Heiner, my friend who helped me route in France and Germany,
sitting at a cafe in Tubingen where we rode on the first day of my visit to Magstadt

Heiner and I rode, unloaded, from Magstadt down to Tubingen by a direct route and then back to Magstadt following the Ammer valley to Herrenburg and then using bikepaths to get back to Magstadt. Heiner would have liked to do a longer ride involving the Wuerm valley, but I need to get to a bank to get some money, so we went south to Sindelfingen for the bank and on through Boblingen and then almost directly south to Tubingen on a new express-route to Holzgerlingen and then through Naturpark Schunbuch. We rode though busy cities and on quiet forest trails, stopping at Bebenhausen monastery where the Baden-Wurttemburg Parliment was meeting to commemorate the creation of Baden-Wurttemburg fifty years ago. We stopped at a cafe in the Marketplatz in Tubingen, then walked through the old city before riding radwegs in the Ammer valley to Herrenburg.

Heiner, riding in the woods

Tubingen and the Neckar
which is high and muddy from the recent rain

The bike paths in the Ammer valley were nice and riding, in part because we were climbing a bit, was warmer. Coming down to Tubingen involved a mostly downhill ride in chilly, damp weather. It was nice to be warm again. When we got to Herrenburg we were, briefly, on the route I rode getting to Magstadt, but I rode on the road and Heiner and I rode on the bikepaths. The bikepaths offer a more pleasant, but much more confusing, route. We rode through Gdrtringen and Darmsheim on our way to Magstadt. Even Heiner, who knows this area very well, ended up on the wrong path at one point. The paths are not marked and, with lots of new construction in the towns, it can be hard to remember the right one to take.

We had a lovely dinner that evening. Claudia, Heiner's wife, is a great cook as well as a very gracious lady. I greatly enjoyed visiting with them and really appreciate their hospitality. Touring is great, and visiting with people like Heiner and Claudia is one of the best things about touring.

The town hall in Markgruningen

The next morning. Heiner and I headed for Heidelburg. We split my load between our bikes to equalize our riding speeds - it didn't, Heiner is a much stronger rider than I am, but he was kind enough to let me set the pace - and rode north from Magstadt towards the Enz River Valley. We rode through Renningen, Eltingen, and Leonberg. Then we rode along the Glems valley through Ditzingen, where we stopped at the recumbent bike shop for this part of Germany, Nippenburg, and Markgrvningen, where, after about fifteen miles of riding, we took a coffee break across from the magnificent town hall. In the Enz valley we rode through Bietigheim and Besigheim to the Neckar. That was another 15 miles of nice riding. We rode the Nekar Radweg through Nordheim, Hockheim, where we stopped for lunch, Heilbronn, Neckersulm, then up a steep hill to Bad Wimpfen before descending back to the river, and on to Hassmersheim, Zwingenber, where we took the ferry across the river, and finally to Eberbach afer about 60 miles on the Nekar. I was slow and the radweg was longer than we expected, so we stopped in Eberbach where, after a nice visit at a great bakery, Heiner took the train to Stuttgart and I checked into a nice hotel.

Me, on the ferry at Zwingenber
note my back bags on Heiner's bike

Heiner passing other riders,
there were lots of other tourists on the Neckar radweg

The next morning, I rode on to Heidelburg to visit my daughter. That section of the radweg contained some of the worst riding conditions, but was mostly smooth dirt. The Enz radweg was a well maintained dirt path. The Neckar radweg was everything from smooth pavement to not so well maintained dirt and broken pavement. Our average speed was not much over 11 mph, despite the fact that we were riding at 13 to 14 mph. There are just too many places where you have slow down on these radwegs to maintain for a good average speed. On the other hand, the riding is easy, the view is often great and mostly these radwegs are well signed. Heiner had, and used, a map, so he would know where the radweg changed route and even then we, just twice, missed the radweg and had to backtrack. I also missed it once riding to Heidelberg because, although it was signed, the sign was different in style from all the other radweg signs and I didn't see it.

Heiner riding past an old Citroen 2CV at Bad Wimpfen
The literal high point of the Neckar radweg

What would a ride down a river in Germany be without a few castles?

and a vineyard or two?

And, at the end of the Neckar Gorge, there is Heidelberg!

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