It started with instant regret when I stepped out of my hotel room, which looked down on the central station. Sitting there, ready to go, was the 8am train to Amsterdam. I ignored it - with gritted teeth, and went to collect my bike from the lock up.
Riding out was similar to Berlin. Always a bike path or bike lane and always getting priority over cars when our paths crossed. The whole of Germany, so far, is flat as a pancake. I can see why riding is so popular here.
The first 15 miles was riding along the side of what must be a man made river, with HUGE barges carrying, stuff.
It was a bumpy, gravelly track which was far better than a busy road but still a pain in the ass.
Except for being an anal hammerdrill it was a lovely relaxing start to the day.
After 15/20 miles I moved on to some relieving smooth and quiet roads with cycle paths running parallel. I swear 99% of the riding so far, both urban and rurally has been made with cyclists in mind.
I briefly fell out with google again when it took me into a deep and dark German forest. Just as the crappy track was fizzling out the navigation told me to turn right between two ferns and into a muddy ditch. I ignored it and carried on. Soon after I found a tiny trail which more suitable for hiking. It slowly led me out of the darkness to a local town where I was able to re join my route.
The sun was out all day and it was blazing hot. It only said about 24-27C but it felt more like 30+. That's probably my fitness showing.
I've managed to push on for a modern day record and rode 70.5 miles (in 7 hours and 30 minutes).
It was completely exhausting but very satisfying especially as I didn't think it was possible. Also it's the first time this trip that I've reached my goal.
This town is called Bad Essen and it's a beauty.
Just finished stuffing my chops and hoping to set off at 7am tomorrow if my legs haven't seized and my mind is strong.