“School up! River down!” successfully finished
My summit was the end of the pier. Where a red tower with beacon signals to the ships on the North Sea that they have reached the mouth of the Rhine and that the port of Rotterdam is near. I reached this point with my folding bike today at 3.30 p.m., the twelfth day after my departure at the Oberalp Pass in Switzerland, near the source of the Rhine. 1,494 kilometers lie behind me, on average I cycled about 125 kilometers per day. The last meters on the pier felt great. All hardships were forgotten. I simply enjoyed to move slowly towards the goal of my donation bike tour “School up! River down!”.
For me it was a real adventure, almost a small expedition. The result was quite uncertain. Would my folding bike – this model is actually intended for commuters on short distances – survive the permanent burden? Would my body stand the exertions, even though I had not specifically prepared it to sit on the saddle nine hours a day and to pedal continously? Would my commitment be sufficient, would I, if necessary, be able to torment myself through difficult situations? Would the weather cooperate? Was it realistic under all these conditions to tackle a route of about 1,500 kilometers in twelve days?
Several times on the limit
I can now answer all these questions – with a broad grin on my face – with yes. The euphoria of having actually achieved my desired goal, replaces the fact that my body and mind were several times on the limit and now urgently need a recovery phase. Like after an expedition in the mountains, it will certainly take a while before I have processed all the impressions. My relationship to the Rhine, where I spent my whole life, will be a new one, after I have ridden and experienced it from the source to the mouth.
Taken the wrong ferry
The final stage, about 75 kilometers from Dordrecht via Rotterdam to Hoek van Holland, went by wihout incidents. I admired the famous 19 mills of Kinderdijk, which stand like tin soldiers in a row on the canal. That I had to drive slalom through several groups of hectically photographing Japanese, I answered with a smile. Arriving in the village, I reached the ferry as the last passenger. However, I had to realize on the water that it did not cross over to Ridderkerk, as I had thought, but to Krimpen aan de Lek. I had to put together an alternative route to finally get back to the main Rhine route in the center of Rotterdam. The lively city with its huge harbor made me nervous. I was happy when, 20 km before Hoek van Holland, it became calmer and lonely again.
For the children of Thulosirubari
I have thought of the children of Thulosirubari not only today, but also during these twelve days on the Rhine. For them, I actually made the trip. I hope I have entertained you well and I would be delighted if I had encouraged as many of you as possible to support with your donation the further construction of the school in the small Nepalese mountain village, some 70 kilometers east of Kathmandu. If you have decided to sponsor me with e.g. a cent per kilometer that I drove, it would make a total of 14.94 euros for the project “School up!”, two cents make 29.88 euros, five cents 74.70 euros, ten cents 149.40 euros … You can also transfer any other amount, I am happy about every euro.
Please send your donations directly to the account of “School up!” of the Nepalhilfe Beilngries. Here is once again the bank account:
Recipient: Nepalhilfe Beilngries e.V.
Bank: Volksbank Bayern Mitte eG/Germany
IBAN: DE05 7216 0818 0004 6227 07
Intended purpose: Gerlinde and Ralf School
Thank you for your support, also for the many encouraging comments during my tour. I would also like to thank the bikers who accompanied me on the route for the nice talks. In addition, all those who kindly showed me the way when I was once again unconcentrated and missed a sign. And last but not least I want to thank my dear and faithful folding bike, which has carried me so far without any breakdown. Both of us, by the way, were much quicker than the water which has started its trip from the source to the mouth of the Rhine on Monday last week. It takes the water about 31 days, the journey through Lake Constance alone takes three weeks.
Date22. September 2017 | 22:08
TagsAid project: School up!, Dordrecht, Folding bike, Hoek van Holland, Kinderdijk, Mouth of the Rhine, Oberalp Pass, Rhine, Rotterdam, School up! River down!, Source of the Rhine