Change of plans: Lisa and I are cycling 1,900 miles from Glindow (Near Berlin), Germany to 💕Mol, Belgium.💕 July 4 - August 10 ❤️🚲🚲❤️
  • Day39

    Day 39: Newaygo, Michigan ❤️🇺🇸🚤

    August 11 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

    The day was spent recovering from the exhausting travel day and jet-lag. We did a morning and evening cruise on the pontoon boat, and mainly chatted with Lisa’s mom (Betty) and brother (Adam) while relaxing around the house. Lisa and her mom drove Adam to the airport at about 4:00 pm, and returned about 7:30 pm. We ar a nice grilled dinner of halibut that Adam caught in Alaska this summer, and grilled vegetables. I feel asleep on the night pontoon cruise to watch the sunset, and went to bed immediately when we returned to the house. This is most likely the final post unless I do a one more as a final summary and conclusion.❤️🚴🏻‍♂️🚴🏼❤️Read more

    Traveler

    Oost West... Thuis best. ?

    8/12/22Reply
    Ulrich Wolff

    Hi, Jim and Lisa. I've been following you all the time here on Penguins, and it must have been a great trip. Good to see you made it savely home again. See you next summer in Germany again, or mayby 2024 in the U.S. Ulrich+Heidi

    8/13/22Reply
     
  • Day38

    Day 38: Newaygo, Michigan 🇺🇸

    August 10 in Belgium ⋅ ☀️ 30 °C

    Leaving Mol and the travel home was definitely the toughest day. We finished packing and breakfast at Molmento around 8:15 AM. Happy teary hugs with Kristien and we were off the the Mol train stations with two cars (Theo and Peter) to transport our always awkward bicycle boxes. The train trip to Brussel’s airport involved on train switch, which is always challenging to move the boxes and making sure we get the correct train. The wheels I invented and we carried 1800 miles to make moving the box in the train station and airport easier worked great! All the little stresses of the day compiled to make this an exhausting day. Check-in was about 1.5 hours with the attendant telling us we had paid for our bikes yet. The flight to Iceland was 3.5 hours, and in Iceland we were randomly chosen for additional TSA screen were some how I tested positive for an illegal chemical on a swab wipe of my clothing. 😏 Everything got sorted out and we made or connection with a few minutes to spare. The 6,5 hour flight to Chicago involved a large man sitting next to Lisa with poor body awareness, a restless kid who kept messing with the back of my seat, numerous coughs and sneezing throughout the plane, and what sounded like a 10 year old girl’s birthday party happening behind us. Immigration, baggage claim, and customs at Chicago O’Hare took over 1.5 hours. I then got an Uber to Paul’s (Warmshower host who let us park the Subaru at his house,) and talked with Paul for a few minutes before returning to the busy arrival area of O’Hare to get Lisa and the bikes. By about 9:00 pm we were on the way to Lisa’s mom’s house in Michigan with an ETA of 1:40 AM. The dive through Chicago was terribly busy and a lot of construction. The tiredness was hitting me hard, and Lisa amazingly made the final 3 hours of driving to end our hardest day of the tour! ❤️Special thank you❤️ to Paul and his family for the car parking in Chicago it was a great stress reliever, and saved us over $600 in airport parking!Read more

  • Day37

    Day 37: Mol, Belgium 🇩🇪😀❤️

    August 9 in Belgium ⋅ ☀️ 27 °C

    We had a wonderful breakfast at Molmento B&B, and relaxed in our room until 10:30 (No where to push on to for the first time in over 30 days.) After a relaxing morning we ventured to the Mol center to visit Jos Daems and his wife Ann at their shoe store that Jos started over 50 years ago. We met Jos in 2017 when we came our first time to Mol. Jos has been to over 50 world cycling championships, is friends with many pro cyclist, and is impossible to explain his passion for everything he does in a simple “blog” post. Lisa and I walked around the traditional Mol Tuesday market, and picked up some local honey for our souvenir. We returned to Jos’s for a lunch of homemade soup, pasta, salad, and crispy cod from the neighboring fish shop. Jos and Ann entertained us with stories of travel and their grandson Victor. After lunch, Jos gave us a short cycling tour to the new street art area of the bicycle trail. We are so impressed with the street art we have seen throughout Europe. Jos also gave us a tour of their beautiful home, and we saw some of Jos’s hobbies and amazing artwork. The late afternoon was spent packing the bikes and affixing the wheels I designed to make our train transfer easier. At 7:30 we took Peter and Kristien to dinner and met Theo and Marlene (Friends from previous visits to Mol) at the restaurant. It was good to see our friends in Mol, and like usual we found time was too short! ❤️Read more

    Traveler

    Two of my W🌐RLDFRIENDS. Lisa & Jim.. Have..... ?....... you have a great life. Tot ziens ergens in de wereld.

