Eye opener

I planned a longer ride today, starting off by riding into the city of Basel with Ben as he headed off to work.

There was a constant stream of cyclists snaking their way along various routes. Cycling is heavily encouraged to reduce traffic congestion with plenty of bike storage options.

I bid Ben farewell at the Basel Bahnhof and headed Rhine River via Munsterplatz and the Cathedral. This was my third time riding past the Cathedral since 2016, and I had not noticed this on the Cathedral walls.

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I took the little animal on the right to be a dog…bit over the top treatment. I later learned from Ben that in fact it is a dragon…a pint sized one. So St George slaying the mighty, scary dragon.

Just past the Cathedral was this view of the Rhine River, looking upstream.

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Looking downstream to the old bridge I was to cross over.

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I crossed the bridge…this is looking downstream, the intended direction for today’s ride.

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I winged it today. The rule was keep the river to my left as practical as possible. I knew I had an industrialised and port section to pass through.

This maybe one section I should have avoided. This was the steepest set of stairs I have ever ever taken my bike up. There is a metal section you can see on the right for the bike wheels, but I had to do this one step at a time, using my bike brakes and my body to stop the bike having a speedy descent.

So…coming back, note to self…avoid!!

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Out the other side an onwards. Last year I crossed this bridge from France to Germany. Yes, I was now in Germany. It is reasonably close to the point where the three countries meet.

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Various sign posts clearly indicating what towns and village options available. I was heading towards Neuenburg and further on again.

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This lock crosses a section of the river.  For much of today’s ride there is a very Long Island in the middle of the Rhine. you can ride over this bridge to the island, go further island and then cross over into France.

Next trip  I will explore that.

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Priding along I encountered this creek. I was about to get wet as no way to avoid it. I just love 100 percent saturated shoes so early in a ride!

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The trail joined up with another….looking back from where I had come was this sign, Verboten! Oops!! Well, I survived!

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Some lovely river views.

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I liked this anchor. Apparently there used to be a ferry crossing at this point of the river, so it is believed the anchor belongs to the ferry. The ferry operated from 1918-1952,with the anchor being found in 1999.

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Just after here I saw the most incredible site a cyclist could see. So what astounding and confusing and the question is WHY?

Ahead of me a man came out of a side track towards me. he had no shirt in…not so,unusual…then he got off his bike.

This man was in his 30’s, very muscly and a tan on every part of his body….how do I know that? He was riding his bike nude!

Would it be wrong to take a photo 😂😂😂

If anyone could get away with riding nude, it was this man…but ooh the saddle chafing!!

I then came across this beautiful spot on the river, being enjoyed by swimmers. It was over 30 degrees Celsius and I envied them.

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At this point I had been on gravel paths for 40 km ( out of 55 km) and was in need of some food and drink! So made the decision to head away from the river to the village of Grißheim.

I rode around the village, and even though it was 11.45 am on a Friday siesta time seemed to have come early.

The only thing was this van selling a variety of cold meats.

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My big purchase…I should have purchased more!! This was a bit less than one euro. Very tasty.

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The water fountains in the village all had non potable water, unlike Switzerland where you can drink from most.

Hazy views towards the Black Forest over recently cut corn crops.

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A little further on a flower farm. Gladioli featuring.

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Villages I passed through with no water included Zienken and then I arrived in the much bigger town of Neuenburg.

Lots of fountains and statues.

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I stopped at a cafe and had a lovely iced coffee…but they had no water either. No shops around with water! It was becoming a luxury commodity!!

I rode through Steinenstatt…having climbed up hills in the heat, to see what views there might be.

I arrived in Bad Bellingen and did a reconnaissance of the town …. there are often shops near churches…not here though!

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This was looking promising….

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At last, bliss!

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Great cafe, lovely owner who was very interested in where I was from, what I was doing.

Continuing on through the hills…

This view towards France.

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Little stalls on the side of the road, honesty system with payment. This one even sold used golf balls.

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Over the road was competition.

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Rural vistas. First looking towards France, the second Germany.

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It was very hot up the top of the hill so decided to head back to the gravel river paths. I stopped here and studied the sign.  I took the turn down the hill.

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The gravel path quickly evaporated to this rough track in the vineyard.

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Totally running out of track, I could see a road, so wheeled my bike down the slope, through the sti going nettle.  Once I got to the road, I either had to head up the hill, or down!

Well  the river would be at the lowest point so down I went.

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Back on the river, there are numerous of these excess water storage pits for times of Rhine River flooding.

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Back in Basel I cross the bridge and you can see swimmers out floating down the river.

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I ride back to Therwil. Potable water! I filled up here.  These fountains very iconic in Basel, being a cross between a dragon and rooster.

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I quickly showered and headed back into the city via tram to meet my dear Swiss friend Sandra. We were heading out for the evening.

We passed the City Hall. Lovely building.

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Popped inside for a look….then I heard familiar music. looking out a group of Hare Krishna’s passed by so gi g their familiar chant.

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This sign indicated that bicycles are permitted inside for visitors. My cycle tan arms 😂😂😂

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I liked this cool dude!

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We ended up on the river front, in the industrial area.

Shipping containers are painted, crates of weeds and looking really funky.

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Table tennis was being played. That guy looked a bit like the one of the bike. The one playing table tennis that is!

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English trees beside the river.

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More funky stalls selling a variety of food and drink.

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A red ship…whatever! It was looking more and more li,e I had walked into a Mad Max movie set.

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This caravan intrigued me!

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We ordered food and sat upstairs with a view back over Mad Max.

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Potted weeds everywhere and a nice old bath next to,our table. Great idea to just grow weeds!

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Sandra and I tried multiple times to get some selfies, but neither succeeded in the dark!!

It was such a joy to see her. We first met in the Maldives in 1985. Then visited her and her husband in 1986-7 in Switzerland and then I did not see her again until 2016.

Since then we caught up,last year, and again this year!

So another wonderful day has come to pass. I rode about 108 km, and about 60 km of that was gravel.

Here are my route details.

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3 thoughts on “Eye opener

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