Day 24: Neunkirch, Switzerland to Tieringen, Germany

Riding in the Schwäbische Alb of Germany

Today was supposed to be an easy day, but fatigue, wind, and hills made it pretty hard. I covered 65 miles in about the same time I needed to cover 94 miles yesterday. The day started with a 120 meter climb out of the valley I was in in Switzerland. For you non metric types, that is about 400 feet. Then, when I got to Germany, I climbed another 630 meters, about 2100 feet, mostly in the next ten miles. The Schwäbische Alb area of Germany is not flat, and I started the day in Germany by riding across several ridges on B 314. It is a busy road, with lots of big trucks, minimal shoulder, and, at least this morning, lots of biting flies. It was not fun being passed by large double trailer trucks on 7% grade while being bitten by flies!

Looking back from the top of the first climb

Heading down towards Germany

Looking back in the middle of the last climb on B 314

Life was better after B 314 ended at B 27. Then I rode north, through Zollhaus, to a truck stop next to L 185. I had been riding for two hours and I was hungry! I didn't have any food with me and all the towns I rode through seemed to be closed, so that truck stop was very important. I got a liter of yogurt drink, an ice cream bar, and two soft pretzels to take with me. Then I rode east on L 185 which was flat to slightly down hill. When I reached the end of B 314, I had climbed about 550 M of the days 750 M, so climbing wasn't a big deal for the remaining 45 miles. Late in the day, heading north from Fridingen an der Donau on L 440, headwinds were a problem, but, in the middle of the day, riding was pretty easy except for some places with too much traffic. I solved that problem, for a while, by riding on the Donau Radweg!

My first crossing of the Danube today, right after I got on B 113 - the sky was dripping a bit

A typical rider on the Donau Radweg, and the red poppies I love

The Danube has a pretty impressive gorge east of Muhlheim an der Donau

Before I got the Donau Radweg, I had to get to Tuttlingen. That involved riding on L 185 to B 113 and then riding B113 into Tuttlingen. Unlike Switzerland where you have to guess what road you are on and where it might go, German roads are well signed. Once I made it to B 27, I was able to follow signs the rest of the way to Tuttlingen.

Here is the sign at the intersection of B 27 and L 185
Those blue things are autoroute symbols
The stuff in the center of the image is the truck stop

In Tuttlingen, I stopped for lunch and then crossed the Danube on the westernmost bridge. That worked, but it would have been better to ride into town and cross on one of the two pedestrian/bicycle bridges at the easternmost car bridge. I had to deal with a lot of traffic headed for the autoroute and with climbing out of town before being able to get back into town. The town, incidentally, looks like a pretty neat place. I was focused on getting to the Donau Radweg, so I neglected the town. The signs for the Radweg are good and led me out of the busy area and onto a bike path that went to the Donau Radweg. Neat, and much more peaceful than the traffic in town. It was fun, and nostalgic, being back on that radweg, and the gorge east of Muhlheim an der Donau is quite impressive.

On the radweg, looking at Muhlheim an der Donau

When I go to Fridingen an der Donau, I wanted to just keep riding the Radweg, even though at that point it was headed south and I was planning on heading north. I rode out of town to the south, but then, looking at the sky ahead which was black, decided it might be better to ride north! The weather had been dark all morning and I had heard thunder earlier, so I didn't want to chance riding into a storm. I turned around and rode out of Fridingen an der Donau on L 440, heading north.

Riding out of Fridingen an der Donau on L 440

Riding L 440, which was also signed as L 433 on part of the route, was very nice. It was bit hilly, and a good road through the Black Forest. I had two problems: one was the headwinds that I already mentioned and the other was a motor cyclist who scared me pretty badly by passing me close, on a curve, on a road whose speed limit was 40 mph, at what felt like 100 mph!

The lean angle on his bike appeared to exceed 45 degrees. Impressive, but when you are peacefully cranking along at 12 mph on a quiet road and something large and loud flies by a foot or so away a 100 mph, it is unnerving. While the rider was very good and was obviously having a good time playing with his toy, I wish, for the sake of my serenity < grin > , they would enforce the laws for motorcyclists in Europe!

Although L 440 is a very beautiful road, I soon got tired of riding uphill into headwinds. So, since I only needed a short ride today, I started looking for a place to stop. There were several towns without a place, and one town with a place where no one responded to my knock on the door. I was psychologically ready to get off the road, but still grinding on into the wind. That was not fun. Finally, almost through Tieringen, my last hope before what looks like a good climb, I saw an open Gasthous. The Greek owner, with little English, and I, with little German, determined that I would take a basic room for 25 E including breakfast. It has no toilet, but it does have a sink and a shower. It is pretty basic, but I think I will sleep well tonight. I'm high enough up that the night should be cooler after the sun goes down. Right now the sun is beating into my room because of a broken shutter. If that shutter worked, it would be fine in here now, as it is, I'll go to sleep when the sun goes down and get up when it comes up!

I had a large beer and a large Gyro supper tonight, which I finished with a small glass of ouso. Nice, and it only cost about 10 E. This day, with snacks, lunch, dinner, bed, and breakfast, will cost less than 45 E. Not bad, especially now that the dollar is back close to parity with the Euro.

I did sleep well. I didn't even stay up till dark. As soon as the sun went behind the hills - 8:30? - I was in bed, and I got up at 6:30. Breakfast was good and now I'm getting ready to head for Magstadt, where I'll be staying with a friend for a few days before heading southeast to Slovenia. The weather is overcast again today, and I hope I don't get rained on!

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