Day 12 Tandem Rhine Tour Millingen an der Rijn to Vienen via Arnhem

We now have only two more nights and probably 130 miles to cover to the ferry terminal. We decide to have a reasonable push of about 60 miles to Vienen.

From our lodgings we were only 100 yards to the ferry for the start of our day the further we got into Holland the more we liked it.

We soon came to Arnhem which is famous for the Second World War battle which took place there. There are museums, statues, and sadly graves to remind us.

If you want to buy a Tank battery click the link. The ride from Arnhem was really pleasant with thatched cottages and tree lined avenues.

There were some great fruit stalls on the way, we bought strawberries and cherries picked that morning.

the cycle paths here are the best we have yet encountered. Along these roads we heard quite a commotion if your Battery croaked

 

We cycled on to Wijk bin Duurstede and saw our first Dutch windmill of the trip.

We carried on to Vianen to the Van Der Valk hotel, £150 per night including breakfast. With a pool, a spar and a massive bed.

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Day 4 Rhine Cycle Route Waldshut to Neuf-Brisach

On our County Battery Tandem Team we have covered about 210 miles from the Oberalpass. We checked our itinerary and decided to up the mileage and do 80 miles to Neil-Brisach.

The morning of 29-05-2018 was grey and raining but it was cool. I was interested to see how well our Sealskinz over-socks and our panniers and saddlebag performed. However the rain soon subsided, although everything was dry the test was not good enough.

It was quite amazing how fast the size of the river was growing.

And more so when the Rhine canal joins at Schwaderloch.

We followed the Swiss side of the Rhine and then came to the pretty town of Rhinefelden.

 

We pushed on to Basel and for some reason unknown to me it was more difficult to follow the marker signs and we got lost in Basil.

And found some disinteresting places, the second picture I put in for our friend Ross who is our favourite freight forwarding agent.

We did discover that if you book using booking.com the app will give you the address of that hotel which you can open in google maps and use as a satnav if you don’t have a Garmin. Beware it is heavy on Battery

After Basel we headed up a canal, the whole of the route from then on appeared to be on the flat.

Another German cyclist pointed out the oldest nuclear power station in France which he said could go at anytime. I am sure it would wreck the Black Forest behind it

We reached Neuf-Brisach in the late afternoon, what a great surprise. It is a fortified town built on the orders of Napoleon walled and fortified

Even better, the best hotel room yet in the town an apartment Booking.com

Cost only €79

Just so you all know how we are managing with so little luggage. We wash our clothes every night. They get very dirty.

Strasbourg tomorrow.

Day 3 Rhine Cycle Tour Konstance to Waldshut

We left Konstance at 7.30am to try and miss the heat of the day. We headed along the Rhine and after about 20 miles came to Stein am Rhein.

Amazing place. We then headed for the Rhinefalls which we were told is the biggest waterfall in Europe.

We then picked up the D8 cycle route with amazing scenery on the way.

We finished at Waldshut. The temperature on a sign outside the Chemist said 33 degrees.

The hotel in Waldshut is the best yet. It is 4 stars with an extra big bed for €148 called the Bercher.

We had a meal in Waldshut, there is no comment or picture. It was OK but nothing to recommend for this blog

This trip is really quite tough. The schedule is tight and the weather is really hot. If you do this trip, bear these things in mind. We have decided to up the standard of hotel making sure we have as many luxuries as possible. We didn’t book hotels before we came, just the first two.

and have been managing the rest through Booking.com

Switzerland to Mansfield by tandem Day 1 starting at The Oberalppass to Buchs

We decided that we would have a long ride on the first day. We thought coming off the mountains would be all downhill. Mistake number 1 lol.

We got up early. Knoxy said he wouldn’t come as he doesn’t like heights, which is just as well because the bike can only seat 3. So we were at the top of the pass at about 8.30. You could cycle from Andermatt but bear in mind it is a 1000 metre climb.

It was then, tentatively we started down the hill. We were concerned the brakes would overheat. It is probably 10 miles of steep downhill

The picture doesn’t show but I guess about 1 in 7.

We then peddled about 20km and just before the village of Disentis/Muster the route travels down rough country tracks. We decided to come off the trail and go by road to Ilanz through very quaint alpine villages.

In most of these there is a water fountain supplying free water. After Ilanz there is a hard climb but stunning scenery and great views.

We then made our way to Chur and lost the trail after riding around in circles for about an hour. Garmin came to the rescue.

The final stage to Buchs was along the side of the Rhine and was fairly flat although there was a strong head wind.

