Wait, I swear you said you weren’t biking overseas this year.... - Altmühl and Taubertal Radwegs - CycleBlaze

Wait, I swear you said you weren’t biking overseas this year....

If you followed my tails of woe last year when I biked the Tauern, Enns, and Salzkammergut Radwegs you may very well be wondering how it can be that there is a new journal from me listing two Radwegs and my name.  You would be right to ask yourself this valid question. I swore at the end of last year’s trip that I would take this year off after multiple frustrations with weather and accommodations. It seemed so pointless to travel so far and invest so much financially in a vacation I didn’t entirely enjoy. I even went so far as to look at options closer to home for a longer ride. Then I realized just how impractical a bike tour is in the US. No public transit, no quaint (and cheap) guest houses, no wonderful bakeries with strudel and torts, not to mention the fact that I know very well I’d just forgo the vacation and work instead. Thus I made myself a deal wherein if I could find a plane ticket within what I decided was a reasonable price range I would return to Europe and give it a go again. Obviously I found such a ticket because here we are again. Also, absence does make the heart grow fonder and I invested in new raingear which I extensively tested this summer.

When debating how to improve my vacation experience I considered a number of options. The weather I can’t do anything about, but I can do something about the accommodations issues and the lack of bakeries from last year. One option was to head to the area around the Chiemsee and rent a Ferienwohnung (vacation apartment) and do day trips out from there. Tickets to München were pricier than I desired and I opted to avoid a somewhat longer train ride. The cheapest ticket was direct to Frankfurt so I opted to consider Radwegs in the area. I rode the Main, best part of the Rhein, and Mosel two years ago. I’ve also ridden the Romantische Strasse. That left the Neckar, Taubertal, and Altmühl as local Radwegs still on my bucket list. I’ve been in the Taubertal area and have taken the train through part of the Altmühl and found both areas to be quite nice. Therefore I opted to go that route. It also fit well into my decision to limit my vacation to one week this year. 

Finding a place to begin the Altmühl Radweg took some time. Only a portion of the radweg is serviced by the train. After some map studying I decided it made the most sense for me to take the train to Nürnberg (and sightsee) and then the Straßenbahn to Neumarkt in der Oberpfalz where I could then head down the canal to Beilngries and pick up the Altmühl radweg there. 

As for accommodations, I opted to book everything in advance. As we speak, I now have a room all nights but one (hello Weikersheim, try checking and answering your emails!) Since this was a major source of stress last year, I’m hoping this plan makes things at least somewhat more  pleasant for me. Booking a room in a small town from overseas is an interesting experience. Despite the prevalence of the internet, some of the smaller privat zimmer type establishments don’t have listed email addresses. Thankfully enough do that I was still able to find rooms most everywhere. As an update, I did finally get a room in Weikersheim. 

Despite fairly flat trails, at least compared to last year, I’ve still opted to keep my daily mileage in what I consider a conservative range with my longest day being around 45 miles. I’ve learned over time that I don’t want to feel rushed to get somewhere and would rather use the bike as a way to thoroughly sightsee. There are plenty of quaint towns along the way (and a decent number of bakeries) and rather than rush through like I did two years ago, I’m going to take my time And try to better absorb the ambience (and the bakeries.) It also could come in handy should bad weather crop up. Shorter rides in crummy weather are much more manageable than long ones.  

We’ll see how this works out this year. This is the shortest trip I’ve ever done to Europe. My preference was for 10 days, but ticket prices didn’t work out for that when I booked.  As departure nears I’ll include the normal entries about my bike and such. 

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