Second part of the story about Katja and Stefan touring Germany and Netherlands on their beloved electric recumbent trikes. They have done 2.700 km / 1,677 miles in 49 days. You can read the first part here.
Tuesday, June 7th, 2022: One friend left, but our eldest son will join us. I went and bought the last pair of brake pads in a shop Berkum with the trike, installation on the side right took a long time, our son arrived in Bad Godesberg via Koblenz, cycled from there to Meckenheim, now we are a team of three.
Wednesday, June 8th, 2022: Visited with the 9 euro ticket Cologne by train, cathedral and old town, on the recommendation of the ticket seller at the treasury to the Gasthaus Früh. Very old German ambience and fine food. Visited Roman excavations under the church of Groß St. Martin.
Thursday, June 9th, 2022: Farewell to our friends in Meckenheim, down to the Rhine near Bad Godesberg, on the left bank of the Rhine to Bonn, eyeing the former capital buildings, eating well at a tiny Persian restaurant. On to Cologne, had a coffee break at the Rheinauhafen. A lot of the bike path runs here in a beautiful double line of trees. Crossing by ferry from Langel to Hitdorf, staying there in a guesthouse of a former tobacco factory, today also used as gallery and seminar place, in a 3-bed room. 74 km.
Friday, June 10th, 2022: Good breakfast, discovered a purse which was left behind, returned it to the happy owner, further on through the nature conservation area Aue of the Urdenbacher Kämpe, Aalschokker boat visited, Benrather Castle visited, where a marriage reception was taking place, cycled through the castle park, than past the Bayer factory in Monheim, reached Düsseldorf, admired the Media Harbor with Paul Gehry buildings, circled them several times. On the Rhine terrace through the city, left the Kaiserpfalz Kaiserwerth on the right, continued until just before Duisburg-Süd, shopping in Edeka with a tropical island party, got hold of a Belgian beer. Moved into the Hotel Lonac in Huckingen, our son got a single room with a four-poster bed, only our trike we had to leave out in the open, 68 km.
Saturday, June 11th, 2022: After breakfast, the trikes are still there. On to the Magic Tiger & Turtle art installation, had much fun with that piece of the screwed staircase, through Duisburg, via the inner harbor, state archive and lock, along the Rhine-Herne Canal, snack in an abandoned Mercator market, on the old Emscher along to Landespark Nord, first sightseeing tour with the bikes, to the hotel in Marxloh, friendly reception, bikes stored in the backyard, took the tram to the industrial park, climbed the blast furnace, explored the park extensively, dinner in the restaurant there, return with a very full tram. 30 km.
Sunday, June 12th, 2022: Got out of Duisburg, a few kilometers and we ride past the Walsum power plant onto the ferry to the other side of the Rhine to Orsay, along the dike with many other cyclists. Lunch break at the top with a beautiful view of the Rhine and the Rhine-Herne Channel. Continue along the dike to Xanten. City tour, old city gate, windmill, and cathedral. Here we caught the end of a church service with miners and could listen to the organ. We continued on the route of the former Boxtelrailway to the campsite. That’s where we moved into our troll huts. After showering and washing, we had dinner in the bistro. 50km
Monday, June 13th, 2022: Got up late, had to wait a long time for breakfast in Café Moll am Dom, then visited the huge archaeological park Xanten, Colonia Ulpia Traiana, which is well worth seeing, for five hours. Completely overwhelmed by the variety and the very impressive reconstructions (gates, arena, ships). Dinner in the market square at an Italian restaurant, fine, shopping for breakfast, cold night, but the heating worked. 19 km.
Tuesday, June 14th, 2022: Nice muesli in the sun, past the park to the Rhine, through terrain with many lakes.
Luckily this happened only a few meters away from the Cafe-Restaurant Hido. The Turkish owners immediately took care of us. We called a store in Düsseldorf and our dealer. Looked for a welding or machine shop.
Our dealer called back, and he said this part is a wear part!?!. He has one in stock and can send a replacement by 24-hour express! There was hope!
