I went to Göppingen: I can’t explain it.

I had an appointment with the Employment Agency which finished early, and my plan was to follow the Neckar river for a bit, then explore up the river Fils. I’d not followed this route before because on the map it looked like a line of semi-industrial towns with busy roads and a Landesstrasse (dual carriageway) filling half the valley, but as I was already in the Neckar valley I decided to give it a try: a short ride to get the bugs out of the new bike.

It turned out to be a line of semi-industrial towns with busy roads and a dual carriageway filling half the valley. I’d planned to find the first village with a bridge, cross the river and come back on the other side, but the first town was so underwhelming that I carried on in the hope the next would be better. And when it wasn’t I tried the third…

And thus, with repeated disappointments, I came to Göppingen. where I took a photo of the railway station railway station because I felt someone ought to.

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The centre of Göppingen looked nice enough.

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But as usual I ended up taking pictures of interesting bikes. Gotta have pictures of interesting bikes…

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There was also a rather exclusive looking clinic/hospital on the edge of town with a large sculpture that I think is supposed to be a modern style St. Christopher…

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As you can see the weather was as exciting as the scenery.

I’d come in on the ‘northern cycle way’, the signage of which I’d describe as ‘variable’: ie, it directed you down a cycleway which expired a hundred metres further, then pointed vaguely towards Göppingen. and gave up. I may have been following the route, I may not, it was hard to tell.

On the way back I tried the ‘south’ route, which sent through a couple of industrial areas before becoming a gravel track between dual carriageway and river, and went on, and on…

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and on and on… and just for a joke got a bit narrower occasionally so I wasn’t entirely convinced it wouldn’t just disappear.

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If we built the road network like these local towns built cycleways, we’d never have a problem with traffic.

Fortunately the next town took a more enlightened approach and had built some real infrastructure, like this rather fun winding bridge.

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Eventually I found the valley towards our village and the local geography improved…

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Having made it back up the hill, the sun finally came out, so I stopped for the obligatory ‘new bike’ picture on the ‘Landscape steps’ in the large new development in the next town but one.

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When I first came to Germany this was a US army base.

I ended up riding 63k (ca. 40 miles) rather more than I was planning. The bike has shown up a couple of problems but rides well. My legs on the other hand expressed their displeasure in no uncertain terms…