Radtour Radelwoche in Franken und Bayern
Dag 4, etape/stage 3: Nürnberg-Riedenburg
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Erstellt am 07.07.2014
Gesamtlänge in km
Durchschn. Steigung Aufstieg %
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durch Ottocolor am 07.07.2014
Trackpoint-Dichte per km
Nürnberg, Bayern, DE (323 m NHN)
Riedenburg, Bayern, DE (377 m NHN)
Sunny all day and even higher temperatures than yesterday, but fresh wind from Northwest cools me. A steady tailwind all day long!
A day on the gravel of the canal paths. First, though, through the large forests south of Nuremberg also on gravel paths. A detour on smal tarmac roads without bike lane. A few stretches of the canal path were tarmac as between the towns of Beilngries and Kottingwoerth.
The bike week's third stage and fourth day with the longest stage. I rode it on the catholic holiday of the feast of Corpus Christi.
The sun shone merrily again, and I was fairly up early so I could get going in proper time. It was a long stage today, approximately 100km. Nevertheless, I had breakfast with bread rolls from the camp store, which camp mum had warmed for me. She was much nicer than camp dad. But then I quickly packed my bike, a farewell to the Australian cycling veterans, and just past 10 I already went down "the large road", now with other goals than last night. From many years of biking og bikehiking tours, as I like to call them, I know that it is always difficult and confusing to cycle out of the big cities. But this my gps now did for me, and I could just enjoy the good weather and the many forests, I cycled through, however, constantly interrupted by major roads, where I often changed direction. With a paper map that had no doubt cost a few detours. The terrain was quite challenging, because with my heavy luggage and my own heavy weight climbs are not exactly what I like best. So it was good to see a funny sign outside a Biergarten in the woods: "Acces to the beer is at your own risk," it really said. Ha! Then you can not make the publican responsible for your liver damage, that's too bad. I still chuckled about that sign, when I slogged up a steep forest trail to cross a motorway bridge. But I immediately stopped chuckling when I heard a sharp snap from the rear wheel. That sound I knew well, for it meant that a spoke broke. Too bad. With sweat hailing off me I wheeled my bike out on the highway bridge in order to screw the broken spoke out of the nipple, but failed. Only when I stopped another cyclist who had a multi-tool with pliers, I had it done and could ride on. I now had to remember not to step too hard up the hills, especially on gravel roads, because here the tension on the rear wheel is greatest. And then I had to buy a multitool for the next trip.
Gradually I grew hungry. My Navigation unit showed a few small villages ahead, and then I'd be down at the Main-Danube Canal again, where I certainly would not find any shops. In the first village, aptly named Sorg (meaning 'sorrow') (well, it wasn't that bad), there were no shops along my route, but in Leerstetten there had to be something. There was, but only a petrol station where I could only buy some chocolate. I was looking for bread and cold cuts. But the friendly woman explained to me that it was a public holiday in Bavaria today, the so-called feast of Corpus Christi, which Catholics celebrate ten days after Pentecost, and as a consequence all shops are closed. Oh, Christ! Literally! The bakery had been open until 11 I read on a sign, but now they kept the day holy as everyone else did. Well, then I decided to find an inn and enjoy fine hot food for lunch. Now that it was a public holiday. So instead of rolling down to the canal, which I had left shortly before Fuerth two days ago, I biked into the big village of Schwand where I hoped there would be an inn. And there certainly was. A very distinguished one even, Zum Schwan, ie The Swan Inn, which was a stately half-timbered building with a super cozy courtyard where I let myself fall down. This was German gastronomic service at its best. And the hosts were even dressed very nice in a kind of folk costume. I must say it looked good, especially on their adorable daughter. And the food was not worse. I wanted it to be be a true Bavarian Sunday dinner, roast pork with potato dumplings and to mark the occasion an unfiltered 'cellar beer'. Although it was still far to Riedenburg. The price was very reasonable. It was hard to break up, but on the other hand, I felt ready to pedal again. This took now place again on a dirt road along the canal. At one point I missed the canal path, but stayed on the tarmac road along it. Sometimes the navigation unit still plays tricks on me. Should I turn back or bet on the roads and paths were united again a little further along? I chose the latter, and it turned out to be right. It was easy to push forward the bike, and I made quickly progress. At one point I saw a large lake on the left. This must be Roth-See, and here I drove down to a beach for to have a swim. The weather was just so welcoming, and I could always speed up later. I did not