Cycling from Düsseldorf to Köln and beer festival!
May 31, 2019
After the cycling event of last time, I finally decided to make a public event on couch surfing. This time, in order to do something relatively easy, we cycled from Düsseldorf to Köln, where the beer festival was taking place.
Usually Düsseldorf is not the right place to start an outdoor activity, but this time, I thought it would take so little time to leave the city if we cycle, that it wouldn’t be so disturbing. I quickly found out I was quite wrong. From the starting point, for which I set Tonhalle, it was simply stressful to go through the city, especially until we left Neuss, which is already fairly far away from Düsseldorf. According to Alfredo, my flatmate who rarely joins us, it is nicer to cycle on the east side of the Rhine, which is rather counterintuitive since the main part of Düsseldorf is on the east side of the Rhine. On the other hand, with only 8 people joining the event today, it was probably a good idea to leave the better one for the future.
After Neuss, the situation changed little by little. The industrial area gradually changed to a residential area, which transformed into fields. The best would have been probably if we had taken a bridge or a boat at some distance after Neuss, which is what is given in most of the cycling trails going from Düsseldorf to Köln (without mentioning why they avoid the west side of the river).
I was planning to have a break at Dormagen, but actually the cycling lane did not allow us to reach the city straightforwardly. In the end we had a break in the middle of nowhere, just like when we hiked the first time. The Rhine became much cleaner compared to 10 years ago, but it is still not a cheerful place to chill. Right after started cycling again, we saw a better place to have a break. Well, next time…
Fortunately the beer festival was a more lively place than the one we saw in Schwelm. And fortunately, it wasn’t that overpriced, and still fairly easy to find a place to sit. This is what a beer festival should be like 🙂
Well, it is not like there was a specific problem in today’s event, but it was not perfectly satisfactory to me either. It is, as a matter of fact, not so easy to be the very person navigating all way long, although fortunately signs popped up at some point after Neuss, which made it significantly easier for me. Compared to the hiking events, it is not that easy to spontaneously start navigating, since you cannot practically hold a phone and cycle. In my case, I have a phone holder attached to my bike. And I have an adapter which allows me to charge my phone using the dynamo of my bicycle. Also, since we are inherently more dispersed when we cycle, we get lost more easily. The question is for me, how to make people realise that it is not important to keep me in sight, since I’m sharing my location all the time on WhatsApp. I will still have to think about this point in the future sessions.