And there was a nice apartment available in the Hido! Lunch at a Chinese restaurant, went to fool around in a creek on the sandy beach on the Rhine. Back to the hotel, had Turkish coffee, then moved on to Turkish white wine. Ate nice little snacks, and got delicious Bahklava on the house. We wonder how the innkeepers make a living with such a large restaurant and so few visitors. 13km.
NOTE from AZUB: Although we did have very few of these brackets broken, we changed the design in December 2019. Since then we have had zero failures of this newly designed part.
Wednesday, June, 15th, 2022: Everyone slept well, the package was already in Düsseldorf, so there is a good chance that we will get it. Drank coffee and chatted with the hosts. The package was received at eleven o’clock, what a marvel. Installed it, it fits! Packed up and said goodbye to our landlord, so happy that the journey can continue.
Just around the corner, we met a recumbent tricycle fellow from Besancon with his HP Scorpion Trike with a solar roof, electric assist, and trailer. He is on his way to the North Cape, back via the Baltic States. He rode a practice round with my Ti-Fly X and wanted to swap trikes. I said no way, so he was considering upgrading as soon as possible. We invited him to visit us at home on his way back.
Further on and on the dike. Bought a lunchtime snack in a small shop and ate it with a view of the river. Further past Kalkar, had coffee in a small village shop in Greith, talked to a couple from Bochum, he test rode my Ti-Fly X, and was enthusiastic about it. Continued again in a grandiose avenue of oak trees to the longest suspension bridge in Germany, changed on it over to Emmerich am Rhein. Short detour to the German-Dutch border with proof photo for our son that he stepped into the Netherlands. Back in Emmerich to the hotel, dinner there. 40 km.
Thursday, June 16th, 2022: All three slept well, then had a nice breakfast, across the street to the train station where our son had to leave us.
Visited a very modern and two old churches from Emmerich. Over the bridge back to the left bank and off we went, now again as a couple. Many excursion cyclists on the way. Often rode on top of the dike. Some horses are seen standing in the sand at Altrhein arms, must have been seahorses. In Ooji nice restaurant, great salad and to console that our son is no longer with us, we drank a Leffe beer. On and on we rolled through magnificent river scenery. Reached Nijmegen, visited the remains of the imperial palace from 1030 A.D., admired the old town and Stevens Church. This was unfortunately not accessible. Found a nice little cafe at the back. Then got out of the city and endlessly on the dike, often with a tailwind and 18 km/h average speed. Got groceries in Beeneden Leeuwen. Then another 8 km to a small campsite. Very basic, right on the Rhine. A ghastly shower stall, no toilet paper, no soap, no WiFi, but next to the tent a hut with electricity, table, and chairs. Showered (50 cents) and turned in for the night. 88 km.
Friday, June 17th, 2022: Breakfast with coffee from a friendly neighbor, beautifully stretch of cyclepath, wonderful views of floodplains, backwater areas, coffee break in a beautiful old café, lunch with a fine salad, lots of bird life including some pheasants with a little one, Slot Loevestein water fortress, after that the ferryman rejected us due to the size and weight of the trikes, so we had to turn back 20 km, the temperature reached 32°, entered into the Biesbosch National Park, found a campsite at a riding hall, nice spot, finally a place with only one permanent and many passing through campers, closed the day with three beer Affligen each, with dinner in the campsite restaurant, 70 km.
Saturday, June 18th, 2022: Up early, no breakfast but coffee, cycled through the beautiful national park, what a marvelous place, everyone should ride through it on those excellent cycling ways. Met many bird watchers with those humongous lenses, rode another ferry, cycled to Dordrecht on the channel, then long time through avenues. Another glitch of my Shimano motor brought up a wrench symbol on the display at 6500km, according the manual this means B(ring) M(e) W(orkshop). It’s meant so some guy can charge you just to reset it, so we decided to ignore it. A ferry again, endlessly over flat land on former Tramway, 33°, now strong wind came up, brings cooling, but also stress for the muscles again, campsite Kejtil found. It is beautiful, almost full of German kite surfers. With the bikes to the beach, victory photo with North Sea in the background, dined in the noble beach restaurant, strong wind brought rain, the dribble on the tent lulled us to sleep, 80 km.
