If I’m going to do any of these epic cycle routes I’m promising I need to get more cycling done generally, so my legs are used to the idea. With the snow holding off for now due to the magic power of snow tyres I’ve been investigating a couple of more interesting/challenging routes for the evening commute.

I’d wanted to explore one of these a few days ago but I quickly realised I’d freeze Beautiful daughter, So this week I went off to find the ‘Western Route’ through the forest.

I took the bike into work and rode the tram back up the hill (There’s ‘challenging’ and there’s ‘200metres in about four kilometres’) Notice commuter bike because Xtracycle is sulking with a broken gear shifter.

Tram nerd information: Stuttgart’s tram system is partly dual gauge: the curved line visible is metre gauge, and the trams behind are on standard gauge track. The metre gauge system is limited to a couple of lines for preserved trams from before the gauge change.

So now you know.

You are never more than ten minutes from dense forest in Stuttgart, even in the centre of the city.

This trail is a nice one: a good surface, dead straight and very slightly downhill. There’s an ecology centre just off this trail about halfway down that I’m applying to work at: you never know…

After getting slightly lost I found the exit and emerged onto land belonging to the local agricultural/environmental studies university. Last time I was here I turned to the left and got stuck on a busy road. This time, I was pretty sure turning right would get me on a better route

It did too.

To show I don’t live entirely in a bicycle Utopia, I had to cross this junction to get to our village. Look. Cars.

This trail has been badly damaged by flooding. I hope it gets resurfaced soon but knowing our local council I’m not holding my breath.

hh_014

Also: Hills.

In our village, and perpetual building site. I can’t remember one time in the last 15 years when there wasn’t a crane somewhere.

View from balcony after getting back. Just because.

A bare 7km, but now I know I can get through, I can combine it with other routes and make something more challenging.