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Trip Report: Germany - Steve's most excellent Adventure!

Sunday night, May 14th: I'm back after 12 hours of riding. I'm fed, I've had a
couple of beers and a good long soak in a very hot tub. Ok, Ok, I know! Who
cares? Oh, tell you about my ride? Details, man, details! Well, today is going
to be very hard to describe. Can you imagine (I couldn't before today) coming
into a hairpin  turn and feeling or saying, "Oh, no, not another, couldn't they
have straigtened these roads a little!!!!!"  Well it happened to me today. I
also got to ride in fog so thick you couldn't bearly see the sides of the road,
in sleet, on slushy roads, thru over a hundred hairpin turns and was able to
blast along at 220 km/h (but I didn't do this all a once /smile/). I got lots
of time hanging off in curves. What I didn't do was get into the Alps, but
given the weather and the fact that it was cold and snowy above 700
meters, I had a most excellent adventure in the Black Forest. I worked my
way south thru the Black Forest, zig-zagging back and forth over mountain
passes, taking as many scenic back roads as I could route myself over. I
made my way close enough to Switzerland to be able to see snow covered 
mountians before heading north-east from Waldshut-Tiengen to pickup the
autobahn for a very fast ride home.

But first things first. the day started with breakfast over maps. As I
mentioned the most effective method of navigating that I have found
is to make a list of the villages/towns that I plan to pass thru. I keep
the list on my tankbag with the map. Since  roads rarely go straight thru
villages or straight for any distance for that matter, I can quickly to
a name check at any intersection by comparing my list to the signs. Only
when I can't find a match or multiple matches do I have to look at the map.
As I leave I decide to reroute based on my local knowledge of roads and
make better time initially through the area I am familar with. So the 
follow table is an augmented list of villages/towns with their elevations
(meters) and comments.
Elev.  Name            Coments
 386  Leonberg
 405  Weilderstadt
 347  Calw
 333  Bad Liebenzell    +-]
 633  Scho"mberg          ]  20 km back roads
 325  Neuenbu"rg        +-]
 717  Ho"fen              ]  6km south on 294
 426  Bad Wildbad       +-]
~550  Sprollenhaus      +-]  13 km back roads
~9xx  Kaltenbronn         ]
~988  Reichental          ]  19.5 km mountain pass with snow and fog
 216  Weinenbach        +-]
 331  Forbach           +-]  8.5 km south on 462
 ---  Bermersbach         ]
183  Baden-Baden        +-] 13 km mountain pass {rising to 690 m}
30 km south on 500 to turn off for Oppenau. This road runs down a very
        scenic valley with peaks topping 1000 km on both sides.
 913  at turnoff to Oppenau	+-]
 277  Oppenau              	+-]  18.5 km mountain pass
        take the road toward Freudenstadt  +-]  9.5 km mountain pass {963 m}
 920  take 500 south for 5 km	+-]
 820  Holzwald                    ]
 564  Rippoldsau-Schapbach	  ]  mountain pass and back roads for 32 km
 ---  Ober-wolfach                ]
 262  Wolfach                   +-]
 ---  Hausach
 222  Haslach          +-]
 361  Elzach           +-]  15 km
 274  Waldkirch        -+]  15 km
 722  St. Peter        -+]  mountain pass {1241 m} 12 km up and 16.6 km down
 889  St. Ma"rgen      -+]  mountain pass 7 km
 895  Hinterzauten     -+]  pass {1034} 7 km to 500 and 9 km south on 500
 860  Titisee          -+]  5 km
 ---   toward Feldberg -+]  9 km
 930  Schluchsee and 500 south for 6 km -+]
 ---  A"ule            -+]  mountain pass { <1282 m peak }
 762  St. Blasien      -+]
 821  Todtmoos         -+]  15 km ( see comments on Todtmoos and Leothar)
 762  St. Blasien      -+]  15 km
 899  Ha"usern         -+]  3.5 km
 340  Waldshut-Tiengen -+]  21 km south on 500
 501  Stu"hlingen      -+]  28 km
 703  Blu"mberg        -+]  17.5 km
 769  A864             -+]  20 km
 ---  A81                ]
 ---  Stuttgart        -+]  1+ hour at warpspeed up the autobahn

