Biking to the Rhine
It’s just Morgan and I today, and he is fairly non-committal about plans. Since he got to go paragliding last week, he is lackadaisical, as if he can’t imagine there will be anything else fun to do for the entire trip. In a monotone, he says he will do anything that I want to do since he got to do what he wanted already. I know he wants more excitement, which cannot be found in museums or boat rides. I’m trying to get him excited about a half day bike rental. No response. Not even the idea of biking to the nearby Rhine River excites him. Nor does climbing the Cathedral or going to the Modern Art Museum. However, sometimes you have to actually start doing a thing before you decide that it is fun.
First, we try the bikes. Can’t rent until 130pm for a good half-day rental. We climb the Cathedral. I am slow, taking pictures along the way. We time it so the bells are ringing when we are up there. It’s not as loud as you would think. There’s lots of graffiti from the 1700s. Morgan is unimpressed.
We walk to the art museum, wait for it to open, then go around the building to find a sign saying they’re closed for the day. Neither disappointment nor joy from Morgan. We go back to the room, killing time for an hour, waiting for the rain to abate (it’s been on-and-off all day) before we try the bikes again. It’s hard to leave the pull of YouTube on the internet, but ok, whatever I want, let’s bike ride.
The bike place has easy-to-pedal one-speed bikes and the city has excellent dedicated bike trails. I find a route to the Rhine but Morgan flies ahead on a straight stretch, and by the time I catch up with him, we’ve passed the turn. We’re making good time, though, and so continue along the Ill River around Strasbourg out of town.
After about 20 minutes of riding, we find parkland. It’s starting to rain, but we continue pedaling. It’s a huge forest park, and Morgan wants to take the street rental bikes down a deer trail. I veto the idea and we stay on the bike path. We come to a little lake off the main path and leading away from it is another path, not as big as the bike path, but big enough, and with hardpacked dirt. Morgan begs, I allow, and we are really in the woods now.
This path is for walkers, I think, but it is raining pretty hard now and there is no one fool enough to be walking the nature trail in this weather. We bike past swampy areas and have to walk our bikes over steps and bridges. A friendly muskrat is in the lake. We’re soaked, I have no idea where we are, and pray to find the proper bike trail again. Fortunately, we were following a circular trail and here’s the little lake again. A little farther out, we follow the trail pointing to the Rhine, and come out at the great river.
We return the bikes covered with mud (not to mention ourselves), get some ice cream and meet George back at the room. After a long hot shower, it’s off to a weinstube (a wine pub/restaurant) for an excellent meal. The former lackadaisical kid can’t say enough about how fun the bike ride was. My butt hurts and my legs are sore from three hours pedaling, but all in all, it was a great day. Score one for Mom!