    8/10/22Reply
     
  • Day36

    We arrived to Molmento B&B to big hugs from Peter and Kristien. The day was spent riding along the canal and exploring a few cities along the route. We end with 1899.75 miles (56 mile average), so with a little ride to the Mol market on Tuesday we’ll have over 1,900 miles. We hit 8 countries 🇧🇪🇵🇱🇨🇿🇨🇭🇦🇹🇫🇷🇳🇱🇩🇪. No spills. No delays. Excellent weather with only a bit of rain. 5 rear flats (Jim:cobble sidewall tear, sharp stick puncture, 2 pinch flats & Lisa: small glass cut.) 2 wasp 🐝 stings (Jim: right leg above knee while going about 50 mph downhill in Switzerland, right hand while smashing one trying to get in my drink 😏) 20 warmshowers, 1 Couchsurfing, 5 AirBnB, 7 hotels, and 2 nights at Molmento B&B. We can never capture our feelings and love for bicycle touring with words or pictures, but we hope you enjoyed our attempt. We thank all of you for your help, support, good wishes, and kindness. It is always nice to feel the kindness we experienced, and see the good that exists in the world. ❤️Read more

    Traveler

    It was sooooo cool we saw you again. Next time in the US 😀 I‘ll miss reading your footprints ;)

    8/9/22Reply
    Traveler

    Great Tour 2022!... Super condition! ... Nice to see and to Welcome you in the 🇸🇪 #zweedseklompenstraat 🇧🇪 Nice trip back to America 🇺🇸

    8/9/22Reply
    Traveler

    Yum! Belgian fries and beers - awesome 🍻😀

    8/9/22Reply
    3 more comments
     
  • Day35

    Day 35: Maastricht, Nederland 🇳🇱🌅🚴

    August 7 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

    Thomas made us some delicious pancakes for dinner, and after eating too many we were heading toward a lookout tower were the three countries of Belgium, Nederland, and Germany meet. Thomas joined us for the morning ride, and led us on a nice tower out of Aachen. After the lookout tower we were in Nederland, and riding some of the course and famous climbs of the Amstel Gold Race. We always love these climbs, and seeing the names of the pro riders painted on the road. Since this area is some of the most beautiful scenery in Nederland, it was packed with tourist and cyclist. It was almost like being on RAGBRAI all day. The crowds even got worse as we approach Maastricht, since it is a very touristic city and the annual Ironman happened to be going on. This caused a lot of chaos for us, all the tourist, and even the locals trying to navigate in and around the city. We made it to our hotel in the city center about 5 PM, And found a little grocery store to buy some provisions for our dinner. We relaxed in the hotel room until things calmed down in the city, And took a nice evening stroll to watch the sunset. This is our last night on the road and we will reach Mol, Belgium 🇧🇪 tomorrow.Read more

  • Day34

    Day 34: Aachen, Germany 🇩🇪🌅🍝

    August 6 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

    We had a nice relaxing breakfast on the terrace with Lars & Sabine, and then were pedaling towards Aachen, Germany at 9:30 AM. It was a little longer riding with about 65 miles to cover, but after nearly 1900 miles of riding we are in a groove of cruising along “high-tailing it.” Some of our daily routines are stopping for berries on the side of the trail, picnic lunch breaks, Exploring the inside of church’s, And stopping at produce stands along the roadside. We passed by Tagebau Hambach, Germany’s largest surface mining area, which has a current open area of 17 square miles and is about 2000 ft deep. It was an amazing view! Since it was Saturday there was quite a few cyclists out on the road and on the trails. We arrived in Aachen at about 5 PM and sat by one of the large city gates enjoying the views for about an hour. Within navigated by the giant cathedral to Thomas’s house, our Warmshower host. We got cleaned up and had a delicious pasta dinner with Thomas’s homemade marinara sauce (I believe the secret is the feta cheese 😀) After dinner we took a stroll up the largest hill in Aachen to watch the sunset, And heard the folktale of how the hill was formed by the dropping of a giant bag of sand the devil dropped on his way to hopefully cover the cathedral in Aachen. Got back to the the flat at about 10:30 and we’re pretty tired from the day, so easily fell asleep by 11 PM with thoughts of pancakes thomas had suggested for breakfast.Read more

    Traveler

    Wooow!!!

    8/12/22Reply
    Traveler

    Missing you guys!

