The plan was for a relatively straightforward 60-mile ride almost all along the Danube into Belgrade. It got much more interesting than that. This is what the route looked like:
Cloudy skies with a forecast for rain just means different gear. We left the Zenit Hotel in Novi Sad early, and rode out of town on the main road south of the Danube, indicated on the map affectionately as 22.1. About 7 miles into the ride, the Garmins routed us off the main road onto some amazingly bad riding conditions on EuroVelo 6.
First, the only actual riding shot of the day, Lisa leading up a hill on the “road” with Nels and Jürgen coming along
Then the bad roads combined with bad hills.
The conditions were bad, and we kind of came to the end of the road a number of times.
And then it started to rain pretty hard and the road conditions got worse.
I hid under a park sign while Jürgen and Lisa tried to decide which way to go.
Then we found a really nice stretch of road of HUGE cobblestones, probably from hundreds of years ago.
Yes, it is as steep as it looks. Finally we found a paved road into Beska, where we stopped at a bar. Jurgen fell asleep.
I locked the van keys in the van. Other things happened. We drove a ways in the van. Then at this gas station with another dead sign, Lisa, Nils and Jurgen decided to ride into Belgrade. In addition to the usual distances and town names, the red portion of this Serbian EuroVelo Route 6 sign says: Face the sun and shadows will always be at your back. (Maori Proverb)
Eventually we all showed up at the Hotel Townhouse 29. Annie, Tom and Bob went off and dropped off Tom Cox’s bike at a shop to get packed up. Belgrade was the end of the road for him and he flew out to Berlin to see Millie in the afternoon. The rest of us washed up in the clean, cool, modern hotel, and then went to the roof to visit with our new riders, Cherie (mom) and Katharine (daughter) Stofer to have some wine, look at Belgrade, and look at pictures of the trip.
Then Dan Tana and his wife Bebe showed up and took us out to dinner. Quite a fun and delightful dinner.
Around the table it’s Bob, Lisa, Dan Tana, Annie, Katharine, Jurgen, Cherie, Bebe and Nels.
More on Dan, Bebe and Belgrade tomorrow. Bye Tom! We’ll miss you!
Bob 8/2/11 4:35p Istanbul