Back to Bayern with Jeremy Goss - the first weekend

Jeremy Goss reports on the latest stages of his Back to Bayern charity ride.

Two days – 200 miles. It's not been the easiest of weekends by any stretch, but sitting here in glorious evening summer sunshine on a campsite at Speyer, just south east of Kaiserslauten, it's certainly a great feeling of achievement.

Today has been a relative doddle compared to yesterday, which I have to say was one of the toughest days of my life. Think Michael Caine and the Italian Job and you'll get some idea of the terrain we were covering.

Steep, steep Rhineland Valley hillsides that had me pumping out of the saddle for 10 minutes at a time before zig-zagging down perilous hairpins... only to face yet more climbs that make Gas Hill in Norwich look like a skating rink. Breathtaking scenery, but physically and emotionally draining.


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It was just as bad in its own way for Wally, motor home driver Mark Walton, who was trying at the same time to navigate and negotiate these unyielding passes, often having to drop down to first gear to manoeuvre round.

It took us 10 hours to complete 102 miles and reach the delightful Rhineland town of Mayern, which ironically is not a million miles from Norwich's twin city of Koblenz. And then two more frustrating hours to find a campsite.

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It's fair to say Mark and I were at each other's throats at times because of the stresses and sheer hard work. But it's at times like this that you find out who your real friends are – and Mark's a giant in more ways than one.

Today, we've covered another 102 miles and landed at Speyer in reasonable time, once we managed to get on the right road out of town. We're finding that it's taking us an age just to get to a place where I can safely start the day's ride free of motorway traffic.

I'm as stiff as a board, with my right thigh particularly tight, which has brought Wally the masseur into play. Still, as we arrived we passed what looked like a nice little restaurant a couple of hundred yards away, so we're off there now for something to eat.

Tomorrow, we're Stuttgart bound. And I do hope there aren't any mountains there.

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