We were still getting snow flurries at the start of April, but as the weeks went by the weather finally started to warm up. I decided it was time to get my butt in gear and make up some ground towards my cycling goal.
On Easter Sunday I went for 16.7km (10.4mi) ride to the Englischer Garten and back home along the Isar.
There were so many people in the park for the holiday. I was delighted to pass a little old guy playing the accordion and managed to record a bit as I passed…
Nothing reminds you you’re in Europe like a little old guy playing the accordion! 🎵😍 pic.twitter.com/JrJyoPXyR7
— Kris Howard 💃 (@web_goddess) April 4, 2021
I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of the blues and greens of Germany. It’s such a different landscape to back home in Australia! I found this public artwork along the Isar that was a bit of a platform sticking out over the river that you could venture inside.
A few weeks later I went on another long 20km ride to Olympiapark. The Snook and I had ridden there last November, but this was my first time venturing on my own.
I really like the particular style they used for the structures at the park. Wikipedia says, “The eye-catching tensile structure that covers much of the park was designed by German architect and engineer Frei Otto with Günther Behnisch.” Nice job Frei and Günther!
I also made a point of visiting the Memorial to the 1972 Olympic Games Massacre. To my surprise, the memorial was only formally opened four years ago in 2017. Unfortunately it appeared to be under renovation, and I couldn’t get any closer than this. The Jewish Museum of Munich has a nice depiction of what it normally looks like…
I left Olympia Park and rode past BMW World, which is evidently the most visited tourist attraction in all of Bavaria. Then I rode through Luitpold Park, which features another giant “hill” created by rubble piled up from WWII bombing attacks on the city. Looks like it would be great for sledding down in winter! I stopped for a photo by the obelisk at one end of the park.
A couple days later I did a quick 10km loop along the Isar and back…
The highlight was crossing the Thalkirchner Brücke on the way home and discovering the local kayak club out practicing!
Last weekend I finally gave in and started my Strava subscription trial, which gave me access to routes other people have added. One of them looked pretty fun, a big loop around Nymphenburg Palace and through some suburbs that were new to me. It ended up being another 20km ride!
We went to Nymphenburg Palace last September but just explored the gardens. This route took me way around the back side of the grounds along the palace wall. Here I am crossing the canal on a little bridge, and you can just see the Palace way, way off in the distance!
I’ve been experimenting with taking some photos while I’m riding. My iPhone mount works fine pointing up, but it does cover a little bit of the camera lens when looking forward. Still, you can see the castle wall there and lots of other people out enjoying the sun.
While riding back through the city towards home, I was delighted to see an honest-to-goodness Goggomobil pass me. The thing looked like a museum piece! Fortunately it got stuck at a stoplight so I was able to pull over and take a quick selfie for the Snook…
Can you tell it was a warm day? I took a bottle of water with me (that’s why I’m wearing a backpack), but I actually finished it long before I got home. I realised that hydration was definitely going to be a limiting factor on these rides, so I ordered myself a backpack with water bladder off Amazon.de.
This baby holds 2 liters and has a nozzle that clips over my shoulder, so I don’t even have to stop. I was excited to try it out on my longest ride yet. The Snook had told me recently about Komoot, which is another site where you can find recommended riding, running, and hiking routes. I found a route, filled up my backpack, and headed out today for a 30km ride…
The weather was cool and cloudy, but there wasn’t any rain forecast until the evening so I figured I’d better get out there. I first rode back to Nymphenburg but then turned northwest and meandered through Durchblickpark. “Durchblick” refers to a glance or a view, and apparently the park is so named because you’d have originally been able to see all the way across it from Nymphenburg Palace to my first destination – Schloß Blutenburg, a nearly 600-year-old castle on the banks of the river Würm.
See? You can just spot the castle a looooong way in the distance. Eventually I got there and parked my bike so I could look around. The courtyard was open, and took some photos of the apple trees in bloom and the decorated chapel. There was a biergarten outside along the water that was open for takeaway, and there were families enjoying lunch among the flowers.
I was only about a third of the way into my journey at that point, so I hopped back on my bike and continued along the Würm…
As with all German rivers, it’s charming AF.
Soon I left the city behind – I literally passed the sign marking the borders of Munich! – and found myself riding through fields.
If you zoom way in, you can see the Olympiaturm way, way off in the distance!
Pretty soon the fields started to smell strongly, and I wondered if they’d just been fertilised. But then I solved the mystery! We’d been wondering where all the organic food waste goes, and today I found it: a giant “Kompostwerk” just outside of town. (Speaking as someone who grew up in a rural area, I much prefer the smell of compost to manure!)
My end destination – well, the point where I turned around to head home – was the Langwieder Lake District. I rode under the Autobahn and headed out along the narrow strip of land between the Langwieder See and the Lußsee, and eventually I came to a little pebbly “beach”. I stopped for a bit to drink some water, eat some trail mix, and send an update to the Snook. It’s a far cry from Aussie beaches, but it seems like it would be nice on a sunny day. I was surprised to learn just now that this whole area was man-made, and the lakes are actually dug out gravel pits from the building of various highways! I’ll have to bring the Snook back here one of these days…
And then at last it was time to head home. My legs were feeling pretty tired, as was my bum. (Note to self: look into padded cycling shorts!) I also started to get nervous that my phone battery was going to run out, so I tried to keep the screen off most of the time. My feet and lower legs started to feel a little crampy too. When I was about 5km from the house, I realised I’d missed a turn to get into a cycling path and stopped to do a U-turn. As I slowed to turn and head back the other direction, I turned the wheel too far and was slow getting my foot under me, so… I stacked it! Fell right over. 😂 Only a few scratches, and of course my dented pride. It was bound to happen eventually.
I was really running on fumes by the time I got back to our neighbourhood, and I was so tired I walked my bike up over the Donnersbergerbrücke. I definitely think I tested my limits today, both my fitness and my iPhone battery!
So that’s the current goal status: 204km for the year, which is 127.4km behind where I need to be to hit 1000km for 2021. I racked up a lot of miles in April though, so if I can keep it up, I reckon I might be able to catch up by the time we get to Summer! 🚴♀️