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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014

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An outside skylight at Zuoth Hostel in Donauworth.
An outside skylight at Zuoth Hostel in Donauworth.
The farmers market in Nordligen.
The farmers market in Nordligen.
Max and Mority fighting with a chicken ... no clue what that's about.
Max and Mority fighting with a chicken ... no clue what that's about.

The not-so-helpful man

BUHLERTAHN, GERMANY - I reluctantly left the wonderful youth hostel in Donauworth this morning.

Before going, I was finally able to fix my handlebars. They had slipped a little following the rain in Neuburg.

I tried fixing them while in downtown Neuburg but a really old man stopped to help. He rode past, slowly on his orange one-speed; had on a golfers hat, a light brown windbreaker, plaid shorts, dark socks and sandals. The man also wore bicycling gloves, but the gloves looked antique, like they were made of expensive leather.

I had already loosened the bolt on the stem so my allen wrench could get at the other bolt and secure the bars in a better upright position.

I'd call the old man "damnit," for lack of a better name because in my brain I kept saying, "Damnit would you cut it out?"

I had the stem in place and the old man grabbed it and started lifting. No, no, no, I said and pushed the stem back down.

I just about had the wrench on it and the old man twisted things and pulled up again. NYET... no, no, no, stop, stop, stop, nein, nein; he looked at me and grinned.

He was helpful not at all.

Finally I just let him have his way and figured I'd fix it later. I screwed the bolt, smiled, nodded a big thanks and moved along.

The handlebars felt up to my chin, like I was behind the wheel of a school bus.

The bars also were turned a little to the left and didn't ride true over the front wheel. To look down made me nauseous.

German weather report

I sat with three other adults at breakfast at the hostel along with about 50 kids. They were a class of fifth graders on a week-long trip and they were staying at the youth hostel.

Melanie knew a bit of English and helped me read the weather for the day. Next to Melanie sat a little boy; he must of had a food allergy because everything on his tray was in a special carton and not among the selections in the cafeteria.

The boy's father was from the states and the kid knew English but refused to help translate. Melanie said most of the day would be foggy and there would be some rain in the afternoon along with flashlights.

The boy looked at her, raised his eyebrows and said nothing. I asked if she meant lightning and she agreed, that was the term she was looking for.

The day was actually nice, a little cloudy and windy but no rain.

I went from Donauworth to Harburg, moving northwest. Up through Nordlingen where they had the most wonderful library and a helpful man, Wolfgang who spoke distinctly clear English.

I fell for him in a subtle way. "If we'd get married I'd name our first child Wolfgang Junior."

I'm really not sure why he didn't jump at the opportunity.

He explained he had an art show opening shortly and thoughtfully declined my offer. Wolfgang helped me find my way out of town and our/my brief, lusting relationship was over.

From Nordlingen up to Wallersteing and on to Ellwangen. I was forced to stop and wrestled with the stage curtain map as I advanced to the back page. That show was a good 15 minutes but provided a well needed break.

Through Ellwangen, onto Rosenberg and into Buhlertahn; I had over 55 miles in and it was nearing 4 p.m.

It seems I'm on the road a majority of the day, I'm surprised my distance isn't near 70 or 80 miles. I blame the challenge of direction.

In Buhlertahn I managed to secure a church. A woman at the cemetery led me to the parsonage. The priest, Father Bernhardt, initially offered his extensive backyard and suggested I camp under a tree because rain was coming shortly.

A garage became an indoor option and we finally agreed on a huge empty school across the driveway; building that trust factor with a stranger on a bicycle sometimes takes a while.

It started pouring about 30 minutes after I arrived and hasn't let up since.

 

Talkbacks

Jessie | June 10, 2008 at 2:23 p.m. (report)

Hi Judy!
Sounds like a lot of interesting adventures you're going on!! I really like the pictures along with the articles. Have fun!
Jessie

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