Day 14, Tour09 Lubsko, Poland to Calau, Germany

Fisherman on a lake near Kolkwitz Germany

Today's ride was shorter than I planned - about 55 miles instead of 75 - because I ran out of energy at about 25 miles ;-{. I'm in a nice hotel in a small town southwest of Cottbus. It took me almost an hour to get here from Vetschau which is only 10 km away. Grinding into the wind at 6 mph isn't fun, but it was all I could do.

The road to Calau

My breakfast at my, no star, hotel was excellent. I was the only person eating breakfast and they essentially asked "What would you like?" and then provided it. The asking was done in German, by the owner. My cost, in Euro since I didn't have enough Zloty, for a light supper with a heavy (7%, .5 liter) beer, my room, and breakfast, was 15 E. I paid 17. Such a deal! The owner was surprised, and pleased, that I was from the US. Folks tend to assume I'm English or Dutch.

I worked on yesterday's ride report for while, and left about 9:30. It was a beautiful morning, but, after noon, the sky clouded up and storms popped up around me. I wasn't caught by any of the storms, but the wind was much stronger near them and this caused me problems. Sometimes, the wind, combined with the wind gusts from trucks going the other way, would almost kill my forward motion.

The road to Germany

The ride to Germany was very peaceful, and even a bit boring. The road, at least for the last 15 km, was straight and flat - I had to climb over a ridge before that - with a bike lane next to it. Traffic was light, so I ignored the bike lane ;-}.

Near the German border, traffic picked up. I think it was mostly folks coming to Poland to get cheaper gas. I switched to riding the on the bike path.

A height filter (? ;-}) on the bike path near the border

I stopped, at a supermarket in Forst that had a bakery, to get several pastries that would later serve as my lunch and snacks. I also had a second cup of coffee - interestingly, the first coffee, at my hotel, was Turkish coffee - I probably shouldn't have had that second coffee. There was a German family - mom and kid on their own bikes and dad with a smaller kid in a trailer - that I passed earlier and that also stopped at that supermarket. I also had a nice visit about my tour with the person running the bakery

In Germany, just across the border

When I got to Germany, the currency switched to Euros and the bike lane switched to the other side of the road. And prices for everything increased a lot ;-}, but not to Scandinavian levels. Borders in the EU now mean changes in currency - sometimes, language - usually, and prices.

Most of the roads I rode in Germany today, looked like this
No shoulder, but lanes wide enough for European cars to pass a bicycle without a problem.

When I got into Cottbus, I switched to GPS mode. Cottbus is a big city and I needed help to find my way through it. My Garmin GPS worked pretty well at that today. There was only one place where it sent me up a hill and down a bumpy dirt road to save a few meters that I should have done on the paved road, and I should have noticed that before I headed up that dirt road!

After Cottbus, I was pushing myself to keep going. I stopped several times to snack and try to get my energy back, but it simply didn't work. During the grind up wind to Calau, I knew I had to stop early for the day. I stopped about 3, cleaned up and napped till 4:30 and now, having just had a good supper that cost as much as my hotel bill for last night, I think I'll retire to my room and read.

Next day: I didn't manage to stay awake long. I went to bed a 9:30 and got up at 6:30. I slept hard, and still felt groggy in the morning. Even after a good breakfast I did not feel good enough to ride, so I took it easy till about 10 AM. then I went downstairs to the hotel lobby and discovered that the front door was locked. There is a note in the window stating that the hotel will open at 5 PM for the next three days. I'm glad it was open when I got here at 3 PM yesterday.

The, very nice but no English, fellow who had served me breakfast came up and asked if I was saying another day. I really hadn't decided, but I couldn't figure out how to say that in German so I said I was. He showed me the back door and the key to use to get in and out. I went out for a walk to see if that would make me feel better. It didn't, but I was able to find some food for lunch and a new cycling vest to replace the one I lost in Sweden, at the same store. I would have done that weeks ago if I realized that kind of store, Lidle, carried cheap bicycle stuff! My vest cost 8 E! Then I went back to my room and napped till noon.

I wish I had internet access here - I do, but only if I pay T-Mobile's outrageous charges for it - but otherwise I'm glad I didn't ride on today. Part of my problem yesterday was that I was getting sick. Without my vest I've had the choice of riding chilly or riding too hot. I've choosen chilly and, perhaps as a result, I seem to have a perpetual runny nose. Sometimes it goes beyond the runny nose to what feels like a cold. Yesterday, I was getting an earache from the cold wind. Today it is warmer, but I'm stuffy and creaky. It may be that I won't need the vest for the rest of this tour, but I sure could have used it for the last few days whch were windy and cold.

At noon, I had part of my food - bread, cheese, and yogurt drink - and then went out to explore Calau. Then I came back, ate some more and had another nap till 3 PM. That means I've been sleeping more than half of the last 24 hours. I think I needed a rest day. I think I'll take another nap before supper ;-}.

Calau City Hall and Church

Part of a family of bicycle tourists riding through the town square

The rest of the family

The main street just south of the square

This is a neat small city which is apparently on a popular bike route or routes. I've seen three groups of tourists - two pairs - one was British, the other German - and a family of five people. I also saw three bakeries, three ice cream places, and several fast food places, all within two blocks of my hotel.

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