Packing and planning - Altmühl and Taubertal Radwegs - CycleBlaze

Packing and planning

Yesterday was packing day. We’re as close to an accurate weather forecast for next week as we can reasonably get. At this time it appears it will be mainly in the 80’s. That means shorts and short-sleeved shirts which take up slightly less space when packing. The two weather forecasts I’ve been using continue to have conflicting opinions of whether or not I’ll get wet. I’m just assuming I’ll get wet because, save for my third trip where I had one incredibly brief downpour, I’ve had ample rain every time I’ve been to Germany and/or Austria. I have new raingear that has been fairly well tested this summer and I’ve opted for my Ortlieb panniers which are very much waterproof. 

I’ve opted to pack pretty light this year. So far, of the gear I’m carrying, my camera weighs the most. I am justifying this fact since it means I can use the zoom to photograph distant objects (like castles) and save the time needed to bike or hike up to them. With approximately 40-45 miles every day to ride, I don’t have tons of time to explore old castles. I need that time for more important things like eating pastries and Italian ice. I know where my priorities are. 

Benny the bike as he’ll be set up this year
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Throwback to the one time they made me hang the bike up on the train
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As always I’ve got good old Benny the bike along as my source of transportation. Prior to packing yesterday he was shifting exceptionally well. As always the disc brakes are a pain to keep adjusted. I’ve learned more about tweaking them since last year when I pulled over along the trail, flipped the whole bike over, and tried to solve the rubbing brake issue (it wasn’t terribly successful either.) What shape Benny will be in when we arrive in Frankfurt is another matter. Aside from the first year when one brake cable came out of its connecting point in the brake lever, he’s been largely unscathed. That does not guarantee anything 

Looking across part of the Taubertal at Rothenburg ob der Tauber
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Finally, regarding the route, since the trains all connect through Nürnberg and I don’t have time to ride the entire Altmühl Radweg, I’m opting to stay there the first night and then take the train to Neumarkt in der Oberpfalz and ride along the canal south to the Altmühl. I’ll be riding most of the Altmühl Radweg starting in Beilngries and then taking a shortcut of sorts just south of Colmberg and cutting across to Rothenburg ob der Tauber and then following the Taubertal north to Wertheim where the Tauber river dumps into the Main river.  I rode through Wertheim two years ago and recall it as a rather cramped town with narrow streets with tall sun blocking buildings and hoards of tourists. Clearly Wertheim is not somewhere I’m dying to explore extensively which is just as well. I’ll need to be there early enough to catch a train back to the Frankfurt airport around 5pm Saturday. The train ride back is longer than I would have expected and I don’t want to be arriving too terribly late. 

This trip doesn’t elicit the same level of excitement for me that the Tauern Radweg, Salzkammergut, or Dolomites do. It’s more a way to make sure I actually take a vacation this summer. I know if I had opted to stay home I likely would have spent the week working. I also miss German pastries and the ice cream. There is no US substitute for either one!

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