The above list isn't very meaningful unless you want to go to Germany and
recreate my trip, but what is of interest is the number of passes I was
able to string together and the amount of evelation changes (remember
that these are in meters ie x3 for ft). While writing this up I noticed a
whole other area south of Freiburg and west of Todtmoos that is loaded
with twisty mountain passes that I never got over to explore, but that
is the case with most of the pages of maps that cover Germany. So many
roads and so little time!  South of Titisee, I stopped for gas and met 
Leothar who was gassing up a Honda Fireblade 900RR. He was interested
in the routes I was taking and wanted to know if I was interested in stop-
ping at a pub he knew for a drink and to talk. He assured me it was only
5-10 minutes away. I could use a rest and some coffee. He had passed me
earlier and was a very fast rider. His Fireblade had also be dropped at 
speed atleast once or twice, so I made a point of telling him to take it
easy or he would loose me. We take off and I notice we are following my
route, but after 20-30 minutes I begin to wonder where we are going.
Shortly at a stop sign, he reassures me it isn't far. We have gone thru some
really nice passes and roads. As Leothar rounds a corner, I notice that
his rear tire slides a foot or two toward the outside. I have just enough
time to wonder what caused that when my tire does the same. Luckly
we both make it thru without a problem. I guess it was sand, but I never
saw it. I see bikes parked up ahead and Leothar on his brakes and we are
The proprietor has spent a lot of time in Canada and speaks excellent
English. The pub looks like a bar from Klondike with pictures of dog
sled teams that the owner raises and races. the walls are covered with
snow shoes, American flag, pictures of Alaska, antlers, etc. There are
4-5 people the Leothar knows sitting about the bar and everyone is
drinking coffee. This pub is located in the nexus of a half dozen major
biker roads. Well I regret feeling pressed for time, I would like to visit
for awhile.  I head back the way I came to St. Blasien and to the southern
most part of my trip in Waldshut-Tiengen which is about 50 km north
by roads to Zu"rich. As I head north again, I delay getting on the autobahn
for a while, but after riding south on tight twisty roads for 10.5 hours
I am tire and sore. The autobahn is smoother here and I can push the GSX/R
up to 220 km/h, but the wind pressure on my head and neck is tremendous
as I can't get my head below the windscreen because of my tankbag.
It is not long before I am back in familiar territory, and back at my hotel.
I have not done justice to how good I feel about this ride. I guess you
had to be there. The strange weather added to the drama of it all. The views
from the passes were spectacular and the moutains as seen from the valleys
were steep and foreboding. The villages were often like story book enchanted
towns held in the protective folds of the mountains and hills. It was definitely
a 12+ on a scale of 10.

Monday, May 15th:  I finished work early and I'm off without a plan by 3:30.
This is my "good-bye ride", tomorrow I have to return the bike and will be
flying back on Wednesday morning. This is a sad ride only interrupted by
the common occurance of interesting roads and views. I am clearly
wandering in an aimless fashion as I have gone thru at least 3-4 villages
more than once. I had established that my gas range should be close to 
300 km, but wrong, I had to switch to reserve at 230 km and darn if can't
find gas when you need it. Well with a full tank of gas, an empty stomach
and a heavy heart, I start my final tour home, north from Hechingen to
Haigerloch, Horb and north on 463 thru Nagold, Wildberg, Calw, Weil der
Stadt and finally to Leonburg. Tomorrow will be a day of goodbyes, to the
bike, to all my new aquaintances at Mercedes-Benz, and to a wonderful
country. As I review my notes and routes on the maps, I realize that I 
have covered a lot of area. I have ridden just under 3000 km (1800 miles)
in two weeks with the bulk being done on the weekends. But I also see
how many roads and villages I didn't get to see. The two maps I was
using are from a set of 26. Even if I had all the maps that I traversed
over it would only be 8 of the 26. And these maps don't cover Switzerland,
Austria and Northern Italy that I had originally want to see.

In summary, If my words haven't gotten across the point that the roads,
the people, the landscape, the history and culture are wonderful, then I
don't know what else I can say. I will miss it and hope I can return to see
some more. Auf Wiedersehn. Tschu"ss.

                    --- The End (finally) ---

Stephen Woodbridge <> 95 VFR750 Red HOT!   (( 
Computervision Corp                    79 KZ750B Project     )) Dangerous
100 Crosby Drive  MS:21-108            84 GPz750 (for sale) ((   Curves
Bedford, MA 01730                      DoD# 1480, KotT       ))   Ahead
                                       AMA# 398523          ((
Standard disclaimer - these are my own ideas, views, etc.    ))