So my brother in law and I had the insane idea to cycle 240km up along the river Ruhr from the point where it flows into the Rhine to its head - some 230km total - and back. All in two days.
The first mistake was to attempt it in winter. The second was to do it without gradual buildup in the weeks leading up to the tour. Basically I just commuted like normal and only included some little additional training and my brother in law did even less.
At kilometer 190, with 50km to go and about 500m of elevation in front of us, most of it compressed within a 15km climb we decided that we wouldn’t ride back the next day and instead sleep in, have a nice breakfast at the hotel and then do a short and easy 20km recovery ride to the next trainstation which ist located at an altitude 350m higher than the hotel.
Here is the elevation profile of the tour:
The ~10km descend in the end was brutal:
-4°C, ice cold wind and I slipped on some build up ice and crashed at ~40km/h. Luckily I only have some minor abrasions and a dent in my ego.
Obviously my clothes (gloves, cycling pants and windshield jacket) are done for. For safety reasons I will also replace my helmet which saved me from worse even though it was only a light contact with the road.
Here is an overview. We deliberately took it slow knowing the last 50km would be brutal, however this was maybe a little too slow:
Flooded cycling paths were also an issue:
Beautiful sunset with 50km left:
All in all a great experience that I will never repeat - at least like this: during winter, with a hard climb, followed by a tricky descent to finish it off.
And this is the profile of todays recovery ride: