Molly on the Main

Day 5 - Tuesday, May 28

We had breakfast and coffee, packed our bags and rode to BITOK, (Steve's workplace 28 years ago.) Said hello/goodbye to friends there and then moved on to the Zollinger bakery to buy sandwiches for a picnic on the trail. The weather was cool (mid-50's) and threatening to rain, so I had dressed to stay warm. However, by the time we got to the bakery, I was already too warm and had to make some adjustments and put some clothes back into the pannier.

By 11 am, we were heading out of Bayreuth, riding along a paved bike trail lined with chestnut trees. The sprinkling rain did not start until about an hour later, and a true rain never fell on us until we were only about 10 km from our stopping point for the day (Burgkundstadt.) So all in all, we were very fortunate with today's weather.

The route took us through some familiar places, ones we remember from our time living in Bayreuth. In Heinersreuth, we rode directly past the house of a good friend, where we remember enjoying dinner one evening with friends and playing with our friends' kittens. In Altdrrossenfeld, we paused at Brauerei Schnupp, a place where we liked to go to enjoy a good trout dinner. We once made a bicycle trip to Altdrossenfeld (about 25 years ago, on Memorial Day weekend), but we had difficulty finding the route and ended up riding a soft trail through a pine forest. My front wheel wiggled in the soft surface, and in correcting it, I ended up falling sideways into a blackberry patch with my bicycle on top of me. Later, Steve crashed his bike on the pavement when he got distracted trying to tune in a radio broadcast of the Indy 500, and he ended up with a scraped elbow. We returned safely though somewhat battered from that adventure, and we always referred to this as "the bloody ride to Altrdrossenfeld."

Near Mainleus, we crossed the confluence of the Roter Main (Red Main) and the Weisser Main (White Main), which join together to form the Main River. The source of each of these branches is not far from Bayreuth, where we started today's ride. The Roter Main springs from a place a few kilometers south of Bayreuth in the Frankischeschweiss (Franconian Switzerland), and the the Weisser Main from a place northeast of there near the Ochsenkopf, a mountain peak in the Fichtelgebirge (Fir Mountains.) We had planned to have our picnic at the confluence, and it would have been an ideal spot, for there were picnic tables there, but they were wet from the rain. So we took a couple of photos and moved on to the next village, where we found a park bench in dry spot under a linden tree. We ate our ham and salami sandwiches and then moved on. But a short while later, we stopped at a beer garden on the outskirts of Mainleus to have coffee and cheesecake.

Toward the end of today's route, the sky darkened and we knew we were in for a some rain. We were only 6 km from Burgkundstadt, so we waited a bit for the first of the rain and then pressed on.

In Burgkundstadt, we checked into the Hotel Drei Kronen, where we had reserved a room for tonight. After doing our laundry and taking showers, we enjoyed dinner and a couple beers in restaurant. We looking forward to a good night's sleep and perhaps fairer weather tomorrow.

Today's mileage: 34.62 miles.

Steve and Molly, at the start of the bicycle trip before leaving Bayreuth

Example of the signs on the bike trail. We are following the Main Radweg.

On the trail - signage explaining regional sheep-herding traditions ("The Sheep in the Pasture")

The 23rd Psalm in German

Brauerei Schnupp in Altdrossenfeld

An interesting house in a village on the bike trail

Molly and Steve at the confluence of the Roter Main and the Weisser Main.

A stone tablet showing the map of the confluence of the two branches of the Main

On the trail

Dinner at Hotel Drei Kronen in Burgkkundstadt - salmon filet with spargel (white asparagus)

Pork medallions in a mushroom cream sauce

Duchess potatoes and salad


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