We both slept so well! We went to bed around 8:30 pm and slept a solid 10 hours. Sleeping that long is very rare for us. I woke up briefly in the middle of the night to use the bathroom and could hear it raining outside. I was grateful not to be camping. The house we were in had blackout shades, so were it not for our digestive systems turning on we might have slept another hour or two. It was good to only have 66 miles to ride today, as we didn’t feel rushed to get on the road.

We left around 9am in overcast weather – almost cold were it not for the body heat we generate riding. Also, as a special gift from Germany, we had a decent tailwind for the entire morning.

Within 30 minutes of leaving Neef we were passing through a small village and we decided to check Google maps to see if it had a bakery. It had one right about where we had stopped. (We couldn’t see the village well from the trail but we knew it was there.) We rode to it and experienced a delight every human should experience: fresh German apple strudel. Absolutely amazing. I would guess the primary ingredient is sugar, but there were also apples, grapes, and pineapple. It was amazing.

We rode along the trail with the Mosel River to our right and steep mountains covered in vineyards to our left. Access to these vineyards is in the form of a single rail with teeth on the bottom. A small cart with an engine in front followed by a chair followed by a small trailer chugs along the rail. It is hard to express how steep these trails are: in some places they are almost vertical. It is like the most sketchy amusement park ride ever. I can only imagine the terror of descending in reverse. I wish one was operating as we rode by. Bribing someone for a ride might be the best spent euros of any trip. Seriously – these things are crazy.

We made it to Koplenz a little after noon and Komoot routed us nicely through the outskirts of the city, taking us across the Mosel (goodbye Mosel) and over to the Rhein/Rhine. The section along the Mosel might be the most outstanding of any of our trips. Beautiful peaceful bike paths and dedicated bike lanes. Beautiful views. The only downside is there were so many other riders and cars. We’ve grown to love the seclusion of some of our routes, going hours without seeing anyone.

The lack of seclusion created a new challenge: fewer opportunities to “get rid of water.” I don’t know why there are so few public restrooms in Germany, but today we didn’t find a single one we could use, and with the significant presence of other bikers, cars, and boats, we had to become more creative and more daring. Gratefully we managed to maintain appropriate privacy, but not without some close calls.

We stopped at a grocery store a few miles before our airbnb in Hirzenach. (We had figured out yesterday that there were no food options near where we were staying.) For the next few miles we rode with Natalie carrying a backpack full of dinner groceries backwards on her front. It was amazing to look at that load of food, which completely filled our backpack, and realize it would be inside us by nightfall. I think we take for granted the abundance of food we enjoy as well as the lack of food anxiety. We never worry if we’ll go hungry. For so much of the world’s population this isn’t the case.

We are resting in our airbnb overlooking the Rhine. It is such a beautiful view. We have a train track between us and the river and are getting a lot of noise from frequently passing trains. I was experiencing FOMO thinking we should have been on the other side of the river where it would be quiet, and then Natalie pointed out that there were trains on that side also.

Tomorrow is our last day of riding as we make our way to the Frankfurt airport. We are sad that this adventure is coming to an end.

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