Borken to Merzen, Germany

My Hotel tonight

Is a train nut's dream

My room is half of a train car

Here is the outside view

Breakfast this morning was good, not four star, but definitely good two star. When I finished working on day33, I packed up, checked out, and headed for a Bakeri I'd seen last night. I got two kind of pasty and three Musceli 'small breads.' Thus supplied, I headed north and east. But to get to the road to Ahaus, the road I had ridden under yesterday, I had to ride south and east! Oh well, once I got on it, D 70 was very good riding and I rode it all the way to Reine, something close to 100 km. I stopped twice on D 70, once to snack before Ahaus, and later for lunch in, Metlen, one of the small towns south of Neuenkirchen. Just south of Metlen, D 70 banned bikes but didn't give me a good alternative - I guess I was supposed to ride over to the industrial area of Metlen and then head north - so I stayed on the road - there was very little traffic and wide lanes. Then, when I came to the next roundabout, I exited to Metlen, still on D 70, and lunch.

In Reine, I headed west on D 65. That was a mistake. I turned around, and headed west, pissing off a car driver and getting blared at and deliberately almost brushed in the process. I decided it was time to get to quieter roads, so I headed north and east from D 65 on small roads like L 593 that weren't on my map or that my map didn't seem to correctly show. Starting from near Reine,I rode through Deierwalde, Hopsten, Halverde, Voltlage, and Schwagsdorf on my way Merzen. Of course I didn't know Merzen existed or had a neat hotel, but I knew if I continued north, I would run into a major east-west road and be able to find a place to stay. Although I was doubting a bit as I rode some of those little road, it worked out well.

My way of routing was to chose roads heading north or east and not worry too much about where they led. The one exception to that was that I routed through Voltlage because,as an electronics type, I liked the name. That turned out to be a good choice and, heading north from Voltlage, I hit the 'big' road - D 214 - at Schwagsfort. I'd come close to 80 miles at that point, so I asked a young man at a service station - he spoke English, unlike almost every one else I met in small towns today - he said there was a hotel in Merzen, less than 10 km away. I rode to Merzen, saw the sign for the Dueckinghaus Gasthaus, and am staying at the Dueckinghaus ( I'm using ue for umlated e) Eisenbahnhotel. Delightful and relatively inexpensive at 45 E with breakfast. Supper was excellent at less than 15 E. Lunch at at a Bistro/Bakeri/Cafe was 4.20 and my snacks were 3 E. I am surprised at how much cheaper food and lodging is in Germany relative to the last three countries I rode through! Lodging in terms of bang per buck seems almost twice as good here as in France. My 45 E room tonight is definitely three star and would have cost me 70 or 80 E in France, and that wouldn't have included breakfast!

Heading north from Borken on D 70

Riding on D 70 wasn't as exciting, or as scenic, as riding on Hollands bike paths. There were no suprises and the best scenery, for me, was the hundreds of wind machines that seem to line the border with Holland. I also saw a lot of industry, but not as much as yesterday. Mostly I saw prosperous farms and small towns. I had a bit of a side/headwind - just enough for many of those wind machines to be turning - but still managed about a 12.5 Mph average on that D 70. When I switched to the smaller roads, my speed dropped, so my average for the day was 12.1. Still that is a mph better than my best day in Holland where I had much better winds!

My kind of scenic view ;-}

D 70,usually had good shoulders, but sometimes they went away. A good bike road was always on one side of D 70 outside of cities, and, when there was no shoulder and the traffic was heavy, I used it.

D 70 without a shoulder, but with an optional bike lane. which I'm not using
That round sigh indicates a bike/pedestrian path. Those are optional
A round sign with only a bicycle indicates a mandatory bike path

The little roads sometimes had optional bike paths and sometimes did not. On one of the last little roads today, I mostly rode the bike path because it was smoother than the, overly patched, road. I also got caught be a construction delay that I could have avoided if I had been on the bike road instead of the road, and I almost go run over by a truck that I was following through another, much smaller, construction site.

As I was following it into the construction, the truck stopped suddenly, and then started backing up into me. I managed to get out of the way, yelling and banging on his truck while doing so, and then made my way over to the path, went around the truck with the bad driver, and stayed on the path till I recovered my confidence in riding on the road!

At the Voltlage 'county line' note the patched pavement

An instance where I spent ten minutes waiting for construction when
I should have been on the path and ridden right through

It is about 250 km to Hamburg from here. I could do it in two days, but my friends are busy on Friday and Saturday, so I will take three days. I may route north to see the North Sea. I'll decide tomorrow.

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