May 27

49km • 126hm • 3h:01m • 2

Yesterday the Deutsche Alpenverein mountainbike tour was cancelled again due to inclement weather. That makes four of the last five Wednesdays out due to rain! I decided to go riding today even if it did drizzle. To brighten my spirits I chose somewhere new. Across the Rhine and into France.

That would be in the direction of Beinwald, which made me think of André. Much impressed be I, that with less than an hour’s notice he agreed to come along.

We headed down to the river Alb and followed it towards the Rhine

At Daxlanden, we deviated from my planned tour. It was supposed to be a shortcut, but you know how spur of the moment short cuts end up don’t you? Taking longer.

We did find our first forest and dirt road though.

That made me and my mountainbike distinctly happier.

Since winter I’ve been meaning to check out the Dyke wall that protects the lowlands when the Rhine floods. It makes a pretty sight with all the wildflowers.

First goal reached. The ferry across the Rhine at Neuburg

Leaving the ferry crossing behind us, we headed along the Rhine towards Lauterbourg and into France. It had been raining on and off lightly since we departed. Here beside the river it was quite cool and so I donned my neopren jacket. I found myself wishing for a little sunshine. The cold was not enough to wipe the smile from my face though. The path that runs parallel to the Rhine is nice and easy to ride along, even with a city bike.

Next destination – the lake “Bassin des Mouttes” to the south of Lauterbourg. Everything was closed down, even the surf and sailing school.

Lauterbourg itself is rather quaint. The people here definitely take pride in the appearance of their houses. (At least on the front side. Hehe)

Finally, to the north of Lauterbourg we entered the forest and got some rough terrain beneath our wheels. It was quite a way to ride to reach it, but I wanted to see what the forest was like this close to the river. Technically we were in the Pfalz, so there is no issue with heading down smaller trails.

The path became overgrown and I got the feeling that more than the onset of twilight was the cause of the light beginning to fail.

We reached a creek running through the thick forest. It is one of the last remaining in Germany that is still in its original, untampered with state. The creek has dug out a deep gully as it meanders through the forest.

Definitely very dark and eerie here. My camera kept switching to flash.

Even André was shrouded in wisps of foggy mystery.

André: The trail follows the ‘Heilbach’ with its gold brown water. From its source in the Beinwald and crosses the old roman road to the south west of the old Wörth. The Heilbach falls 14 meters from the Niederterrasse to Rheinaue. Wild water has a certain charm! Often the Heilbach dries up in summer and so see many fallen trees. Caught on camera were the veils of fog that the Heilbach witches wear.

We rode briefly out of the forest onto an earthen dam wall, built for flood control for the town of Wörth, now just a short distance to the north of us.

Then back into the forest. These trails are much more fun than the asphalt and gravel of the first half of this tour. I am now covered in mud. By the feeling pulsing up at me from the handlebars, my mountain bike is much happier too.

We are now right down beside the creek and cross over it on a small bridge. It is dim, dark and wet. Very wet. Mud and puddles everywhere. I’ve given up trying to avoid them and just ride straight through. Squelsh! This is fun,

Water, water, everywhere.

One last trail. This will take us into the outskirts of Wörth.

The last 17 kilometers were pretty uneventful. We rode back across the Rhine at Maximilliansau and through the suburbs of Karlsruhe and home. The sun, low in a cloudy sky, could only manage a feeble light.

Considering that I hastily clicked this tour together on just before riding it, I would say it was success. Next time we’ll ride as far as the Bienwald and spend more time in the forest.

Try this one on the weekend with loads of sunshine.

Elevation Profile
Download GPX
Note:My Garmin GPS lost it’s mind at the beginning of the tour. Kalsruhe has an altitude of around 117m not 385m, so the graph here for the first 10km or so is incorrect.

Riding across the Rhine – OzJeff & André

written by OzJeff

2 Responses to “Across the Rhine”

  1. 1. NTGAndre Says:

    Nachtrag: Trail führte am Heilbach mit seinem goldbraungefärbten Wasser entlang, der aus Bienwald kommt und die alte Römer-Str. (14 m Höhendifferenz der Niederterrasse zur Rheinaue) und BAB südwestlich Alt-Wörth quert. Es waren die Nebelschleier der Heilbachhexen…
    Heilbach führte viel Wasser, fällt zuweilen im Sommer tocken. Sturzbäume lassen sich häufig beobachten. Wildes Fließgewässer hat seinen Reiz!

  2. 2. OzJeff Says:

    Thank’s for the info on the Heilbach André. I’ve added it to the post. It was definitely a lot of fun and I can see us exploring more and more in the Bienwald. Maybe there’s a path following the Heilbach all the way up to it’s source?

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