Another sunny day. That is, sunny in local terms...the thin haze-cloud reduces the sunniness greatly, but its much nicer than the gloomy overcast skies we had the first few days.
We set out on the bikes yet again up the long climb, taking it easy as we both felt tired but also because we planned some more climbing at the end of the ride. The aim was to ride down to the Rhein at Boppard, then along the river to St Goar, and then up the easy way, which is the longer but less steep climb. All went to plan very well at first. The descent to the Rhein came in several very steep (fast) stages with small towns along the way. We had very warm wheel rims!
At Boppard we took the Rhein cycleway and headed towards St Goar. At about 3 kms from town Keith totally wrote off his front tyre trying to jump a gutter, missing, and riping the sidewall to bits.
After a few attempts we managed to sleeve the tyre and get some air into it and ride back to St Goar at which time the tyre decided this was enough, and gave up.
So Fran rode the climb on her own, grabbed the car, and picked Keith up. She said the climb was long but easy and a great training climb.
After lunch we then jumped in the car in search of a bike shop... guessing that Koblenz was the best bet.
In Koblenz Fran's driving skills were tested, but of course she passed easily. We also had to work out the system for paid parking, but observation of others helped us!
Wandering the streets of a big city trying to find a bike shop is not easy, but after only a few minutes Keith spotted a "Farhrädder" and we were in like a shot. Hmmm... no road bikes here, and it looked like the workshop from the 1950s. The owner had no English but it was easy enough to show him the dead tyre and ask for a new one - the best we could do was a 700 x 25 which said it took high pressures, so we bought that for 18 euro. When we got back to home Keith fitted it and it worked fine - tomorrow it will be tested on that climb.
During the rest of the afternoon Fran took the good SLR camera and went photographing plants and flowers nearby, while Keith fitted the trye, made meatballs for dinner, and then read more of his book. Dinner was simple but yummy and washed down with some good beer.
After dinner went to Wilpertskopf again and looked at the Rhein, found a bit more walking track there at saw a squirrel scurrying about. We had seen sqirrels the day before also on the bike path across to Kastellaun.