Romantische Straße and the Mittelrhein : 2017-06-05 : To Karlstadt via The Great Detour **PUBLIC HOLIDAY

Type Name Description Service Provider Cost Kms To Date Total Notes Actions
Cycle Bettingen to Karlstadt Today: 68km; Total: 230km $0.00 68.00 68.00
Sight See Lohr am Main $0.00
Sight See The Real Snow White (Lohr) $0.00
Type Name Service Provider Confirmation Location Cost Notes Actions
Camp Campingplatz Karlstadt $18.00

Trip Log

Notes Actions
Today was an “anything can happen” kind of day… and not always the good kind of “anything”. Of the three of us, I was the most beat up from the 90km yesterday. We were all feeling it, but where Brent and Laura were feeling good to go today, I was less sure. We decided Karlstadt would be our goal (60km), but Gemunden (45km) also had a campingplatz, so if I was too “done” at that point to keep going, that’s where we’d stop.

We actually had a super early start, which we all love. We were on the road by 7:30 after having breakfast of our groceries and tearing down in the fog and humidity. We stopped for “second breakfast” at Marktheidenfeld and a nice local told us where to find the open bakery in town (it’s a holiday Monday, so not much open). I was starting to feel better, so we easily made the next bit of distance to our lunch stop destination, Lohr am Main.

Lohr was a wonderful little town but there wasn’t a warm meal to be found, so we satisfied ourselves with some tea and coffee. Just as we were about to head out, a lady stopped to talk to us. We had a nice long conversation with her and she told us about how, in the 80s, some historians decided that the story “Snow White” was set in Lohr. They decided that based on the local castle which was full of mirrors, and the local mines which required short employees. She was fantastic.

Leaving Lohr, we were all still feeling really good and we toodled along beside the Main at a leisurely pace, tucking in behind a couple of other cycle tourists for several kilometers. We were going to have our third break at Gemunden (which would also be my decision point for whether to stop for the night), but Laura was too hungry and asked to stop for something to eat. We saw a field of goats… lots of nannies and kids frolicking, so we decided to enjoy a bite to eat by the goats.

When we got back underway, we were on approach to Gemunden when the cycle trail ended and we had to ride on the road for a while. Closer to town, we noticed that the bridge across to town was demolished. Brent and Laura were discussing it like the nerdy engineer and construction worker that they are when suddenly we noticed a green bicycle sign detouring us up off the road and onto a gravel road traveling steeply up. We assumed it was a detour to get us off the highway, and with a bit of whingeing, we started to climb the gravel road. And climb. And climb. And climb and climb and climb. Finally when we’d climbed beyond what anyone would consider reasonable, we stopped for a chat and discussed our options. Our options being… keep climbing the gravel road or turn around and go back down the gravel road and ride on the highway that, presumably, we weren’t supposed to be on.

We consulted the map and decided that we were on the road up to the town of Massenbuch, which is on the top of a mountain. Coming down the other side, we would have a few options to connect back onto the Main Radweg, so we opted to keep climbing. Cruelest cycle detour ever. Leaving Massenbuch, the only road we could find out of town was taking us to Wiesenfeld, which was further out of our way than we really wanted to go, but at this point we didn’t have much choice and it had started to rain. We rode down to Wiesenfeld, which, thankfully, was a paved road down. Coming down took 3.5 seconds compared to the 45 minutes or so we spent climbing up (Laura says it was more like 5 million fucking hours). It was a 200m-ish climb on a gravel road that ranged from about 8% to 15% grade. Oof.

When we got to Wiesenfeld, we found a road sign again pointing us even further out of town, so we were pondering the map and discussing options. A couple of fit cyclists with their spandex-butts stopped to help us out and told us in that direction, we’d get to Karlstadt via the Main Radweg, but it would be longer. In this direction, we’d get to Karlstadt shorter, but it would be on a busy road. We thanked them and they headed on their way. We opted at first to go the Main Radweg way, but after a climb out of town on a busy road we couldn’t find a route that made sense so we turned around and went back to take the busy road to Karlstadt.

We took the busy highway up and out of Karlstadt. I was so done at that point I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to keep climbing the road. Finally we made it to the top (without being squished) and started the long downhill towards Karlstadt. Rather than take the busy highway all the way to Karlstadt, we turned toward Karlburg and took the quieter roads to reach Karlstadt. Now THAT was an awesome decision. Thank goodness for Brent because I was going to stay on the highway, but he suggested detouring through Karlburg.

On the whole “Great Detour” (Brent’s name for it), we didn’t see any other cyclists. We’d been seeing bike and bike and bike steadily all day… but not a soul on the detour. We’ve decided that it probably wasn’t really a detour at all, but rather a completely separate route. The other cyclists must have seen a different detour which we missed. Anything can happen!

We finally reached Karlstadt, and found the campingplatz immediately. It didn’t look very appealing from the bridge into town, but it was the best thing ever. The host was extremely friendly and helpful, finding us an amazing site with a little covered table. He brought us three chairs so we could sit, and even an extension cord so we could plug in to the power box. Our E6/ea for the night even includes admission to the swimming pool next door.

There was a lot of suffering today, but this will be one of the days that we’ll never forget. I’m super grateful that Laura is the “soldier on” type, otherwise this could have turned really bad.

A (hopefully) short and (hopefully) uneventful 30km to Wurzburg, and the start of the Romantische Str, tomorrow. Yay!
I’m so glad I figured out ahead of time when the national holidays are in Germany in June. Brent and I were caught unawares a few times in 2015 and were unable to find food or provisions in some very inconvenient times. This time we were completely ready for it and bought groceries ahead of time, which we successfully used to prevent any of us starving to death over the holiday Monday.