On Friday, July 31st, I joined my daughter’s English friend Julian on a great bike ride through the countryside south and west of Stuttgart, Germany. It truly was a beautiful ride; within minutes of leaving his house in the village of Vaihingen we were riding through lush green farmlands and forests, quite beautiful to my eyes, which are used to seeing the brown of summer in Texas. The weather was absolutely perfect when we left at one-thirty in the afternoon, with a temperature in the mid seventies, and no wind. (In Austin, according to my information, it was over 100F (38C) on that day, with scorching winds at about 10 miles per hour (16 KPH). No one in his right mind would be on a long ride in Texas in early afternoon!)
Julian and I rode along beautiful bike paths and through charming little German villages for most of the way. Here are some of the highlights of our tour:
- Rode though and near the Naturpark Schönbuch and several other Nature Parks.
- Stopped in the village of Mauren to view an old monastery, and also to decide if we wanted to return home or continue for another ten miles, adding a loop to bring our total mileage from 30 to 50. We decided to continue, of course.
- Stopped in the picturesque old walled village of Weil der Stadt for some good German pastries and coffee.
- Rode through the American Army base on the outskirts of Stuttgart. Not exactly the scenic highlight of the tour, but somewhat interesting for me, since I know a few people who have worked there.
At the end of the ride, we returned to Julian’s flat, and his charming partner Julie, who is a nurse, took care of the bad cut on my leg, which I received in a fall about half-way through the ride. I certainly appreciated her professional cleaning and bandaging job, which was far better than I could have received anywhere else. Thank you, Julie!
For more pictures of the ride, find the link on the garminconnect web site under export and select Google Earth. When Google Earth opens, zoom in on our Garmin-marked path and look at the pictures along it. I especially like the pictures from Weil der Stadt.