Long waited for

But breakfast first.

And a quick meet with a very nice local ingress player. 

That’s one of the things I love about this game – you find like-minded all over the world…Sports connects. Ingress connects a different way. Meeting inter pares. Not like tourists, hosts and guests.

Many reasons for having awaited this day – this is the beginning of a new challenge. 

Will I be able to complete this distance? online resources have told me its between 400 and 500 km, and no matter what – it is the longest I ever rode in one piece. 

But also, I just love to ride my bike. I have been looking forward to have a lot of me-time. a lot of unique landscapes. of hills, and all you expect from riding your bike.

But first Paris. 

What a city.

They are not really diligent cleaning their streets.

But at first glance it is very clear how living this city is.

Activity. buzzle, people, traffic. At every time of the day as it seems.

Well, I pick up my bike, load the bags and off to the Seine.

Notre Dame – recently burned and destroyed church. THis is a 100m detour but I do not want to take pictures. Black windows.

Just one church – a beautiful church that is.

And this is how buildings just do look after they burn. Like the restaurant in Kronau which recently had a fire.

Like those many many buildings at war times in Europe, at war times all over the world. Fire spreading terror.

Fire deciding over victory or loss.

Fire harming about everybody who is around.

Fire being the thing I heard most storys from my parents or grandparents – how scary all was for them.

I am taking a very good look. Police is doing their job in keeping the tourists our of harm’s way.

There is a dedicated bike path out of the city – at least once one is through the major congestion in the center.

Along a canal, smetimes picking the wrong side, turning around, finding a bridge, continuing. 
Playgrounds for youth. Playgrounds for adults. 

I am tempted but continue. 

I find a bar, a kiosk, people buy coffee, lottery tickets and food there. Sevran. 

It is time for a break so I park my bike, order a coffee, hit the restroom. 

A second coffee. 

Some guy comes in looking for the owner of that yellow bike. Or just have seen me coming in.

They are looking for a bike pump, I do have one bike-mounted. 

So, I get up, give them my pump and continue with my coffee. Losing the pump out of sight. They do their thing, eventually will bring it back to me. 

It does not fit.

Yup, three (+ ?) standards for bike valves. My pump serves two, and of course they have the third.

One more of these things. Why do we not have standards. For trivial little things like scooter tires. but also for measurement. For morals? War is bad? Clear standard? Killing people or animals is bad? 

I am drifting off. But a lot of Human thinking really circles around finding a position in the world. For oneself, for the own city, nation, community, name it.

And the more power that position holds, the better. 

The day promises to get hotter. My benchmark for lunch was about 60km. This was a literal mit-of-nowhere with the descriptive name „messy“ it was very tidy, but they hat a teensy supermarket. 

There is also a portal in this village. Daily hack. Check.

Nutella, cookies, fresh peaches, water, Cola, and when I got asked at the checkout, if I also wanted baguettes, I could not resist.

One of the peaches got deleted with me right out of the building.

The Cola as well. Cola is magic if you are on high activity for a prolonged time.

It is getting hotter, did I tell this already?

So I found a place with a little shady spot. parked, sat on the floor, dipped baguette into Nutella. heaven.

The second peach vanished, and freshly nourished I mounted my bike.

My left knee decided to send me a message to tell that not all was well…I am having trouble there, on and off, but trouble gets worse if I do not move. For it doesnt get worse with time I continue.

My benchmark for end-of-day? 100km and then check what is around. 

So I passed by a place offering chambres, went in, asked in my best French but they said they were only restaurant. That the sign was wrong.

So the gmaps magic had to come to action. Open google maps, type „hotel near me“ and I looked for the largest conglomerate along the way. Ibis Chateau Thierry. 

Next door to a Decathlon, an Aldi and a Pizza and Pasta place.

They had a room, I had a shower, dinner next door, a nightcap at the bar. Meeting German tourists and talking about Golf. 

There are things trying to stop me from this stuff all the time. My knee, my back, my inner pig-dog (innerer Schweinehund- in German) = that little critter in the inside telling me that it is much comfier to stay put.  The other little thing inside telling me, that „you cannot do this.  The third little something telling me „you dont need this“ 
Not this time. 

Sum of the day: 115km. 400km to go.

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