Sunday June 19th 2022: It was cooling down overnight, had still some drizzle, picked up breakfast at the reception, excellent hand squeezed orange juice, pain au chocolat, coffee, lovingly prepared, great. Napped till the rain stopped, than walked through the floodplain forest to the beach. We surprised a very young deer, while it was snacking on some branches two meters from us. Climbed a viewpoint, then down to the beach. Admired Kite surfers. Barefoot in the North Sea, overlooking the distant coast of England. Back to camp accompanied by the lifeguard and horse riders. Winding paths through the wild natural forest. Midday snack while many campers left for another workweek. Chatted to the campsite lady. For dinner in the nearby restaurant, great food. Walked 9km.
Monday, June 20th, 2022: Nice farewell breakfast in the sofa corner, farewell to the hosts. Via the dam to the Maasflake port, missed the ferry to Hoek van Holland by 15 minutes, drove back 6 km and found a great route along the Osterlanse Rak with a tailwind, just caught the ferry to Maassluis, despite difficult ticket machine. Lunch in a nice bistro, cycle highway to Rotterdam. Industrial port Europort crossed, even in the city center there were great cycle paths. Admired the old part of the port, admired modern high-rise buildings and mirror buildings, and the famous Erasmus bridge. Located Waterbus 20 and successfully rolled on in a crowd, with 40 kmph under the fantastic Erasmusbrug up the Rhine, many interesting river impressions. Crossed over with the next Waterbus at Dordrecht. Then we rolled through many small towns, announced ourselves at the campsite, and turned off to Sleeuwijk just before Gronichen. Set up a tent between the rabbit stall and the horse sand area,enjoyed fabulous showers. 40 km water bus, 89 km bike.
Tuesday, June 21, 2022: Broke camp and rolled 150 m into the town center, there in front of a noble bakery, I enjoyed sweet pieces with my coffee. Before the fortified town Woudrichem, while reading the sign no bikes allowed, a Dutch couple asked us to ignore the bicycles forbidden sign and drive into town. We did and were very impressed by the almost completely preserved fortress. Continued on the dike along the Afgedamde Maas and Heusdensch Kanal. Viewed the nearest fort in Heusden. Lunch on the dike in a nice restaurant with a view of the Meuse. Beautiful castle Lelienhuyze happens, unfortunately not accessible. Looked for accommodation at the Ravenstein tourist information office, took the ferry to the other side, got a room at the Hotel Zalen Hoogerd with a view of the Loonse Ward and the fountain, enjoyed dinner. 86 km
Wednesday, June 22nd, 2022: Breakfast under a deep blue sky on the terrace, applying Squirt wax to the chains of the trikes, morning ride side by side, hand in hand on the dike. At Heimen met a Dutchman with bike and single-track trailer, we offered a test drive with Ti-Fly X, he was converted immediately. Rolled wonderfully on smooth on the right side of the Meuse. View of Cujik on the other bank. In Genep fine salad for lunch. Crossed over to the left at Bergen. Searching for the Maas dunes near Blitterswijk, landed in Meerlo, destroyed 7up and cherry pie there. Back to the inconspicuous dunes and crossed again. Past the Maas Duinen National Park to Arcen, where we shopped in a Spar market. Circled castle and park. No way to safely store the bikes, so no visit inside. The dunes at Lomm were rather nice. Continue to Venlo, where we landed at the beautiful Hovershof campsite. Chatted with the owner and with a group of cyclists from Switzerland who wanted to go to Amsterdam in a week. Cooked Tagliatelle with Bolognese sauce. 82 km
Thursday, June 23rd, 2022: Left at nine, coffee and good pancakes with strawberries as second breakfast in Venlo at Café Bruxelles. Admired the Renaissance town hall. Crossed over the bridge to the left riverside. Shortly thereafter, the cycle path was blocked due to ten meters of asphalt work. Found a detour after a while. Wonderful ruin of a castle in Kessel, converted into a restaurant, next to it a beautiful villa. Crossed with the last Maas ferry for this trip. Lunch at Restaurant Maaszicht just before Roermond. Unfortunately we had to wait a very long time, the heat was sweltering. I recharged my battery. Rolled through Roermond, unfortunately the cathedral was closed. At the confluence of the Rur and the Meuse, saying farewell to the latter. We went up a hill, almost forgotten that hills exist, following the Rurradweg.
