I’ve decided that the trouble with Germany is that Germans think like me. With the weather improving, the cycleways are increasingly busy, and to avoid getting tangled up in the melee I need to leave early as trails within a few kilometres of the city fill up fast, especially if they have a Biergarten at the far end.

This meant getting up at five. On a Saturday for goodness sake…

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After a slightly tedious ride past the airport, again, and through another town, I ended up on a very pleasant, paved and traffic free route which, being on a slight ridge gave an excellent view all around.

One of the things I could see was the cycleway I was supposed to be on.

I probably should have looked at the map first.

Still, after a brief detour I got back on the route which would later be filled with aforementioned throngs…

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As it was about seven in the morning (and two-fleeces-and-a coat level frigid) I had the whole trail to myself….

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as it wound on and on…

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And on and on…

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Until we passed the destination for most people:

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After this the trail went through a few villages: in one I was briefly startled to see a traffic jam at the bakery, before realising it was still eight in the morning.

Eventually I found the pass to cross over to the Neckar Valley, and had a brief pause at the summit for celebratory supermarket brand chocolate bar and photo of distant hills.

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More villages followed:

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Do not adjust your set: the tower really does lean like that.

Now I was on the Neckar cycleway I could concentrate on hammering out the miles plodding along at my usual pace until I reached Nürtingen.

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I went to college in Nürtingen and know the town, so I’m not sure why I took an entirely wrong route to the railway station expecting to find a way under the railway. There are two ways through, and both start from another point in the town, a fact which of course dawned on your correspondent after slogging up a hill and navigating a busy junction…

Still, once on the correct side of the railway I was on my old college commuting route, which includes this covered bridge over the river:

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I then made extensive use of certain ancient Anglo-Saxon terms while climbing some frankly entirely unnecessary hills beyond, before dropping into another valley and through another village with a church big enough to be a cathedral, and which I’m told was once part of a Monastery.

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More use of the Anglo-Saxon vernacular was required for the gradient up to my own town, and then I could relax and take the final trail through the woods to our village:

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Where my family (who, bless them, are not morning people) were just starting a late Breakfast, involving those well known vital food groups, croissants and chocolate spread.

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Well, it’d be rude not to…