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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Stuttgart to Heidelberg (My First Century) Ride Report w/Pics

I posted this Touring Report on MTBR, but I wanted to share it here as well for those of you that don't visit both forums.

After deciding which route I was going to take from Stuttgart to Heidelber, Germany with the help of mtbr forum members, I prepared everything together that I needed for the trip a couple of days before. The night before the trip I packed everything that I was going to take on the ride to include: My camera, an extra mp3 player, my Garmin Edge, some trail mix, a light jacket, a pair of rain pants, arm and leg warmers, a semi-warm pair of gloves, and my Cygo Mitycross 350 headlight. I always carry 2 extra tubes, tire levers, a multi tool, and a pump on my bike. I chose not to carry too much more than I usually do on my regular commute because I could always use my wife as an emergency lifeline.

After not really sleeping much the night before because of excitement, I got up early in the morning and got dressed. I ended up leaving the house about 6:45 in the morning. The first couple of hours were extremely easy. I averaged 15.25 miles per hour for the first 2 hours and that was with stopping every now and then to snap photos. After the first 30 miles or so, I started to run into a few hills which brought my overall average speed down a little but it wasn't anything that I wasn't prepared for. About 60 miles into the ride, I deviated from the route a little to ride around Heilbronn and grab a bite to eat. After about a 45 minute rest stop/lunch break, I got back on the bike and continued the ride.

After getting back on the bike after stopping in Heilbronn, I noticed that I began to get a little irritable at a lot of little stuff. There had to be well over a million dandelion seeds blowing through the air right at face level and a few of them found their way past my glasses and into my eyes. I had to stop a few times to wash my eyes out with my water bottle because the dandelion seed fur was stinging my eyes. There was also the occasional suicidal bug that would aim directly for my mouth as I was huffing and puffing. Finally, what I found most irritating (because I was already tired) was the strong headwind I ran into from about mile 80 to about mile 105. The headwind more than anything else killed my average speed because on flats and slight down hills that I should have easily be riding between 16 to 20+ mph, I was only going 9 to 13 mph. Once again it isn't anything that I wasn't prepared for, but it meant that I didn't take as many pictures as I wanted to once I actually made it to Heidelberg because I was racing the clock to meet my wife when I told her that I'd meet her.

I ended up getting to the front gate of the base that I was going to meet my wife at the exact same time as she was showing her I.D. to the gate guard. She didn't see me behind her so once I showed the gate guard my I.D., I raced to catch up with my car and that is when I could really feel how much of a toll the 117 miles had taken on my legs. When I finally got off of the bike in the PX parking lot, I was completely spent. We didn't spend much time in Heidelberg. We hadn't planned on spending much time in Heidelberg because we have two small kids, but I wouldn't have been able to properly enjoy Heidelberg anyway because I was completely exhausted.

Below are some of the pictures I took during the ride. The remaining pictures can be viewed at Heidelberg Ride Photos































 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'm glad you all enjoy the pictures. I don't know the story behind the sculpture. It is just the sculture outside of the rathaus (city hall) in Kirchheim am Neckar. You can't see from that angle, but there is another person sculpted on the opposite side of these two.
 

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What strikes me

is that the city is so clean. They do a great job. Nice shots, thanks for sharing. go do some more rides and post some more pics. :D

evs
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
evs, I'm going to start carrying my camera with me more often because I only have a couple of more months here before I transfer back to the states. I'm pretty sure that I won't get to ride the way I do now once I get back to the U.S. so I'll be taking a lot more pictures between now and the time that I transfer to help remember the great rides I had while I was here.
 
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