So says Claudia, our warm smiling host in Niederstetten, Germany. I had made the simple error of light-heartedly comparing what I imagined to be the internal workings of the human brain to the fantastic and fantastical inner workings of the wunder-hub which provides the gearing for our bikes, with its mystifying planetary structure.
Take a peep inside…
And for the geeks out there, the genius is nicely illustrated here.
This is undoubtedly the most critical single item of our journey. If this goes wrong in the middle of Tibet, without an expert bike mechanic in sight, we are well and truly ……. (well you get the idea). It was in expressing this view that I was straight-facedly chastised by Claudia. It just won’t fail, it is desisgned, engineered and manufactured in Germany and they just don’t make things that don’t work….. and so we have discovered (so far). All the key pieces of kit we have seem to have their origins in Germany. Claudia’s momentarily serious face softens once more into a familiar broad-grin as she injects a element of realism, “It might fail in Tibet, but it is really really unlikely”.
And so we have pedalled onwards, leaving behind Mittel Franken and its fabulous beer (Faust beer is my favourite so far -which Karl Albert, our wise local historian in Miltenberg Am Main, was only too happy to share with us). Fascinating days tracing the early days of Juliana’s (Francesca’s mum’s) life are detailed in a previous post.
And onwards yet to the Austrian border, through proud Bavaria, again with its wunder-bier and a Brauhaus safely positioned on every street-corner. Lest we forget, the towns and villages we pass through have been replete with Fasching (spelling? This is apparently connected to “Fasting”) celebrations and plenty of dirndls. For those of you unacquainted with the splendour of the dirndl and its juxtaposition to the ale…..
Almost our final act before leaving Germany was to try out a slightly alternative form of transport. One upon which Francesca and I could commune in perfect synchronicity and harmony. Needless to say our 10mins on a tandem was sufficient experience to re-instate the status quo ante and restore us to our familiar steads which now whisk us through Austria….
It is now late and there is much more to write but you will simply have to await The Sound of Music and Styrian tales that I promise will follow shortly…..