I am beginning to feel human again after suffering a bug and although Craig my ride companion had to wait for me on the hills (danke) I didn´t grovel as I might have feared.
I am still scouting a long version of an ´All Along the Watchtower´ gravel ride (and a road version) featuring the many warte and castles in and around Göttingen. My dilemma is this, from the Kapelle Wittmarshof there are two options to get to the Gleichen Hills.
a. The first is a climb of 2.8km touching a gradient of 9% at first, then at times it is at 11, 23, 26.4 with some respite and a max at 27%.
b. The other is to take the trail which I normally come down. On this at the start the fork in the road soon ascends a 500 metres climb at over 17% max, but in fact you keep climbing for 1.6 kilometres at a gradual gradient.
On this route (b) there are a few short sharp climbs/descents including the wonderful Kopfsteinpflaster Carousel which take you onto higher ground before you get to make the final push up to the Gleichens.
The initial climb up to the Gleichen is in two parts, of the 600 metre section, the first 400 metres max at 12%, and then you turn left where the gradient hits 16% plus.
Here, you can opt to stay on the gravel road which circumvents the Alte Gleichen or take in some tricky at times uphill single track for 600 metres which at one point goes to 19%.
In my experience is that (b) seems to be the best option because prior to this point the ride will have featured several steep and energy sapping climbs (Warte and Burgen are on hills) whilst (a) is a long almost unrelenting 2.8km climb which might break a few hearts and minds. There is also the benefit of option (b) of flying down this 2.8km descent (a) back to the Kapelle Wittmarshof.
Craig and I rode option (b) today and the single track to the castle wasn´t such a struggle meaning that there was no need to porter the bike.
The Ride – 36km.
Links (Scouting castles & includes road rides)
Ride 1 – Rusteberg and Gleichen
Ride 2 – Grone, Jühnde and Berlepsch
Ride 3 – Alte Niedeck mit kuchen und pommes
Ride 4 – Following Smoke Trails (imaginary) in Gö
Ride 5 – Many Shades of Gradient in Gö
Pictures in order of appearance