Day 25: Tieringen to Magstadt, Germany

Horb am Neckar

Another 'easy' day made harder by routing problems. I rode 80 miles and climbed over 4000 feet today. At least fifteen miles and well over 1000 feet of climbing was added because a road was closed. A decision to take a radweg instead of a busy road on that detour cost me another 400 feet of steep climbing. This is hilly country. If you can follow the rivers, you save a lot of climbing. If you have to go over the ridges, you climb! And when you go up onto the plateaus, you climb!

The bike path I shouldn't have taken

A nice backroad climb out of Muhlen, heading for Nagold

The top of the climb out of the Eyach Valley

I started this morning expecting a climb and, instead, found a big descent. I guess I should have realized that I had been gently climbing for several hours at the end of the day yesterday and it was time to come down from that plateau.

The road was twisty for a while and then did a 200 M descent at 6%. This must be an extra bad place for motorcyclists since there were several warning signs specifically warning them about it. I didn't see any evidence, other than the warning signs, of motorcycle fatalities on this section, but later on L 463, I passed a elegant wooden cross with the name "Andre" carved on it above the carved and painted image of a high powered motorcycle. Of course bicyclists also die, although I expect at a much lower rate than motorcyclists. In Spain I saw a memorial by the road side made out of a bicycle parts.

The first of several motorcycle warnings on this section of L 440

A 200 M vertical downhill into Balingen

Riding out of Ballingen, heading north

In Ballingen, I discovered I couldn't take the road I had planed to take, B 27, because it was an autoroute. Instead I compass navigated my way north until I ran into the next road, L 486, which I then followed until I could get down to L 360 near Bad Imnau. The Eyach river valley is very nice bicycling. The river turns north at Mühringen, and runs into the Nekar two miles later. I was foolish enough to cross the river and climb over the ridge rather than following the rivers. That led me to Nordstetten where my 200 meters of climbing was rewarded with a great bakery!

The Eyach river valley north of Bad Imnau

Looking back at the Eyach river valley


After my snack at Nordstetten, I rode on into Horb am Neckar, which was pretty, but had way too much traffic. Then I rode to Muhlen and headed north on the very peaceful, and fairly steep, K4709. It was fun riding a little road, even when climbing onto a plateau. It was also shaded, which made climbing more comfortable. I rode through Eutingen im Gäu. Göttelfingen, and Vollmaringen, before reaching Gündringen where I turned onto B 463 and rode on into Nagold.

Eutingen im Gäu

B 463 heading to Nagold and Calw


On 463, after Nagold, I was riding in the Nagold river valley where the riding is very nice. I had planned to ride north on 463 past Wildberg and then head east through Gültlingen towards Magstadt. That road was closed, so I ended up riding north to Calw along the river and then doing a lot of climbing and a bit of wandering before I got to Aidlingen where I had been before and knew the way to Magstadt.

When I arrived in Magstadt, I went the Italian Ice Cream place where I had stopped last year, and visited with Luiggi, the owner, before finding my way to Heiner and Claudia's house. Then I spent a great, but exhausting, three nights before Heiner and I rode to Ulm.

Heiner had to work Friday morning, so Claudia took me to the bike store in Magstadt where I got new, wider, better, fenders and a new rear tire for my bike. I think the Conti Travel contact is a great touring tire, but Conti's quality control isn't good. My rear tire's sidewall bulge had gotten bigger and the thump while riding it had gotten worse, so I replaced it with a Schwalb Marathon. My fenders weren't really big enough for 700x37 tires, and have been a constant source of annoyance and noise, so I replaced them with 45 mm wide German fenders. The result is a much smoother and quieter bike.

When Heiner got home from work, we had lunch and then he changed my tire while I changed my fenders. Then we rode near Stuttgart. We visited several high points on the north side of Stuttgart including Solitude, where the rulers of this area lived around 1870, and a hill that was built from the WW II rubble of the city. Stuttgart, an important industrial center, was heavily bombed. While most of the hill seems like a normal, if very symmetric hill, the top of the hill is exposed rubble and it is there to keep people from forgetting the real results of war. These two places have great views of the valley where Stuttgart is located. Then we rode to a third high point, the university campus where Heiner's office is located, and I got my first decent internet access since Spain. Finally, we rode back to Magstadt and all four of us went out to dinner at a very nice Italian restaurant.

On Saturday, Heiner and I did a loop through Pforzheim, a town north of Calw on the Nekar river. The loop was 100 km and as hilly as the Blue Ridge Parkway and as pretty. Most of it was on radwegs along rivers, but the climbs getting between the rivers more than made up for the relatively flat riding along the rivers. On the way back to Magstadt, we stopped in Weil der Stadt at a bike store that was just about to close at 2 PM, and I got two new Sigg water bottles. That night we attended Lisa's Abiball - highschool graduation celebration - in Herrenberger, getting home about 1 AM. The Abiball was a neat cultural experience for me and I got to meet Heiner and Claudia's other children at the celebration. A wonderful visit.