Mid of last week, Ralf asked, whether we would start at the “RTF” (organized bike tour) around Stuttgart (“Rund um Stuttgart”). In principal a good idea, but: Start/Finish in Untertürkheim, where we would have to start at the latest at 9:00 … which means we would need to take the train in Böblingen at 8:00. Hmm, that’s pretty early. And then I checked the tour… it goes via Sindelfingen/Ehningen and through Holzgerlingen, my home town!
So why not create a “Around Stuttgart Special” tour and ride the official track, but from “Böblingen to Böblingen”, great idea, right?
Thought, agreed, done: So we started at our club-house at 10:00, through the Aichtal at pretty high speed until Grötzingen where the tour started to go on roads that I didn’t know, as this is not my typical area. But with the RTF signs at every turn, it was easy to follow the roads until Untertürkheim through nice sceneries. Arrived at the start/finish area after about 50km, where we made a short break.
Then we started again and followed a sign “Tour A und B this direction”… OK, so we climbed the Rotenberg which is one of the nice hills in Stuttgart, about 200m altitude, with a great view over Stuttgart. Once being here, this is a view that you must enjoy:
A small issue with that. This was not the official route. We must have missed a turn, so climbing up here was not really intentional. OK, same way back down. Checked the GPS track on the smartphone… shortly after the sign we had missed a turn left. OK, next try. A few kilometers through the vineyards … until the next road crossing. No RTF sign, checking the SmartPhone, we are on the right track. What’s up now? Well, after short thinking it became clear. The official start was planned until 9:00, but we were at the start only at 12:00 as we had left Böblingen only at 10:00. So the organizers had already started to remove the signs. Clearly my fault, bad planning.
So at first, I started to check the Smartphone at every road crossing that was unclear. But that doesn’t work well, you have to stop each time and wait, that is not “road bike” like. But Martin, one of our team, had a bike-GPS mounted and had done this tour already some 8 years ago, and still had the old tour stored. The old tour was a bit different, but at least this would allow us to follow directions without stopping.
For the next few kilometers we first had to find to the right road of the old route and missed a few turns, so we stumbled across some of the outer parts of Stuttgart, until we reached the right track. Around Fellbach and Kornwestheim, the old route used a lot of main roads, so we had quite a lot of traffic. After about 20km we reached “outside Stuttgart” around Münchingen, Hemmingen and Heimerdingen, and things went much better. Very nice scenery again.
Shortly before we reached Magstadt, we followed known roads again, but I was a bit surprised about the road there. I already knew that after many, many years of construction work, the last bit of the new B464 was finished. However there was no side-road, and the B464 is like Autobahn, so we HAD to cycle almost one kilometer on the B464 until we could leave it and enter Magstadt. This is a bit strange. So here we left the official RTF track, as we all started to be a bit tired and wanted to take the shortest route back to Böblingen. After all, here is our home-turf.
Despite the extra-tours in Stuttgart, I think it was a nice tour, the views over Stuttgart on such a nice day were worth it. But next year we either have to prepare better by loading the official GPS track on a bike navigator,… or we don’t do the tour this day again.
Back home, I had 132,2km, 1.340m altitude with an average speed of 23,9km/h recorded. Not bad, I think we’ll all sleep well tonight.