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Adventure Sports

with Stefan Nestler

Damned wind

At the Rhine Falls

I am exhausted. What a day! I feel I have fought constantly. Against the heavy legs, my weaker self, against some, thank God, only short rain showers – and especially against the headwind. It has made me almost see red. It began already shortly after the start in the town of Kreuzlingen, when I rode along the so-called Untersee, the lower part of Lake Constance, before it flows into the River Rhine again. I was happy that the announced rain showers first stayed away, but the wind blew straight in my face. And this in addition to the fact that I really felt the first two stages of my donation bike tour “School up! River down!” with a total of 226 kilometers within two days in my calves.

Over the hills

Stopover at a vineyard

In the small town of Stein am Rhein, where Lake Constance flows into the Rhine, I crossed to the right side of the river. There I first put on my raincoat – for nothing as it turned out, because the rain shower was short. But the wind remained. Finally I reached the Rhine Falls in Schaffhausen, about on the half of the stage, clearly after the scheduled time. Because of the uncomfortable weather there were much less tourists than I had expected. From Schaffhausen I rode my folding bike to the town of Waldshut-Tiengen – “over the hills”, as it was written in the tour guide. That should have made me think. In the hilly terrain, bike paths are often dirt roads with sometimes steep ascents. A couple of times I had to dismount my bike and push it.

A cup of coffee to come down

Bike route signs in Schaffhausen

I had my mental low point, however, at the trip distance of 80 kilometers. I was now on top of the hills and was looking forward to finally driving down again. However, the headwind was so heavy that, with great effort, I was only able to ride down with just 15, 16 kilometers per hour. At some point I roared at the wind: “What have I actually done to you?” The next moment, I felt it was quite idiotic. I went into a snack stand and drank a cup of coffee. After that I felt better. Perhaps I had really impressed the wind with my outburst of rage: it calmed down a little bit.

One night in bed

In total, I rode nine hours with my folding bike today. I managed 117 kilometers despite all the adversities. This time I allow myself to spend the night in a small hotel in Laufenburg-Luttingen which is specialized in hosting cyclists. Yesterday’s starry and therefore cold night in Kreuzlingen was little relaxing. With my ultralight sleeping bag I was quite “underdressed” for these temperatures, so I was cold and woke up again and again. Today I urgently need a few hours of deep sleep to regain strength.

300 g steak at the end of the day

Disturbed idyll: The Swiss nuclear power plant inLeibstadt

You may ask yourself what I eat and drink during the trip. Today, I took a pack of Peronin for breakfast, full of calories. The powder, vanilla flavor, is mixed with water, one portion has 1,907 kilojoules. It has been developed by the South Tyrolean adventurer and arctic specialist Robert Peroni. En route, I ate a croissant, two “Landjäger” (spicy smoked sausages), a chocolate and a power bar, plus two cups of coffee and two liters of water. After the arrival I filled my calorie store again: starting with a bouillon liver spaetzle (a regional speciality) and then eating a 300 g steak with fries and salad. So I have some calories again to burn tomorrow.


13. September 2017 | 22:39