stay long on the beach, which was well attended. I quickly swam out to a raft pretty far out on the lake. As I sat there, two rather small girls came swimming to the raft. One was fine, but the other one was cold and was afraid she was not able to swim to shore again. So I said, she could hang on to my back, and I whould swim her to shore. And so I did. While I kept an eye on the other girl who swam herself. As soon as we were in, the girl I had 'rescued' ran away, and I didn't mind, so I got the bike clothes on again and cycled on. Now I was soon at the watershed near Hilpoltstein. Here the canal reached its highest point. On an info board, I read that Roth-See served as an overflow reservoir for the canal, so there is always a consistent amount of water in it. Hilpoltstein is said to be a nice little town that I would have liked to visit, but now I had better get some miles in the legs and save the sightseeing experiences to Berching little later. I noticed that it now went down in that at locks now was a nedbakke instead of an increase. Cool. You could see it was a public holiday, for that kept many cars down by the canal and people were sitting in the grass sunning themselves and fished in the channel. It was otherwise Thursday. A little later, the route away from the canal. There was certainly no footpath along the piece, but it did not matter, because it could be a little monotonous with a dirt road and a canal and not much else. By Freystadt I heard there was celebration of the feast of brass music and people in costumes. In the morning there had been processions from churches where they carry the images of saints around the villages to mark the holy day called Fronleichnam in German. I had not seen, but I read about it in the newspaper the following day. When I was in Sulzkirchen I had 'found' the channel again, and it was celebrated here with a luxury coffee break with pastry, I had bought the inn in Schwand, bearing in mind that the bakers had closed for the day. While the water was hot over the steamer up by a covered tables and benches set, I went down to the canal along a steep, narrow staircase. At the bottom there was a narrow path, and then followed the channel immediately. Great was my surprise, therefore, while I sat with coffee top, when there came a mountain bike roaring toward the stairs and went directly down it. A clean acrobat, for I heard no splash from the canal. But if there had been someone there, a child? Simply game. The game in my opinion. Or maybe I'm getting old. Well, now there were only about 20 km Berching along the canal. And I did not run down the stairs!
After the coffee break, I stepped well into the pedals, because now it was not far to Berching, where I wanted to spend a couple of hours. And it turned out to be a good choice. I knew in advance that the small town had an intact medieval wall all around, which one even could go for a walk on. But that it turned out so nice, was almost too much. For when I entered the town through the gate and arrived at the incredibly well-trimmed marketplace, I noticed a brew pub with outdoor seating, namely Winkler, where I necessarily had to taste both the light and dark draught beer. As I sat there in the sun under an umbrella and enjoyed the peace and tranquility of the square, which, despite the holiday, was almost deserted, and of course the excellent beer, I felt slightly sorry for myself that I had to cycle another 40 kilometers. And I played with the option of checking in at the brewpub. But the prices were a bit steep for my meagre budget, and I would also have a very long trip to Regensburg the next day to come. Now, if there was a campsite nearby, I would go for that, and then I could enjoy some more of Berching's culture. And beer culture. But there wasn't, the bike map showed. Indeed there was no campsite sooner than in Riedenburg, so move on, old boy. Before that I had a nice walk around Berching and also mounted the town wall. On one side the Main-Danube canal runs past, and on the other side the river Sulz and the old Louis-channel. To the rear there was a wonderful river meadow and in front of it a building, which on a banner told that the composer Christoph Willibald Gluck was born in this town. I do not know if it is possible to fall in love with a town, but I almost did so here in Berching. Simply indescribably cozy and beautiful. I highly recommended it if you happen to come to this region. Well, it is worthwhile a whole trip as a matter of fact. Now the evening sun and the warm temperatures also set the right background in the cobbled alleyways. But it had had its virtues anyway. Fortunately, the wind was still a nice tailwind, and soon the Main-Danube Canal began to share its run with Danube tributary Altmühl-, and this was evident when its run became twisted and immersed in a river valley with high, wooded sites. Before the canal ran straightly in the open landscape, and this was a lot more charming. But there was still locks now and then. Probably they needed to be able to regulate the water level in the river in order to be sure it always was deep enough to the canal barges.