We stayed at the Landgastof Wardenberg hotel which was very clean, very basic and cheap at about £80 per night. Breakfast was extra 8€ each.

We walked down to Galerie am See, sat in the sunshine and looked at the view.

24chf for a burger is a lot more than McDonalds but what a view.

Here’s where we went…

Switzerland to Mansfield by Tandem the packing

Cycling home from Switzerland carrying your clothes needs some planning the first being what do I put them in? After much research and questioning of people I decided to get some Ortlieb panniers and we already had a Topeak saddle bag which again is quick release and portable.

The Ortlieb panniers are waterproof and also have a quick release. We packed all our clothes into the panniers and mine weighed about 10 lbs (4.5Kg)Jane was at 14 lbs (6.kg).

IMG_3361.jpg

This is my apparel for the two and a half weeks we are away. We have decided to take some hand wash soap for the clothes and possibly wash every two days (or stink) Here is my list:

  • 6 pairs socks (I plan to wear and wash then throw away)
  • 5 pair underpants (I plan to wear and wash then throw away)
  • 1 pair espadrilles
  • Sealskinz oversocks (these are advertised as waterproof hopefully it won’t rain)
  • 2 pair cycling socks (1 to wash and 1 to wear)
  • 2 cycling shirts (1 to wash and 1 to wear)
  • 2 tee shirts (1 to wash and 1 to wear)
  • 2 pair cycling shorts  (1 to wash and 1 to wear)
  • 1 travel towel
  • a pair of trousers that will unzip  to make into shorts
  • a pair of shorts
  • a raincoat

we also have cycling helmets, shoes, fingerless gloves and sunglasses.

We need to remember toothbrush and toothpaste, shaver, passports, credit card, wallet, travel insurance documents and money. We packed our saddle bag.

  • suncream
  • innertube
  • patches
  • multitool
  • bike lock
  • tyre inflators
  • tyrelevers
  • euro plug adaptors
  • powerbank
  • Garmin
  • mobile phone
  • multi charger lead
  • charge leads for anything battery operated

At the last minute we decided that it might be good to have cycle insurance so after phoning around decided to go with Veloshaw for about £150 (which covers us for a year for everything from UK breakdown cover to insurance for your teeth against road rage hopefully I am too old (or too scary)  for all that.

To qualify for the insurance we had to buy at least a silver standard bike lock never come across that one before anyway picked one up and then spent half an hour trying to make out the Abus instructions that were just pictures before resorting to YouTube

Another 2 kg to an already heavy bike.

Wednesday night Knoxy and Dobbo turned up and we loaded the van.

Next time we see them hopefully will be in Switzerland.

The team at County Battery requested I weigh in before and after I was 16st 10lb. I guess you could have a sweep stake at Thursday morning Mansfield and Ashfield 2020 breakfast meeting see if I lose some or find some on the way.

We pre-booked a taxi to Heathrow for our flight to Zürich it was cheaper to get a cab than the train £130.

New Law for sales of battery acid may impact online trade for motorcycle battery retailers

The Home Office has issued guidance for home users of poisons and explosive precursors www.gov.uk/more-red-tape! One of the substances that will become regulated from 1st July 2018 being sulphuric acid which is the electrolyte commonly used in lead based automotive batteries.

The guidance states ”A member of the public must provide a valid EPP licence and associated photo ID if they wish to buy or receive any of the regulated substances above the specified concentration limit.” Battery acid falling into this category.

Large amounts of motorcycle batteries with separate battery packs are now sold online through various web retailers, these business’ will not be legally (maximum 2 year prison sentence) allowed to sell these to the general public. However, batteries can still be supplied, filled and charged, or sold from a business to another business unaffected by the legislation.

If you need any help or advice on the subject please call +44 (0)1623 757377

For Trade Enquiries Visit County Battery Services

The benefit of Corporate Social Responsibility.

The Waiter Rule allegedly penned by Dave Berry refers to the belief that someone’s character can be judged by how they treat the waiter or someone that they feel is their subordinate. At County Battery Services the policy for corporate social responsibility is to try and work with the young as they are our future. To strive for the good of the locality that contains our customers. If our customers prosper then so may we. Finally we try to help those less fortunate than ourselves if you can be humble and show compassion to anyone then it follows that you should be able to deliver excellent customer service.

There are many other reasons why CSR is of great benefit to all involved

  • Feel good factor
  • Publicity
  • Networking
  • Staff team building
  • Giving is great
  • Tax deductible

There are two ways of giving; time, or money. County Battery Services don’t like to do both. If you do both then you may be in danger of having too much control in a cause and getting too involved.