Nesselwang to Oberstaufen: We Were Lucky to Make It! - Poking Around Europe 2.0 - CycleBlaze

October 10, 2015

Nesselwang to Oberstaufen: We Were Lucky to Make It!

Despite the low hanging fog, it was beautiful this morning when we started out. We had a ten jammer breakfast at the Hotel Alpenrose, which was a great spot. Nesselwang is lovely too, and clearly a base for hiking. Even at this time of year there were lots of people out. We love the Wanderweg signs...they often share a post with our Radweg signs. Our signs give us distance in km., and the Wanderweg signs give a time.

The real Hotel Alpenrose. The picture yesterday was of the hotel next door. Oops.
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We had no sooner started our ride when Keith announced he had found a short cut. What is it with men and shortcuts? So off we went, with me following somewhat reluctantly behind. We cruised two blissful kilometres downhill, with me, at least, thinking about the future consequences. Then suddenly we were on gravel, and going up. Even Keith had to concede it was way too steep to ride. For goodness sake, I could barely push! My feet kept slipping on the gravel. The only positive was that Keith can be quite funny when he realizes he has made a tactical error, it, so he kept me laughing.

Leaving Nesselwang in the fog.
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We just liked this tree.
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A lovely stream at the bottom of our 2 km downhill cruise.
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We gained all that elevation back in 10 minutes of ridiculously steep pushing. This was more like climbing, loaded touring bike attached. It actually was quite funny. Guess what we were faced with at the top? More climbing, but at least we could ride.
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After the first climb, we cruised down, to go up, to go down. You get the picture. The thing is, when you get to the top the views are amazing, even on a foggy day, so it is very rewarding. There is a time factor though. Keith asked me how many kilometres we had gone. He guessed fifteen. We had gone seven and a half in 45 minutes. That didn't include the 10 minutes of pushing. My bike computer was in pause mode for that!

We are up very high here.
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I mean, look at this shrine at the top of the hill. It doesn't follow the usual pattern. Even this guy had to sit down at the top of this brutal hill! It is amazing the number of shrines and crucifixes you encounter. Always well maintained and never defaced or vandalized.
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Riding up another hill. You can tell Keith always gets to the top first. Well, not always, but more about that later.
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See the autobahn way down there in the mist? They don't have to go up hills.
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You never know what you are going to see. We were too lazy to ride back up for a good picture, but out here, in this lush German farmland we had just whizzed by this house which had a Buddhist Stupa complete with Nepalese prayer flags behind it. Really, it did.
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Just before the Stupa, Keith suggested another shortcut. Yup. He is incorrigible. I try very hard to let him do the navigating even when I am feeling skeptical. Bike touring works best with one navigator I think, but I also think Keith can tell when I am reluctant because I trail a little ways behind until we are either so committed we are stuck with the route, or I get the signal to turn around. This short cut wasn't looking good for a bit, but guess what? It worked out.

Keith was just reading to me from Trish Graham's blog, Three Reasons for Riding Across Europe. We are in a high end hotel tonight, and it is our experience that the more you pay for the room, the worse the wifi. Trish Graham has just expressed exactly the same sentiment. So, having just wasted five minutes waiting for a picture to download, I have decided to finish the narrative and download the rest tomorrow when hopefully things will be better.

So, for the rest of the story. Fortunately, very fortunately, the last twenty kilometres or so of today's ride were either flat or gently uphill. We cruised through Immenstadt, past the beautiful Grosser Alpsee, and not long after we had left the city and its bike shops, Keith began to have trouble with his gears. By the time we stopped for a late lunch, things were not looking good.

The lunch stop was fun...we had just pulled up at a bench when a lovely couple came along, Melanie and Jorn. That o in Jorn has two dots over it, by the way. They told us to go 200 meters further and there was a much nicer picnic spot, up the hill, overlooking the lake. It was a great tip, and we really enjoyed chatting biking with them. Melanie, poor thing, is in a wheelchair at the moment, due to a mountain biking accident. We wish her a speedy recovery. We zipped up the hill and enjoyed lunch with a great view.

Unfortunately, in that 200 metre hill Keith's dérailleur completely quit, and he was now riding a fully loaded fixed gear bike. Earlier in the day this would have been a disaster, and even as it was, I don't know how he did it. A couple of times I didn't change gears so I could see what it was like, but I simply couldn't do it on some of the hills. I did manage to finally be first up a few though. The goal was Oberstaufen, and a bike shop, but of course this is Germany, and it is Saturday, and when we got here we discovered they all closed at noon.

At this point I started to fantasize about two nights in our expensive spa hotel, because of course, nothing will be open tomorrow. Keith, however, is a man of many talents, and he got on Youtube. How to fix a dérailleur. Down he went, phone in one hand and tools in the other, and his bike is up and running again. I was pretty impressed.

We are very comfortable in our huge room. We have had a textile free steam, swim and sauna. I am enjoying the luxury and looking forward to tomorrow's ride. There will be some more hills at the start, but then it will be primarily downhill to the Bodensee.

Keith came up with the caption for this picture as we headed down the shortcut. He said to call it 'another one of Keith's crazy shortcuts'.
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Pretty though.
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Bessie and Bessie.
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Looking down on a village from one side...
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Through the village.
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And up we go out of the valley again.
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There were Bessie, Bessie and more Bessies.
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Look what we found at the top of a hill. This should round out lunch nicely!
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Keith amused himself taking pictures of his reflection. How about those gloves!!
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Beer with lunch. Hooray.
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Meeting Melanie and Jorn. Thanks again for the picnic tip. It was a great spot and a great conversation. Speedy recovery Melanie.
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Our lunch view. This is where Keith's dérailleur completely gave out.
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The last picture of the day. After this we just rode, hoping to get to Oberstaufen before the bike shops closed. No such luck of course, but hopefully Keith's repair works. We did get a good look at Oberstaufen in our search though. It is another beautiful spot with a large pedestrian zone.
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Today's ride: 53 km (33 miles)
Total: 1,964 km (1,220 miles)

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