Spring is supposed to be on the way in theory, and I really need to ride more. I tell myself this when the alarm goes off stupidly early on Monday morning: I have a late shift, and don’t need to be in work until 10:00, but I’ve foolishly promised myself I’d go on a “medium” (10k) commute to try and get my miles back up again, so after breakfast I leave my apartment and ride away from work, towards the forest. My neighbours probably think I’m mad.

The first kilometre or so is getting out of my village; past the local high school, but pretty soon I’m away from buildings and turn into the forest. This apparently hasn’t got the memo about Spring yet as the trail is wet and slightly squelchy. Thankfully this is just last years leaf mulch and nothing more. There’s not much green yet but the forest is clearly full of birds who are either advertising to other birds or more likely trying to intimidate them, but rather like the sound of children playing it sounds very nice as long as you don’t know what they’re saying. The allegedly Roman drainage canals are pretty full, and there are sudden patches of rough stones hidden under the remaining leaves; hitting these unawares with my semi-road tyres is a great way to make sure I’m awake, and get rid of any loose fillings.

The turning point at the south of the ride is a very large covered bridge. this means climbing an actual gradient. Okay so it’s very gentle and surfaced with extremely smooth tarmac for the benefit of pupils at a nearby school for people with disabilities, but it’s a real, genuine climb, so there.

The fact there’s even a view from the top merely emphasises the extremely horizontal nature of the surrounding countryside.

Down the other side and into the village of “Wasser” (Lit: Water) Where the tiny fire station is hosting a new Crane nest. The village includes a handy bridge, useful for crossing the river and taking pictures of the magnificent 1240m (4068 ft) Kandel mountain in the sunrise, just because I can.

Emmendingen is the local big town. It’s pretty cycle friendly, a subject I’ll probably return to in future. Amongst other things a large part of the centre is closed to cars but open to bicycles and buses. I could go around here but I tend to go through the centre because it gives a bit of variety, and I like the old buildings. Of course I’m usually worrying about being late for work by this stage so I haven’t got many pictures.

Back along he river. Of course at this point I’m not only approaching work, I’m also riding towards my apartment. It makes sense to me so don’t spoil it..

Last view of the Kandel before work; despite my fretting I arrived in plenty of time.