Merzen to Delmenhorst, Germany

Heading north, early in the day

Once again breakfast was superb - Germany has simple outdone all the other countries I've been in on this tour for breakfast quality and lodging bang for the buck. My hosts provided me with an excellent local map, so I headed straight north for Ankum, using little roads. In Ankum, I visited the Cathedral and continued north through Druckhorn to Badbergen where I rode north on bigger roads. Those little roads were really nice riding and the bike lanes on the big roads were good riding too. It was still a little chilly - I rode in my windvest all day long - but the winds were light and the riding was very nice.

I saw lots of wind machines, and lots of good looking wheat fields, from both the little roads and the big roads

I rode north and east through Quackenbruck to near Cloppenburg, crossing the route I took from Hamburg to Amsterdam five years ago. I rode east on a city road in Cloppenberg to the city center where I ate at a Subway - 350 Subways in Germany now - and bought supplies at a bakery before heading further north toward Oldenburg.

B 65 heading north to Quakenbruck

Coming into Quakenburg

Traffic waiting on the train north of Cloppenburg
note the nice bicycle road

Traffic got heavier north of Cloppenburg, but riding was good through Gimel and Wardenburg. I should have headed east then rather than riding north through Oldenburg, but I didn't realize what a pain that would be. It was a straight shot north through town, but the path was very rough and traffic, both vehicles and pedestrians, was quite heavy. I had to focus on getting through it rather that enjoying the city, so I got very little out of it except wear and tear on my body and a bad attitude. When I got north of the center of Oldenburg, I saw that I was going to have to continue riding in urban coditions for a long time, so I took the first good route east. That road turned out to have a bad shoulder and, when I tried to ride on the road, I got blasted with horns and passed too closely by several jerk drivers.

I had a fun experience with a German driver before Cloppenburg. I was riding on a perfectly straight road with wide lanes, and almost no traffic. The bike road was terrible - broken pavement, potholes, etc. One car passed me in about 5 km on that road. He slowed down behind me, rolled down his passenger side window, and pulled up beside me to tell me I should be riding on the bike road. I laughed and shook my head. I didn't laugh later when other drivers blasted me with their horns and deliberately passed too closely.

Peaceful riding on the small road to Hude

Riding got a little better after a detour, but I was fed up with riding that area, so I took the small road route south through Hude. That was pleasant rding with no bike path to beat me up and slow me down, but it took me south 10 km or so east of where I had gone north. I had to ride south a long way before I could ride east, and, by the time I got to Delmenhorst, I had ridden 87 miles in seven hours and twenty minutes. If I had turned east earlier, I could have saved at least an hour and a lot of frustration.

In Delmenhorst, I asked a woman where to find a hotel and she sent me to the excellent City Hotel. At the hotel I was offered a choice: A room with a bathroom down the hall for 38 E and a room with a bathroom in the room for 54 E. The bathroom down the hall was a private bath, it just wasn't located in the room. Such a deal for 38 E and the breakfast the next morning was 4 star.

I got good help from that hotel on routing as well, and there was a internet/phone place two blocks away, so I had good cheap net access and cheap phone access. Delmenhorst is quite a nice town, but I made one mistake there. After eating at Subway for lunch, I ate supper at McDs. It was cheap, quick, and OK tasting, but I had bad indigestion that night.

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