|Mango at Bourtange|
Bourtange itself is a star shaped fortress and village dating from the eighty years war between 1568 and 1648. At the time it was militarily important and guarded the only road between Germany and Groningen. Now it's a museum.
|Willow growing in a reserve|
I didn't really need to carry on from Bourtange into Germany, but I thought it would be nice to have a German beer at the furthest point from home before turning around again. However, the owners of the cafe I stopped at had other ideas. It was shut. I've called past the same place several times now, and never managed to get any refreshment at all.
Anyway, that was the furthest I had any reason to ride, so I turned around and headed home again. A 120 km afternoon bike ride, including a trip back in time and to visit a foreign country, a few stops for food and drink and to take photos, and I was back in time for dinner.
|German cycle route signs. Those on|
the right point towards the
Netherlands, including Bourtange.
Today I finally got around to taking off the winter tyres on my Mango and putting on summer tyres. Marathon Plus tyres are some of my favourite tyres. I've used the same pair on the front of my Mango all through the last two winters, and another on the rear this last winter, apart from when it was icy and I rode with a Marathon Winter studded tyre. They're fantastically reliable, and virtually impossible to puncture. The whole family has these tyres on at least one of each of our bikes, and in many tens of thousands of km none of us has ever had a single puncture with the Marathon Plus.
They're really great tyres... but... you can probably see where this is going. Having to fix a puncture in the middle of winter is downright unpleasant. I'll put up with a slightly heavier / slightly slower tyre to avoid this happening.
|The pub with no beer. Again.|
Lighter, faster tyres are more fun to ride with - just what's needed for summer cycling. It's like having a new, lighter, faster bike, every spring, and best of all this comes free of charge.
You have to replace tyres eventually, when they're worn out. All I've done is to have a second set which I use for warmer months. The tyres which came off today will go back onto the bike next winter, as again I'll to looking to avoiding the possibility of fixing punctures in the snow.
There now seems to be a huge difference in sidewall construction between the wire bead and folding versions of the Marathon Racer tyre.
Read my review of the Sinner Mango Velomobile.