    8/12/22Reply
    Traveler

    Same here❤️

    8/16/22Reply
     
  • Day33

    We had a great night of sleep and decided to sleep in until about 9:00 AM as we were having a sort day of only 27 miles to Cologne. We had a nice breakfast on the back patio with Thomas. After breakfast Thomas gave us a picture show and stories about his 100 day bicycle trip from Berlin to Iran 🇮🇷 . What an amazing adventure he had! We got pedalling toward Cologne at 11:45 AM (our latest start of the trip.) The ride along the Rhine was chilly, damp, and very bumpy. We stopped for a picnic with the sandwiches we made at breakfast with in 5 miles of Cologne, and also shared a sweet treat from a bakery. Cologne (1.1 million pop. Is the 4th largest city in 🇩🇪) was also crowded, especially around the Cathedral, Kölner Dom, which receives tens of thousands of visitors per day. The Cathedral is an amazing site, and I recommend you learn more about it. “The towers for its two huge spires give the cathedral the largest façade of any church in the world.” It is believed by many the remains of the three wide men are contained within the cathedral. After that Lisa and I took turns exploring the cathedral’s interior and then we navigated our way through the busyness to our Warmshower Lar’s and Sabine’s flat. They live in a car-free neighborhood which was very interesting to learn about, and experience the quietness of such a living space. No cars parked on the street, no traffic, only bicycles and walking. The evening was a beautiful walking tour with Sabine and Lars filled with talk of past adventures and future dreams of travel. We ended at a special local pub/restaurant called the Golden Cabbage. At the Golden Cabbage we had a true local experience of a Cologne Brauhus. We drank kölsch style beer which technically can only be brewed in Cologne from the traditional .2 liter glasses which are brought to you automatically by the waitress once yours is less than 1/2 full, and as long as you don’t cover the top with your coaster. We experienced the lively atmosphere of men watch the first league soccer game on the tv, and cheers of excitement when their team scored, or almost scored, as we enjoyed local dishes of blackened pudding, and sauerbraten. One man who had been a patron of the pub for nearly 60 years practiced his English with us. He welcomed us to Cologne and wished us a wonderful trip. At the end of our adventure in the Golden Cabbage the waitress found out we had been cycling for nearly 5 weeks and we’re from America, so she gave us some gifts from the pub. The kölsch experience was something we had never experienced in Germany, and will be a special memory forever. The evening ended with a nightcap on the terrace of Lar’s & Sabine’s flat as the time was approaching midnight. This like all days was another very special experience! 🍺🚴🏻‍♂️❤️🇩🇪Read more

    Traveler

    Hahaha I agree! F*ckin’ crazy!!!

    8/12/22Reply
     
  • Day32

    We had beautiful morning in Koblenz, but knew the temperature was predicted to get near 100° F today. 🥵 We had a great buffet style breakfast at the hotel and relaxed a bit in the A/C of our room before venturing out to explore and move on to our warmshower in Bonn, Germany. We continued to enjoy the spectacular views along the Rhine and we’re putting the miles behind us with the heat not getting too bad. At about mile 30 of 52, we had a pretty tough detour because of a bridge being washed out from a flood. We found a little passage under the railway lines and then used our gps to find another bridge. We had a picnic lunch along the Rhine in a nice shaded area, and pedaled on to Bonn. We arrived early in Bonn than planned, and had a cold drink in a biergarten along the Rhine. We then did a little tour through Bonn past the university and also past Beethoven’s birth place. Arriving at Thomas’s house our Warmshower host was like connecting with an old friend. We shared stories and got comfortable with an early shower and a couple of cold drinks in our cool private basement room with our private bathroom area too. Anja, got home from work and Lisa and her hit it off immediately, and later found out the had the same birth month and day. Dinner was a backyard barbecue with many homemade dishes, an awesome pasta salad with pickles and peas 😀, home grown tomatoes from Anna’s amazing gardening, other homemade salads, and a delicious rhubarb chutney that Anja made. The children, Marek (15) and Jana (17) joined us for dinner, and it was nice of them to join in the conversation with us. This was another special evening which again is why we love warmshowers and the chance to meet such wonderful families! 😀❤️Read more

  • Day31

    Day 31: Koblenz, Germany 🇩🇪

    August 3 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 33 °C

    We woke up with a beautiful view of the Rhine hillsides brightened by the early morning sun. There was another delicious buffet style German breakfast that was included with our room price which had a wide selection of breads, meats, cheeses, yogurt, fruit, muesli, and spreads. We were on the road about 9 PM with a 50 mile day ahead of us. The ride would take us on the west side of the Rhine past numerous castles and churches along the bluffs. We found it hard to move forward as there was something we wanted to explore every 3 or 4 miles. The scenery was amazing and we are overwhelmed by the beauty of the Rhine river valley and villages along the Rhine. It is tourist season in Germany and there are many bicyclist along the Euro Velo route. Campgrounds are full and villages are a bit crowded, but everything is calmer than touristy areas in the US. Our hotel in Koblenz was right along the Rhine river, And we spent the early evening exploring the area and grabbing some supplies for a picnic style dinner in the hotel room. The sunset from our balcony was beautiful, and the crescent moon 🌙 looked beautiful over the steeple in the horizon. It was early to bed as the heat had us pretty worn out.Read more

    Traveler

    Hi... i am just 3 days in Perl Nennig Deutschland.. with grandson Victor. To 15u in Remich Luxemburg. Nice biking weather for you.

    8/5/22Reply
     
  • Day30

    It’s a bit hard to explain to our non-cycling friends, but the amount of diversity we see in 60 miles is amazing. The architecture and landscape changes so rapidly when riding through Europe. I was telling Lisa the other day that when touring in the United States you can often ride for days or weeks and it seems like nothing has changed. We don’t focus much on trying to go fast, but more about cruising and seeing the sites. Today included samples in the grape fields, an awesome breakfast at our hotel, a beautiful view of the cathedral in the early morning sunshine, some medieval castle ruins, and sampling the local wine with a tour into the wine cellar. We ended the evening at a restaurant on the Square, listening to a man play an acoustic guitar and sing American folk songs.Read more