Saturday, June 12, 2010

Stolpen Ride Restart

Last year when I was in Dresden I had an epic ride to Stolpen and then to the Czech border. That ride wasn’t supposed to be epic, but became that way after I tried to follow hi-tech route that I was given by my friend Dave. The route, supposedly entered into a GPS was a complete mess. I got sent all over the German country side looking for non-existent trails. Well it turns out they were not so non-existent and this year Dave and Ingo decided to show me the “correct” route.
As per normal for a ride with Ingo, the weather started out with a bit of a mist in the air. We left Neustadt and headed for the Heide forest. Last year I spent an hour completely lost in this forest, well this time we “found” an old railroad grade and zipped through the majority of it in about 15 minutes. No ravines, no cliffs, just a nice smooth trail along a mellow gradient.
Somewhere in the middle of the forest we met up with Ingo and miraculously the sun came out, peaking her head over the forest canopy. Hmm, maybe we will doge this rain thing after all. Time to put on some sunscreen. Onward we road through the forest, passing hordes of toddlers out for an afternoon stroll.

After we left the Heide we entered the small town of Weissig and started following an old railroad grade through the fields surrounding Dresden. This trail was definitely easier than the up and down route that I had done before!

Notice the FLAT trail
After a couple hours of mostly mellow riding though picturesque farming communities, we stopped in Elbersdorf for a quick bite to eat and a much needed sports drink. As we headed back down to town, Dave’s city bike decided that it had maybe one too many adventures off road and decided to start losing spokes. Now let me tell you, those spokes are there for a reason. They aren’t  there just to look pretty. In fact, if you lose one or two, the wheel gets downright wobbly.

A Bad Case of the Wobblies

After completely failing our MacGyver test, we quickly decided to cut the ride short and head for the closest train station instead of trying to ride all of the way back to town. Lucky we decided to turn around because soon the sky opened up with a deluge of rain.

Crossing the Elbe

We managed to get a bit of relief from the rain when we crossed the Elbe on one of the ferries. Another kilometer or so and we were at the train station. For a supposed mellow ride, this turned out to be quite the adventure. <

Stolpen Start

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