Wow. I really did not think I’d made it this far.

Cycling – I had been with my electric bike all over the place – but this is a regular race frame, with luggage. With a bendy back and cleats and all that. Who was I to plan 500km in one piece. After not doing any racing activities anymore. On a bike I had built, but had not used intensively in quite some time. With luggage (did I say??)

Yet I was 90km before my self-imposed finish line – and – yes, there were hills in my near future but – hey I had been riding hills already.

Every hill a victory

Still victories to come. And for I had decided there was no blame in pushing a bike if the strength was not sufficient to pedal – I really relaxed. Do this at a hilly race – spectators will catcall you – hey, you can pedal – why do you push – no training or what? Yet you are the person whose legs need to do the work – the person who stood at the starting line.

Here was no competition. Nobody should tell me that I am too old or too untrained to do this – arriving shows otherwise.

„Hey those two probably go walking twice a week“ – comment in a duathlon for me and an elderly guy took slightly over an hour to run the first10 km of a duathlon. This stuff sticks and if you grew up not being comfy with your body, then these things stick even more.

Why do people watching a race think they can bash you. And the thing is – nobody really „gets“ how deep this sting goes unless they experienced that kind of stuff themselves. People cheering at races – I always enjoy this. But also here – when I came they more or less were gone. Even aid stations. Gone. When going slowly I can still finish – and this was absolute fun when I did races in the US. People watched what we could do. Not what we could not do.

There was this you tube video – a heavily overweight guy who became an Ironman. Of course his body adapted, he got leaner, but when he had his first part of the video – showing him running – if he showed that here, people would comment, that this cannot be healthy. Yet in the end his endurance and will to actually do this – this made him an Ironman. slow but a finisher. And much healthier than before.

People watching from the outside don’t get this – what could motivate a person trying this. And so they claim they knew it was no good. Without knowing.

I could ask those guys at the duathlon what they did besides of standing at the side and throwing snotty remarks… But…no. Not my style.

Leaving my ancient hotel with all the beautiful woodwork, I passed by a mini stonehenge like sundial. and a few other works of art. Meadows. lush. green. All along the B14 road. On and off zigzagging along that road. Finally I saw the first signs toward Rothenburg. I really enjoyed to see my trusty old marker with the blue oval and the yellow stars.

I found two sources of rivers – the Bibert’s and the Altmuehl’s. The first was a portal candidate for me – now it is an ingress portal. No well water to drink – the Bibert is just originating from a patch of mud. Water collecting. Water being so essential to that lush green. No water from the sky – until today about three dripdrops. I had been so lucky. The Altmuehl – yet another Bavarian river – and we had been in so many a vacation with my dad who just loved that area. This was a time when I did not yet like hiking or doing any kinds of sports.

The first glimpses of Rothenburg. I had not really appreciated that city when I entered first – I had had only one or two hours and had to leave for Crailsheim, for I had to ride home on a train from there – this time I had the whole evening – because I had the next day for my train ride home.

So, some ingress, some good food, some sightseeing – this city is so much nicer than I remembered. Especially those houses – very exquisite. The stores were still open – I was that early. But not early enough to visit the Midieval Crime museum.

In my hotel, the staff all wore masks. Corona still blooming. They wanted no more part of this – this virus had shut down so many businesses – so they were just conscient of protecting themselves. None of the guests wore masks. Unfortunately. Unfortunately we probablyu will have learned in September that Corona is not gone yet.

Also here – signage to partner cities. How can Europe go apart when there are all those city to city partnerships. How can Humanity drift apart – there’s a war – really close – and we barely notice – but only with communities like Europe we have a chance to live. Those Ukrainian flags in the city – not the first city I saw those. But being solidaric – praying for those people in war, for those who suffer. Reminders all over the place.

Super delicious food in some Italian place, some ingress, some sightseeing. some beautiful evening. I actually got to like this city.

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