But in Germany, the interest and infrastructure are vastly different. The area is full of marked bike routes and one can ride safely in many places. PLUS going for a ride is an activity for all, young and old. It's truly enjoyable.
My friends / colleagues who are responsible for the exchange on this end, organized a bike ride for one of the afternoons we had free from the students. We started out in Unterechlingen, rode in the direction of Unterfallheim, towards Bühl, through Leiphim and around back to our starting point. Wile we don't have an exact calculation of the distance, we estimate it to be about 30km.
The weather was perfect for a ride. It was cool, but not cold. The sun peaked out of the clouds occasionally, but never so much that one worried about being burned. The area we rode through was beautiful and full of history. We rode past historic buildings including a monastery, the (now patched up) hole in a wall where some of Napoleon's men were shot, a castle and more. Sometimes our path was the bed of the forest, other times it was pebbles and still other times paved. We rode alongside the Danube, on city streets, through the forest, under the Autobahn, over the Danube, over the Autobahn and even on a bike path along side the Autobahn.
During our journey, we took one short (15 min) break, to rest our legs and eat apples. We only went the wrong way once...and it must be said the map and the signs didn't really match!
At the end of our ride, about 4km from our end point, we stopped at a Biergarten for dinner. It was a Biergarten that was clearly established for bicyclists. The name was "Radler Tankstelle", a name that basically translates to bicyclist gas station. It was set up with plenty of parking and very comfortable chairs to sit and relax in. After the filling meal there, it was a good thing we had only 4 more km to go before our ride was complete. It was really a great way to spend an afternoon.
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