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Job hunting continues to drain time and energy, but after the last shambles of a bike ride I decided I had to go somewhere before the weather closed in.

In an effort to find something new I set off west and ended up going through several bits of Stuttgart’s outer suburbs to avoid a big hill. Any smugness about this triumph of laziness evaporated as I got stuck in a second valley with an even steeper climb out. Then, finally:

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Pause for generic “bike in German woodland” picture.

A few kilometres along the trail I found this interesting feature:

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“WARNING: Boundary of the training area of the US Forces. Entry at own risk”

Hmm…

The sign underneath says “No unauthorised entry” with a long list of things that could possibly happen if you did. On the other hand, the map showed this was the cycleway, and if the US military really wanted to stop people getting in, they could have had a fence across the cycleway. It was also pretty obviously a well used path.

I carried on, and failed to get shot, blown up or suffer any of the other misfortunes the sign warned of.

After passing the military base itself, and then a rifle range, I came to this sign:

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You may have the most powerful military in the world, but don’t you even think of mucking up our forest with your nasty big tanks.

After another discouraging sign (this time for a large corporate headquarters) which tried to persuade us that there was no way to the cycleway that was clearly visible a few hundred metres away, I followed the railway line toward Dettenhausen, on the basis railway lines mean less hills.

How wrong I was. After taking a very poor decision I ended up at the bottom of a rather steep hill with no obvious way forward. A certain amount of swearing later I arrived back in the village I’d left half an hour earlier and stopped to take a picture. Not because I needed to wheeze a bit before getting on the bike again: not at all.

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Still, I made it to Dettenhausen:

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Apparently Dettenhausen is where they got all the stone for Cologne cathedral, although it seems the excitement has worn off considerably since then. It is also the start of a valley that in theory led back to known territory.

It took a bit of finding, but once past the car park, it was all like this:

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Ten kilometres of gentle descent and nice scenery. They even had a natural spring halfway down to fill water bottles.

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Another Generic “Bike in forest” picture. I’m convinced my average speed has halved since I started taking pictures to post on here…

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Then there was another climb, some rolling hills and villages, a short delay dithering about the route, and then I decided that as I was riding the tourer I could go along the valley to the edge of our village.

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Dithering about the next part of the route. It’s tough living here, I tell you.

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Final approach to the village, just before the Evil Hill Of Doom, which never gets photographed. This is because when going down I’m always gripping the brakes with white knuckles, and when climbing I’m concentrating on matters like oxygen supply and getting my heart rate down to a mere purr…