Aug 15

I wanted to make the most of my 24hr rental of the mountain bike, so I set out again at 6:30AM to explore the hills above the camping grounds at Steinach. My muscles weren’t exactly bursting into songs of joy at the idea and my mind was distracted by the fact that I had to be back in Haslach by 9AM.

Mountain Biking in the Hills above Steinach

Mountain Biking in the Hills above Steinach

The first part of the tour is quite sedate, following a trail called “Panoramaweg”. It offers splendid views of the valley below and the town of Welschensteinach.

The Valley up to Welschensteinach

The Valley up to Welschensteinach

The trail then steepens, climbing up to the Schirrmaierhütte. Here the actual mountain bike trails begin, with a main route heading north to Schönberg and south to Geisberg. I travelled south as far as Katzenstein, then headed back north, intending to continue as far as Sodhof. The trail got really rough and that meant unfortunately that I would not have enough time to travel up and back in time to drop the bike off. It just goes to show that you need both body and mind on the job. I headed back home and dropped off the bike.

So what do I think of Mountain Biking? Definitely great fun. It requires more concentration and skill than trekking, but isn’t a complete replacement for it. I also love the speed you can build up as you plummet down a mountain you just climbed.

A Trip to Offenburg

My daughter wanted to ride Offenburg, 30km away, partly because she wanted to shop, but also I think to try out the journey . It really was the wrong time of day to be doing it. We departed around 1PM and it was already 36 degrees. Of all the tours here in Kinzigtal it was the least interesting and the least fun. More than anything else I think we both enjoyed having some time together without the other family members.

Steinach to Offenburg

Steinach to Offenburg

The town center of Gängenbach is quaint with the whole market square preserved in the typical “fachwerk” style common in rural regions of southern Germany. It was Saturday morning and people were shopping at the fruit and vegetable stalls or sitting at one of the open cafés enjoying a coffee. Not us though, we were only halfway there.

The journey from Gängenbach to Offenburg is pretty dull, the only exception being the old castle up on the hill at Ortenberg. The bike paths leave the Kinzig and wind around through town streets and industrial estates. Not so great.

We arrived in Offenburg after two hours of hot sweaty pedaling. The town center is not overly exciting, being a mixture of some old buildings and 70′s concrete architecture – the shops being the same chains you find in any city or town. The same thought entered both our hot heads – italian ice cream. As luck would have it we soon found just what we wanted, an italian gelateria. The chocolate milkshake tasted great.

Neither of us had any intention of cycling back, so we rode down to the trtain station and caught a train back up the valley. It took us 10 minutes to travel the distance we had taken two hours to travel down. We dropped off our stuff and headed for the pool.

written by OzJeff \\ tags: ,

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