We picked up our bikes at 10:00, but first we had to stop for cake. The
clerk looked at us funny when I said we were riding to Berlin. “Do you ride bicycles much?” He asked.”Half of us do.”
Frau G. was very worried and took down detailed contact information as well as identifying scars, birthmarks, and dental records. “Why don’t you just ride around the town for a few hours then come back to Wesseling for a few days? Then I can put you on the train to Berlin.”
It sounded tempting but I had told Jan we were on the way to his place so we hugged Frau G. and started off.
“Nah, it’s a summer sprinkle.”
The rain intensified a bit until we were completely soaked. At the first stoplight Frau G. Pulled up alongside us. “It’s not too late,” she implored.
We waved and continued on. The route to Jan’s was a bit more complicated than I had thought since the silly German roads were crooked and a bit whomperjawed. After an hour we found Jan’s place. The map said we’d only gone three miles as the crow flies but in our case it was a very drunken crow with a bad sense if direction.
Jan was thrilled to see us. “You haven’t changed a bit in 25 years!” he said. “Except for all the wrinkles and losing your hair and you’ve put on weight and all the gray in your beard you’ve not changed a bit!”
Jan’s lovely wife put out a fantastic lunch and we bundled into the car for a quick tour of the Eifel that included the Nurburgring and a hike along the Ahr river. The Nurburgring is so named because it is a loop around the medieval Nur castle, or burg. We climbed to the top of the ruins and watched cars racing along the track off in the distance.
He laughed. “Because Budweiser here comes from the Czech Republic. It’s the original Budweiser, not your American piss.”
We got home and had a magnificent dinner of stuffed peppers. I was hoping that the 4,000 calories from lunch and dinner would be offset by our three-mile ride that morning.
After dinner I plotted out the next day’s route. “How far is it?” Woodrow asked. “Today’s ride was perfect!”
“A bit longer.”
“How much longer?”
It got kind of quiet. “I think I’ll go to bed.”
“Good idea,” I replied.