More varied terrain again and partly in the shade under trees. The route is being worked on, the cycle lane markings leave hardly space for a small car in the middle. The construction site behind us, we continued gently up and down. Drinks break at the border to Germany. Continued along the Rur to the mouth of the Wurm. Then turned onto the Wurmradweg. This one was gravel and rough at the beginning. But that got better. We were a bit tired, also because of the heat. Then we continued to Geilenkirchen. Booked accommodation there in Aachen while the first drops of a thunderstorm front were falling. Briefly waited that out. Up to Kerkrade it was now cooler. Found shelter there at the former customs and ate fruit. Put on rain gear for the second time that journey. When the worst of the pouring was over, we carried on. Finally arrived at the hotel in Aachen. With a vehicle elevator to the underground garage. Showers, pizza, bed. 113 km
Friday, June 24th, 2022: Slept late, started to visit the cathedral, we were in line exactly 5 minutes before opening. Great place, very impressive. Registered for a guided tour at 1 p.m., short coffee break, excellent tour guide, very knowledgeable. Afterwards we visited the town hall, where weddings took place non-stop. Then drinks and a bruschetta in the Duomo Square. Cloudburst drove us and everyone into the restaurant. Then completed a small shopping excursion. Back to the hotel, checked for trikes and rested. Dinner in pasta shop. Watched a music school concert en passant. Route planned, this time list of waypoints noted on paper.
Saturday, June 25th, 2022: Got up at 7, breakfast room full of CHIO participants. Took the lift with the trikes again. Farewell to beautiful Aachen. We got out well, the city was still asleep for the most part. We found the waypoints easily. Cool but sunny weather. Drove through the beautiful city forest from Würselen to Stolberg. Seen the railway line destroyed by the 2021 flood. Continue through Eschweiler, didn’t like that at all. Measly bike lanes with drains on a four-lane road. Lost track, but found the route again. Arrived safely in Düren, had lunch in Italian restaurant. Then decided to avoid the towns of Jülich, Zülpich and Euskirchen. A lot of dirt roads and side roads through many fields with grain and beets. Unfortunately, few hedges or trees, but a nice view of the distant Eifel. At Schloß Miel cake and spritzer, then again to Meckenheim. Stayed with our friends again. 107 km, total 2000.
Sunday, June 26th, 2022: Relaxed morning, midday by car to Meindorf, looked at a friends new house.