The Altmühl valley is in itself a tourist attraction that tourists flock in because of its natural beauty. It has been so long, and when the Danube-Main Canal was to be built and the plan was to share its lower course with the Altmühl-, environmentalists and nature lovers made an outcry, because the riverbed of course, had to be further deepened locks had to be built. The river course was not changed, and it had been impossible because of the deep valley and the many bends. This rose criticism that the distance was too long and that it would make transport unprofitable. The River Main, which the canal flows into to the north, has also an awful lot of bends, and all spoke in favour of rail and road transport. But canal's advocats got what they wanted. And here, 25-30 years later, it seems a good idea. The barges pootle along with items that might otherwise have filled up in trucks on Germany's clogged motorways. They chug quietly away without disturbing anyone. And nature seems all intact. There are many preserved 'old' river arms where nature can thrive. I think that roads and cars with their noise and fumes are a far greater intervention in nature. However, that seems fully acceptable. Just as we apparently are at ease with all the traffic accidents they cause. The lovely canal path, which was also a result of the the canal construction, is obviously also to its favour. After the town of Beilngries, a tourist center in the valley and certainly also worth a look if time had not been so advanced, followed a particularly lovely piece of tarmac trail without any obstacles for a long time. In addition, the wind was blowing strongly in the back, so I sped up my bike. I was hoping to be able to reach Riedenburg without further ingestion of food, but it did not seem realistic. Especially not when I in the village Kottingwörth cycled past a restaurant with a large outdoor seating area, where it smelled nicely of good Bavarian food. So I took a quick decision and sat on a bench in the blast full garden to insert some energy for the last 20 k's to my goal. I had now cycled out of Franconia and into Bavaria, specifically Lower Bavaria. The waitresses were mega busy and were festively dressed in dirndl dresses with good views to the cleavage which is really highlighted in this, in my opinion, very sexy and feminine piece of clothing. Soon after I had a portion of sour meat with fried potatoes and a large beer. With roast pork for lunch in mind, I had poured a lot of calories on my bread engine today. But afterwards it was a nice ride along the river into Riedenburg. There were a few climbs, so luckily I had refueled energy beforehand. But most of it was a really beautiful ride in the evening sun on the gravel path through the meadows along the river that meanders sharply here, while the shadows grew long. Still, it was nice to arrive at the campsite, situated high above the river with a beautiful view over the valley. Appropriately it was named Talblick (valley view). I quickly pitched my tent in the fading daylight next to other cyclists and had a hot bath.
Now I was ready to roll down to the town of Riedenburg, which is cozily situated on both sides of the river. Therefore, it has two breweries, one on each side of the river. The first was right at the campground and smelled pleasantly of malt. What a wonderful welcome to the town. Tonight I wanted to stay on this side of the river and it was a good choice, because here was a great marketplace with some open restaurants. Dinner I had already got, but I wanted to taste the local beer, and there was also the World Cup. After being sent along at Gasthof Post, where I knew the local beer was dispensed, as they were about to close, I stumbled into next door Burgschänke, where a relaxed atmosphere was on. The waitresses sat outside smoking and chatting while the TV set was running inside. I sat down besides an older Bavarian in a knit jacket and a funny hat with a so-called Gamsbart (goatee). We watched the second half of Uruguay vs. England together, but he did not watch closely and did apparently not care that the English once again were knocked out of the World Cup tournament, even by two goals of the top scorer in their Premier League, Luis Suarez. He's not exactly my cup of tea, and later in the tournament he would create a scandal when he bit the Italian defender Chiellini in the shoulder and was sent home. But that England went out at the expense of the South Americans was fine for me. They created a lot of atmosphere in the stadium and I was hoping they would give Europeans the dry, except Germany of course, which I cheered for, for a good reason, now that Denmark was not playing. After the game and a few beers, I was pretty much ready to ride up to the campground and let my body slide down into the bag, but I felt so comfortable in the town in the quiet summer night, and I nosed a little around. I could well understand that the Altmühl valley attracts tourists, and with the weather like today, it is even more understandable. During my evening toilet at the campsite the dreadful thing happened that I forgot to take out my contact lenses. So I woke up at night with a strong burning sensation in the eyes. Unfortunately, I got only one out in the first place, so a little later I was awakened again. That's only happened once or twice before in the ten years I have had the lenses. But luckily it did no harm to my eyes.