DAY TEN - Bippen to Bremen

Day Ten was one of our best riding days of the trip. We covered 80 miles in exactly 5hours, giving us an average speed of 16mph.

We set off from the campsite at around 8am, and went into town to grab some breakfast and snacks for our jerseys. Then we pushed off down the cycle paths that ran parallel to the country roads. The riding was flat and smooth, as it had been for most of mainland Europe.

We hadn't managed to find a map (anywhere) for this day of the trip. All we had to rely on was a crib sheet that we had put together the night before in the campsite. It turns out we added 9 miles to the day using this crib sheet instead of a map, but it worked.

We had to get to a small place called: Bassum, here we would be met by Joey (Our host during our stay in Bremen) and he would help guide us into the city. 

The roads were easy today, perhaps it was the excitement to get to Bremen, or the breakfast we had, but something made us fly.. We didn't stop for lunch as we were meeting Joey at 13:00 20 miles from Bremen.
We were a little late, but met Joey at 13:15 on the road between Bassum and Syke. We all introduced ourselves, then followed our host through the last 30Km of countryside before the city.

Matt had been having some trouble with his brakes for the last two days, and was hoping to get them fixed in Bremen, but on the way in they gave up completely and Matt wrapped himself and his bike around a streetlight. It looked more dramatic than it was and we were only 3km from a bike shop.

Joey had told us that this bike shop would be fixing our bikes free of charge! This was just one of the many kind things that Joey organised for us, but also another example of the kindness shown to us by complete strangers.

We dropped the tired bikes off and headed back to Joey's apartment. It was awesome, beer and pasta awaited us, as well as a hot shower. 

 After dinner we went back to the shop to pick up the bikes. We couldn't believe how nice the shop was, old track and racing frames everywhere, some vintage jerseys and caps as well as modern parts too. The guys in the shop had fixed Matt's brakes, changed the bars, the bar tape, shifted the levers to a better position and swapped the rounded off bolt in the front brake for a brand new one. We were so grateful for this, and still can't believe it. Joey had also organised to local press to come and take pictures of us for the paper.

One more thing we were excited about in Bremen was polo! Although the rain had started up, we were all cycling through the city and picking up polo players along the way. We got to the car park of Werder Bremen football club and the guys started setting up the goals and cones. 

We played on our road bikes which was tough, and Dyfan and Ed had a go too. they both picked it up well, but Dyfan fell off and got tangled in his bike.

It was hammering it down, so we were humbled by the fact these guys had come to play. We left polo at around 9pm and had a quick (wet) tour of the old city before going back to the apartment to dry off and drink some more beer.

 We wanted to say a huge thank you to all the people in Bremen who helped us out, kept us busy/fed/dry and to the guys who fixed our bikes. It really gave a fantastic impression of the city. The name of the bike shop is fahrradfeinkos and you can find them here: www.fahrradfeinkost.de

Total miles: 81
Time in the saddle: 5h 4m
Total time: 7h

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