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Friday, July 22, 2022

June 14th - Weesen to Pragg-Jenaz

 I was still jet-lagged, waking up at 1am, which wasn't actually that bad, since I could go downstairs, take all the laundry up, and hang it up so everything was dry by 8am! I then took another melatonin pill, but still had trouble sleeping for another couple of hours. The supermarket was closed by the time we were done with dinner the night before, so we didn't have anything available for breakfast except for the leftover snacks, clif bars, and Gatorade chews brought with us from California. I ate some of the leftover snacks and bread, and the kids would claim they weren't hungry, but by the end of the day I would discover that nearly all of our cycling food was gone, meaning that they had made use of their feedbags and were chomping away all through our ride.

Xiaoqin had neglected to bring a second pair of bike shorts and decided to borrow mine instead. (Fortunately, my shorts from the previous night had dried enough that I could wear it) I guess being married means that you need to share bike shorts as well, in sickness and in health!

It had been 12 years since I'd last been in the area, but my memories of the surprisingly non-flat ride along Walensee were born out. There was even a climb when we had to get off the bike and walk, while Xiaoqin's e-bike had no problem managing the climb. After that, the ride along the lake was beautiful, though the water not as calm as I'd hoped, with a breeze blowing through creating ripples.

In downtown Walenstadt, I found an open bike shop just across the street from the water fountain where I was filling up my water bottle, and walked into it hoping to get help. The mechanic spoke even before I opened my mouth, "I'm so excited about your bike even before you walked in!" he declared. With that, when I showed him my front derailleur and explained what happened with TSA, he clucked and declared, "You should be so mad --- this is not OK. I hope I have a long enough cable to fix this." When I showed him the DaVinci cable splitters, he immediately figured out how they worked, and had me moved the bike to his shop so he could do an installation. I asked Xiaoqin to take this moment to buy herself a new pair of bike shorts. "Couldn't I just keep using yours? They fit so nicely!" "But on a rainy day they won't dry in time and both of us will be stuck with wet shorts!" The one time I'm authorizing my wife to pay expensive swiss prices for clothing is the one time she's reluctant to do it, but she eventually agreed that she needed a second pair of shorts.

After that, it was a flat ride up the valley towards the Rhine River, where we would follow the Rhine to Bad Ragaz and Landquart before starting the climb over to Jenaz. There's an alternate route that would take you over to Maienfeld, but I noted that it introduced additional climbing on a day when we didn't need any. In fact, upon leaving Walenstadt we immediately faced a climb which exercise our newly installed front derailleur, which worked to perfection!
In Landquart, I got hungry and we stopped by a migros to buy snacks, cherry tomatoes, ice cream, chocolate, and (disappointing to Xiaoqin), hazelnuts that turned out not to be roasted and therefore weren't very yummy. Coming out of Landquart, the bike path turns into dirt, but it was only for a couple of kilometers before dumping us out onto a frontage road along the river. This was a common place for kids to ride --- we saw a group of school age children riding along the same route, and the triplet got plenty of stares.

The climbs were occasional, coming in between towns, but then flattening out in a series of stair steps. Riding into Pragg, I noted that the Hotel Sommerfeld looked like it was closed, which explained why I couldn't get reservations there instead of having to book an apartment. I wasn't too sorry about that --- the apartment had a washing machine, and I liked the prospect of not having to do laundry for the first 3 nights of the tour.

We got to the apartment and had a hard time communicating with the apartment owners, but it turned out that they'd left the keys for us, so after that phone call we managed to get ourselves installed and get all the equipment charging. The owner told us that none of the restaurants in town were open, so I had to head down the hill with Xiaoqin's e-bike to buy groceries.

There wasn't really much to do other than that, so after using the washing machine and hanging everything up we just went to bed!


N said...

The bike shop mechanic sounds so excitable about bikes. 😀

Piaw Na said...

Triplets are uncommon in Europe. Even tandems are rare. Most European houses don't have room for such a large bike.