The last ten days have seen me traverse the north half of Germany in the shape of a triangle. I thought I’d share a bit of my experiences in doing so. In real life, I’m an ophthalmologist (MD specialized in eye care). We have a yearly conference in Düsseldorf in early spring called AAD. It’s worthwhile to attend if only to to fill up on your CME credits. In the past I went there by car, train and recumbent bike, but with my new-found motorcycle passion, this year’s vehicle was a given.
On the weekend before the conference, I went up north to my parents to do some system administration on their computers. I started 11:00 am on Friday and diverted off the usual route, coming out of the Harz mountains at Herzberg and crossing Lower Saxony on a more westerly course. Weather was dry and cool, very good riding conditions, I felt warm enough in my Vanucci winter “leathers” (nylons would be more like it, but… no).
Systems check at my parent’s soon showed that my mother’s computer was on it’s last legs, so we decided to get a new Mac mini. The next Apple Store is in a mall in the north of Hamburg. Of course, I volunteered to ride there and get it the next day. Nice weather again, the familiar roads in Schleswig-Holstein were a blast!
On the way back, I stopped at the farm shop of farm shops and got some wholemeal pastries.
The new Mac mini did well and my mother has already adapted to it and Mac OS X “Mavericks”, I think she had “Leopard” on her old one.
But computers, system administration and programming are another one of my passions, let’s get back to bike riding! On Monday last week, it was time to head southwest to Düsseldorf, where that annual conference is held.
This was the longest side of the triangle with 530 km. South of the Elbe, it got almost boring, I went through Ostfriesland. It’s inhabitants are the brunt of a lot of jokes, but the region is monotonous, flat and agricultural. Finally, a bit south of Osnabrück, there was comic relief:
When I arrived at Düsseldorf, I first went to the congress hall to register…
… and found the hotel later:
Spurned by a subway strike on Tuesday, I went to the conference by bike every day, a 15 km ride along the Rhine river. At first, navigating the city traffic was a bit hairy, but then I got used to it. But for the last day, I was lucky with the weather. On Thursday, temperatures even reached 20° C. I used a gap in my schedule and visited custom bike maker Thunderbike again.
It was a nice, warm ride there though the Ruhr region with it’s historical smelting furnaces and metal industry. Thunderbike in Hamminkeln had their impressive motorcycle sculptures on show, plus, they have a roadhouse with tasty burgers on the menu.
So the days in Düsseldorf went by with interesting and challenging rides framing boring conference sessions. I went to other motorcycle stores and saw an Indian:
We’re saying good-bye to Düsseldorf with a photo from the last day there:
The final and shortest side of the triangle was the way back home to Thuringia that I rode yesterday. It went through the Bergisches Land, Siegerland, Rothaargebirge, Hessisches Bergland and the Rhön.