Day 26: Magstadt to Olm and on to Landsberg am Lech by train, Germany

The famous blue spring at Blaustein

Heiner and I rode to Ulm, where he took the train back to near Magstadt. I had mentioned I might was to train through some of the way to Innsbruck, and Heiner suggested that since he was taking the the train at Ulm, I should also. While Heiner rode the train back to Magstadt, I rode the train to Landsberg. Mine wasn't the best possible routing: I was on an inter city train to Augsberg, which meant I had to find space for my bike in the bike car and then a regional train to Landsberg. I did find the space, although the bike car was almost full. Then I had six minutes to get from track 2 to track 9 at Augsberg to catch the next train. There was no way I could get my bike off the bike holder, load it, and catch that train! The trip to Augsberg was about 40 minutes, so after the conductor had checked my ticket and my bike's ticket, and after the one stop on that train, I, illegally I am sure, got my bike down, took it near the door, and loaded it. Then I sat near it - that was wise since I had to catch it as fell during a turn - until Augsberg. At Augsberg I had my bike ready to go and pointing at the door as we stopped. Four minutes, a rapid walk down the platform, and two stairways later, I was on the regional train where I leaned my bike against another bike in the space for bikes and wheelchairs and sat in the last remaining seat. A minute later we pulled out. An hour later we had covered 40 km - regional trains are slow! - and I rode off into Landsberg.

Claudia with Heiner's back reflected in the window of their home

Heiner, waiting for me on the big climb of the day
He is carrying my front panniers

This ride was different from my solo rides for two reasons: Heiner knows and/or has maps for the radwegs and the back roads and Heiner is a stronger rider than I am. We covered over 70 miles with about half a mile of climbing in five and a half hours. Much of the route was on radwegs and most of it followed river valleys. I really can't recreate it here because I have neither the maps nor the knowledge of local roads that would be needed. Here is Heiner's list of places along the route:

         Neuffen - the village before the biggest climb
         Grabenstetten - we had a late lunch here
         Blaubeuren - the blue spring

The Castle above Neuffen

Looking back at Neuffen, early in the climb

We initially rode through towns and on short radwegs between towns - towns are quite dense near Stuttgart - and then on a former railroad that had been converted into a radweg. There were lots of folks using that radweg and lots of bicyclist on the roads and radwegs today. There were also an old car and motorcycle rally, some kind of airplane rally, gliders, and a big bike ride on our route. It was pretty summer Sunday and a great day to be out doing things.

Most of the last part of our ride was along on or on B 28, a highway I have ridden in other parts of Germany. This included the part in Blaustein which as a great down hill that goes through a, well lighted, tunnels just before reaching Blaustein. The blue spring that gives that town it's name is quite beautiful. The Danube used to flow through this valley, and even now the radweg along the river, which we rode, is an alternative route on the Donau radweg. Nice.

Little (250 M) hill and paved radweg by B 28

Wind machine at the high point (800 M) of our ride on B 28

Some of our riding was on gravel radwegs

Note the radweg sign

In Ulm, Heiner spent a lot of time getting our tickets. His was straight forward, but mine was not. Then we snacked on an excellent cake that Claudia made - she is a superb cook - and said goodbye, for now, after we had my bike on the inter city train. It was a great visit.

Now I'm in a somewhat expensive, but quite nice, hotel in Landsberg - the Goggl - and I am getting ready to ride south to near Insbrook Austria today. Thanks to the train ride, this should be a short easy day. Tomorrow will be harder since I'll be going over the Alps into Italy. Then, in a few days, I'll be in Slovenia!