We set off for Gera after waking up to the surprise result of the UK elections.
The ride took us 58km, and we deviated from the official bike path more often than not.
We started out doing a little ride through Greiz, as we had been too hot and tired the day before.
There were road works along a long stretch of road directly out of Greiz, we picked our way through on the bikes, though no cars were getting through. We then enjoyed about 10km of beautiful road almost all to ourselves.
After this we found the official bike path and rode along the river for a while. When the path ended, we cut across on very small country roads and through tiny villages Lehnamühle, Tschirma, Altgernsdorf, to Zickra. Some of this ride was on a country plateau, among green wheat fields.
Just at Altgernsdorf we crested a hill and were surprised to see a huge factory on the other side – we ended up riding right past it, on pretty rough roads.
The next biggish town was Berga, and we found the bike path here again. However it had a lot of gravel and was not an easy ride.
Eventually we took a wrong turn on this path (it was signposted to our next stop?) and ended up on a forest road that couldn’t possibly be described as a bike path.
We ended up pushing our bikes out along a steep rocky road. From here Kris just navigated us along country roads away from the river to Gera.
Gera’s East German past is still clear in it’s wide boulevards and remaining soviet style buildings as you enter the town. The town has an unusual layout with trams running on alternate parallel streets and pedestrian walkways in between these streets.
The central square is very attractive – we had some coffee and cake there later and chatted with a local (elderly) lady sitting nearby – she says it is going better since the German reunification. And though things are more expensive, lots of stuff are available in the shops.
Kris had been riding very carefully, trying not to put too much pressure on his cracked right pedal for the last few days. However the tape eventually wore off and the crack was slowly deteriorating. We got directions to a large bike shop from the Tourist Info – it was quite close and had some new pedals at a reasonable price! Kris’s new pedals are bright white and huge – good grip for his feet – no keeping him back now.