Osnabrück – Münster (64km)
25 riders. Average speed 15.5km/h. Time pedalling 4h07m
Another chilly start to the day. But although it was cold the sun shone brightly while we ate a vegan breakfast, prepared for us by cheerful comrades at SubstAnz who woke up early to see us off. We were joined by five local day riders- two from SubstAnz, Julian´s parents Gaby & Gregor and a member of ADFC (the German Bicycle club) called Elmar.
Under brilliant blue skies we left Osnabrück with a new and improved strategy for navigating cities. Six of us in hi-vis vest took on responsibility for guiding the group safely through junctions, stewarding those at the back by gesturing to cars to wait. (Legally as a group of +16 cyclists we should be considered as one vehicle but obviously other roads users are not accustomed to large groups of cyclists).
After a morning featuring several challengingly steep slopes and a huge effort from the trailer boys Peter & Gillis, we stopped for lunch at Kattenvenne. The venue that offered us shelter from the cold was an evangelic church community centre where smiling local members of the green party were waiting for us. They received us like the cycling pilgrims that we are, offered us soup (creamy, hot, perfect veggie soup) coffee and cookies, and told us about some of their local environmental projects.
We made easy progress in the afternoon with high spirits inspired by the sunshine and Gaby´s delicious carrot cake. Arrival in Münster at 16h was under a bright pink skies. We rolled into our accommodation at the Umwelthaus – a large terraced house that provides a base for environmental organizations including Greenpeace & NABU – dropped off our luggage and refreshed a little. Those with bike issues were guided by Elmar to the local ADFC workshop to fine-tune their rides, while the rest of us strolled out into town for a demonstration with our Greenpeace allies.
This turned out to be a big success. We gathered a crowd of around 80 people in front of the town hall, displaying banners, holding lit candles and chanting for climate justice. We did a quick lap marching around the very beautiful town centre with more chanting and singing and then reassembled at the town hall. Here there were a couple of short addresses on the megaphone from Greenpeace and Cooperiders and following an interview with the local press, things wrapped up.
By happy co-incidence (or was it?!) the Christmas market in Münster opened this evening, so we went directly there for Glühwein, Schmalzgebåck and gebrannte Mandeln. We were then treated to pizza and pasta by Julian’s parents who very generously (!) invited the whole group to an Italian restaurant. It felt like a massive treat to go out to a restaurant.
The fact that tonight we are passed the halfway point gives us a special feeling. We rest tonight knowing that we have now travelled 745kms!
PS: If you haven’t by now, we would be absolutely happy if you supported us via our crowdfunding campaign which will end this week.