Today we celebrated our first flat tire . . . surely those were exclamations of joy coming from Miles! It happened in the morning before we even left the campsite and strangely enough was caused by the pump that came with the bicycle. Apparently it requires two people to function properly and without being braced it tore the inner tube. Miles gave me my first lesson in changing the tube and we headed off to Mainz.
We found to our disappointment that the scenic part of our Rhein ride was over. In fact we were no longer even riding along the river but rather inland through small fields and orchards. Not ugly, but not all that interesting either, so we took advantage of the protected and well-marked bike path to speed our way to Mainz. The main attraction in Mainz was the Gutenburg Museum dedicated to the man who invented the printing press, sharing the history of book writing and illustrating, and displaying three versions of the first bible ever printed.
After this museum stop came our possibly game-changing decision. In Koblenz we met a Canadian couple in Koblenz who was at the beginning of a six-month bike tour during which they would cross the French Alps. This got Miles thinking and he suggested we perhaps add the Alps to our itinerary. We thought this plan over for a couple days and have decided to pursue it. The route is unclear yet but we do know that we will take a train to Munich tomorrow and head south from there into the Austrian Alps!