Monday, June 27th, 2022: Farewell to Meckenheim, down again to Bad Godesberg. Crossed by ferry to the right side, through Bad Honef then along the Rhine, many castles and palaces, nibbled a roll in Unkel, retirement home of Willy Brandt. As we were about to continue, a couple started chatting, and got close to test drive a trike. And then broke off, because they had to hurry to a pharmacy. The Rhine valley narrowed again, the former Remagen bridge seen from the other side. Came through a large drinking water protection area near Bendorf, nice. Drunk espresso in Neuwied am Deich, tried a charging station with most common system plugs, didn’t work. I wrote an email to the Stadtwerke. Shortly thereafter, an employee called back and thanked us for alerting them, very nice. On the other side of Koblenz, below Ehrenbreitenstein, a bridge is being renewed there, so the cycle path led down an inclined plane. We were very uneasy, because we had to slide with blocking tyres towards the Rhine. Through Lahnstein, shopping for breakfast. Called ahead to the campground, they wanted to close at 6pm. We flexed our muscles and arrived in Braubach at ten minutes before they closed. Nice place right on the water with electricity. Dinner in Braubach on the market square. Showered back at the site and then sat at the reception, loaded the phone and read messages. 90km,
Tuesday, June 28, 2022: Got up in the fog and packed up. Kept following the right side of the Rhine, we were surprised at the relatively little traffic. At Boppard ferry, continued on the left bank of the Rhine on a good bike path to St. Goar, lunch ferry and continue on the right bank of the Rhine again. Found some bad bike paths and rode on the street instead. Especially below the Lorelei it was desolate, the rock itself a disappointment. Hardly any cars until Kaub. Pfalzgrafenweiler admired. And dredgers working in the river. From Lorch there was a total closure, no wonder there was so little traffic. Ferry driven, beautiful shore path in the shade to Bingen. Across the Nahe estuary, in a beautiful beer garden, very good cake and iced coffee. Further through the ugly Gaulsheim. Then a great ride through an extensive nature reserve to Ingelheim.Then viewed and rejected campsite at Heidenfahrt. Continued to Mainz 23 km. Through endless allotment gardens and then through the city. Along the Rheinallee, over the Kaiserbrücke, finally at 7 p.m. at the campsite. Meal at the nice restaurant of the rowing club. 90km
Wednesday, June 29th, 2022: Woke up, dismantled, breakfast at the reception. The journey began with crossing the Main, which joins the Rhine shortly afterwards. Lots of cycle paths on the Rhine dike. Met velomobilist on a corner and had a nice chat. Driven around the Kühkopf nature reserve. There decided to visit Worms by car someday, and look for a direct route towards Heidelberg. Finally found a wide bike path next to the main road, were overtaken three times by the same cars due to a traffic jam. Rode over the Neckar, then chose the left bank to Neckargemünd and on the road up to Waldhilsbach, our destination. 124 km.
Thursday, June, 30th, 2022: _till Sunday July 2nd, 2022. Rested, washed laundry, took a break, waxed the chain on the trikes.
Monday, July 3rd, 2022: Departure at 9:50 a.m., along the Els through Bammental, Mauer, Hoffenheim, Sinsheim to Steinsfurt. Uphill to Ehrstädt. Continued to Bad Rappenau. Joined the Neckar cycle path near Bad Wimpfen. Got to Besigheim, it was 28 degrees, nice old town. Pension Saussele welcomed us very kindly. Nice big room. 92 km
Tuesday, July 4th, 2022: Met a nice couple from Willich at breakfast, let them try out our trikes , and recommended our dealer. Then followed the Neckar. As always with a stressful bike path through Esslingen and Plochingen. Then it got nicer again. Turned off at Neckartenzlingen and followed the Ermstal. Through Bempflingen, Metzingen with old warehouses to Bad Urach. There was a wonderful cycle path up the slope, conquering the wildly romantic Alb near Seeburg through the Trailfinger gorge. On to Münsingen and then to Bremelau. Stayed with wife’s aunt. 144 km.
Wednesday, July 5th, 2022: Left early, past Mundingen, Deppenhausen, Unterstadion, Aßmanshardt to Biberach. There my wife fell into a hunger hole, Indian restaurant saved us. Then through the beautiful Wolfental and the well-known route to Bad Wurzach and finally home again.104 km.
After a few days we spent on getting our garden back to shape, we can now sit and enjoy the pictures. Many new stories to be told.
Overall I think that the Netherlands is worth a trip anytime. It surprised me how vast and green it is. So many nature conservation areas, a lot of friendly people. It goes without saying that it is a bicycle country.
Our trikes carried us marvelously, some glitches occurred, but they are part of the story. We had so many smiling faces as soon as people saw us.
The trikes were test ridden by many people, we hope they all buy an AZUB.
Looking forward to our next tour.
Note from AZUB: We look forward to your next stories! Thanks for sharing your experience with us and all our fans!