Freiburg has the great disadvantage of being about 160 kilometres (100 miles) from the family in Stuttgart, and in the absence of a personal helicopter this means I’m reduced to visiting at weekends. A ritual has developed on Saturday, where Beautiful Daughter and I eat Marmite in Toast and watch cycle touring videos.

This steady stream of blatant Propaganda has resulted in Beautiful Daughter wanting to go on increasingly long bike rides, firstly on my bike, but now on her own as far as possible. She recently completed a 13k ride on her tiny bike, and had expressed a desire to go on a “really long bike ride”.

Today was the day.

Fortunately, we have the smug car fee hippy’s secret weapon:

The “Xtracycle” Longtail bike. Being able to carry Beautiful Daughter and tow her bike at the same time gives a lot more confidence taking her out: we can always get back regardless, and there’s a plan “B” for places which are too steep or where there are cars.

I chose a route around Stuttgart Airport: it’s a bit hilly, but everywhere is hilly around Stuttgart. This route would include most of the things vital for a successful ride with a small person: mostly on traffic tree roads, some interesting things to see, a forest which would keep the sun off, a very high viaduct that Beautiful Daughter loves to ride over and importantly, an ice cream shop at the most distant point.

Stage one, through the valley next to our village, followed by a “towing” section climbing back out through another village, so no pictures as I was distracted by things like breathing.

Once through the chaos of Stuttgart airport/exhibition centre/perpetual building site we inspected the end of the runway and watched a handful of planes fly in and out:

Past the entrance to the US military base and a memorial to the inmates of a local concentration camp.

Arriving at the furthest point. Beautiful Daughter about ready for that ice cream…

Raspberry and watermelon. “Because it’s pink”.

Beautiful Daughter had been flagging a bit but after her massive ice cream she rallied, and we followed the agricultural roads south of the airport. Halfway along we found a hollow tree which immediately became a “hiding place”, “camp”, and “Motor caravan” for twenty minutes:

More riding brought us past the other end of the airport, and to Beautiful Daughter’s “favourite Bridge” a 55m high viaduct across the valley which after some agitation from various groups finally has a cycleway/footpath.

This is a big hit wit Beautiful Daughter because of the view, and to the ageing parent because I means I don’t have to haul her out of the valley a second time…

From here we can see our village in the distance, and look down on trees and houses in the valley. And a sewage farm; this gave rise to much questioning about the destiny of poo.

We reached “our” side of the valley, and had some quick street riding lessons on quiet back roads. Beautiful Daughter is seen here drifting to the left…

After a while we were back on roads she knew so she rode ahead…

Until we reached a playground in the next village where we’d arranged to meet Youngest Son…

Of course BD found fresh energy and wanted to play… Fortunately Youngest Son came and relieved the Old Guard, and after sheltering for a bit from a thunderstorm, BD was persuaded to finish the ride by a promise of Salad and potatoes from Beautiful Wife.

BD and Younger Son completing the last couple of K’s:

Your correspondent being outpaced yet again…

A total of 28km (17mi) in about 5h, of which BD rode 23km (14mi) unassisted. Now she’s talking about an “even longer bike tour.”

I’m not sure how long I can keep up…