuration of saddle and handlebar just doesn’t out and we resort to dropping Arne’s bike’s saddle and using a pull strap to secure everything. We leave at ten thirty, a bit later than planned but the drive is easy and traffic jam free on this Sunday. Lots of construction going on and that slows us down a bit, but we arrive safely at the parking lot in Albersloh and are ready to start cycling around two thirty. It’s a sun, warm day and a lot of people had this same idea, the parking lot is full of cars with bike racks and we meet a lot of people on the road.
It’s amazing though how much easier this bike is compared to my mom’s. Cycling with it and the 20 kg of bags takes about as much energy as taking my old Koga without luggage! Switching gears is effortless and the breaks are perfect, I’m in love. But even without it, here’s everything I need for instant exuberance: good company, cycling in sunny weather through green fields and forests, birds singing, .. Strangely enough, the finches here have a different song, they don’t go suskewiet at the end.
Though the route doesn’t pass there, I added the castles as waypoints to the route and we follow the GPS to Schloss Vorhelm. A bit later we encounter a strontianit mine, honestly can’t translate that to English.. In any case that explains the funny street names in this corner.
Up and down the rolling hills we go, the landscape is of course similar to what we saw not far from here when we did the north and west loop of the same route, but there is one important difference: the maize – still ever present – is only waist high! In September we were cycling between walls of maize, but today we can see over the top and can enjoy the view a lot more. Definitely something to remember for future trip planning. We arrive in Beckum around six, quick shower and then dinner at the Brauhaus nearby for a local beer (mine has strawberries), a schnitzel for Arne and a giant sausage for me. Yum.