DDR redux

Today was the day in this epic father-son odyssey that the boy became a man, that the weak, diffident, whiny, insecure weakling metamorphosed if not into a full man then at least into something with a visible pair of balls. And I think Woodrow may have grown a bit today as well.

I was feeling a bit of pain from Finger Blogging Syndrome, but that was nothing compared to my advanced case of Rotten Toeliosis, the result of too many days in the same rancid footwear. [Parental discretion advised for the following imagery.]


Anticipating huge rain all day we left the youth hostel prison at six sharp after a quick snack of black bread and warm milk, and began what would be an unforgettable day of riding.


Things went great right from the start, as in right downhill all the way back to Wutha. We turned onto the bike path for what would be our first stop, in Gotha.

“They’ll have awesome breakfasts and coffee at the station,” I assured Woodrow, who was skeptical and hungry, a bad combo.

“The last time you were really confident I almost died.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“The first day I asked why we weren’t using helmets and you said because we would be going so slow.”


“On the descent into Limburg we were passing cars at 70kph.”


Gotha turned out to be something less than breakfast paradise but at least they had cake.


There is a huge infrastructure of bike routes throughout the state of Thuringen, a combination of bike paths and side streets that are very well signed and that take you through countless beautiful small towns, through woods, and along rivers and creeks.

We saw so much of the old DDR, buildings essentially unaltered and cobbled roads unchanged from the bad old days of communism. The down side to the bike routes is that they can be up to double the length of normal roads, which sucks when you’re tired.

The solution is to ride on the normal roads, as we saw all the racerish cyclists do. Although the roads are narrow, motorists slow down, don’t honk, and pass when safe.

All the way to Gotha and Erfurt it was essentially downhill with a whipping tailwind. We had terrible food at Joey’s Pizza in Erfurt (who could have guessed?) and totally missed the hip part of town filled with bistros and sidewalk cafes.


However, the rain refused to fall, and when Woodrow gave me the I’m-exhausted-can-take-the-train face, I ignored it and we set out for the final leg of our trip to Weimar.

We knocked out the final segment on nothing but fumes, and collapsed in the town square. “Where’s our hotel?”

“Uh, just up the road a little.”

“Up the road ten miles like last time?” Woodrow asked.

“No, just a couple.” We slogged out if town uphill all the way as storm clouds gathered. We missed the gigantic hostel and blindly pounded up the mountain. When I realized the mistake three miles later Woodrow smiled with his characteristic good humor. “At least we get to go downhil!”

We bombed it just ahead of the raindrops and upon entering our room Woodrow shouted, “Look, Dad! The toilet, shower, and beds are all in one room!”

We did a little happy dance, then we did laundry, and then we were done.


23 thoughts on “DDR redux”

  1. J. Marvin Campbell

    I got Mal the error duck again! I can’t miss the next installment of this serial epic! Damnit, man!

    1. So what happens is that this is automatically set to publish in the app and it prematurely publishes when I’m just trying to save as a draft.

      Then it sends a published notice to all subscribers but I’ve already unpublished so you get the duck.

      Then when I do publish it doesn’t send a notification because one has already gone out.

  2. Ah, nice to know about the duck. Now I know just to try again later.

    Downhill with a tailwind sounds like you died and went to heaven. And no botts dots, right? I hear heaven doesn’t have botts dots.

  3. Maybe some piss dribbled on that disgusting foot of yours. Hobbit foot without hair.

  4. For the toes: Vick’s Vapor Rub. It can wait until you get home but put it on every day for a couple of weeks and it should clean things right up. And it’s cheap and will make your toes soft.

      1. You know, my old trail bike had those shifters, and sure as night turns to day, I ride that bike and my thumbs start to hurt.

      2. The LTS will stop when you stop riding, but you’ll bring the fungus home with you.
        Try sliding your whole left hand down and in and shifting with the palm/base of thumb. I get numb fingers when I’ve been riding too long and sometimes have to improvise.
        Tell Woodrow when you guys get home I’d like to take you out to a dinner and hear all about his point of view of the trip….

  5. just saw a 60 minutes TV ad for foot fungus – must be an elderly problem. anyway, get a prescription for jublia rx. ??

    cool thing ;really amazing thing about germany: I just returned from Munich. I had a case of bronchitis caught from my generous airplane neighbor who was more than willing to share his virus through uninterrupted coughing and sneezing over the 8 hour flight. Ended up in hospital ER there. Total cost for chest xray, blood test and exam: $250. Got home to a letter from the hospital saying I was overcharged and would get a $60 refund. I wanted to tell them to keep it – my copay alone here would have been more than that.

    that said, filling the antibiotic prescription at midnight was bizarre at the one pharmacy nearby that was “open”. “Open” meant banging on the window of the pharmacy and talking to the pharmacist through wrought iron gate. Drug and money exchanged hands simultaneously through this gate. Cash only.

    good luck with the feet!

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