Gö Gravel – Peace Ride – February 12 2023

We scouted a Gö Gravel Love of Mud party ride chosen by Sandra M. It compliments the All Along the Watchtower tour and it is an amended version of a previous Peace Ride.

It was lovely to share the day with Sandra, Andrea, Josh, and Craig.

A War Not Fought
Many conflicts have ravaged the Göttingen area causing depravation, and hardship for generations – these include the Thirty Years War, Seven Years War and World War 2.

This ride´s theme is a war not fought and a peace dividend delivered in the early 1990´s. If the Cold War had become hot then the Göttingen area would have most likely have been devastated.

Kerstlingrödefeld – Peace Dividend

Kerstlingeröderfeld manor house destroyed by urban war games and how it looked inset

Up to 1989 Göttingen was located close to the Iron Curtain an ideological schism made physical by a fortified border after WW2. On the high ground to the east of Göttingen is Kerstlingrodefeld which was once a large Panzer Grenadier base and barracks. Many times, soldiers here were mobilised to the border during the period 1945 to 1989.

A hot war was avoided between East and West and Kerstlingrodefeld became a peace dividend at the end of the Cold War in the early 1990´s when the Bundeswehr vacated the site. It is now the Göttingen Wald open to all.

Despite the war in Ukraine and the threat that it offers, I am grateful to live in a time in Central Europe (Germany) where a peace has held since 1945, and it is a period never seen before in history.

Panzer Ghosts in Gö – A defunct Bundeswehr/NATO shooting range

Leopard Bath – although most derelict military facilities were cleared some signs remain

Klein Kerstlingröde Feld
I like to think that this stone road was once a thoroughfare in Klein Kerstlingröde Feld before the village was wiped off the map.

Garteltal – The WW2 Airwar was intense in the skies above Gö

The Ride – 34km
We start at the Gö Golf Course (sic) adjacent to the Schillerwiesen Park on Hainholzweg. It is said that Jerome Napoleon (brother of the Emperor) would meet his lovers in the pavilion in the park during the French occupation of Gö after the defeat of the Prussian/Saxon armies at the battle of Jena in 1806.

The route includes sections of the All Along the Watchower tour reflecting upon past conflicts. We visit battlefields and places where the fierce WW2 airwar fought in the Göttingen sky came down to earth (11 crash sites – inc. 4 USAF).

We climb through the Hainberg Forest but we do not continue to the Kehr, which is simply too busy with people to be much fun when riding as a group. Instead we visit the site of a huge derelict Bundeswehr gunnery range via a defunct Panzerweg up to an abandoned Panzer training range at Kerstlingrodefeld now the Göttingen Wald. Here there is also a decaying Leopard bath.

From the Göttingen Wald we descend to Mackenrode (B17 crash site) and hug the Garteltal hillside above Groß Lengden, and Klein Lengden. In the last months of WW2 many planes and their pilots met their fate in this valley.

At Klein Lengden we are overlooked by the Lengder Wallburg an ancient hill fort dating back to 300BC, and all that remains of it are earth embankments.

The Lengderburg overlooking Klein Lengden

We next drop down further to the Garte River cossing the L574 and it was on this road that a rare large scale WW2 land battle was fought in the Göttingen area between United States Army and German units.

Heading back to Gö we pass the lost Warte´s at Diemarden, Weinzenbergwarte and Dreckwarte, another WW2 aircraft crash site (The Sons 0´ Satan B17) and more battle fields.

We end the social ride at the P-Café  situated within the medieval city walls of Göttingen in the Nikolai quarter (We stopped the GPS at the Gartelbahn near the velodrome). Up close and personal to the cafe is the Gothic/Romanesque mix of the St.-Nikolai-Kirche.

The Nikolai quarter was in the medieval period known for its connections with Flanders Weavers, an area of Belgium now seen by many as being the heartland of cycle racing.

The Last City Watchtower
The last watchtower within Gö part of the inner city wall near to the P-Cafe

Total 34.17km
Gravel/Forstweg/Betonweg/Feldweg/Cycle Paths – 31 km CA/Approx.
Straße (open to cars etc.) – 3.0 km CA/Approx.
517m of elevation

Garmin Connect: https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/10497053356
Strava: https://www.strava.com/activities/8549676748
Komoot: https://www.komoot.com/tour/1029746241

Ride Pictures (Inc. Sandra and Craig received their Brevet Kartes)

Links (History and rides associated with war in Gö)

Kerstlingrodefeld – Peace Dividend
Panzergeister in Gö
Leopard Bath
Lost Villages and Kathe Kollwitz
Stadt Friedhof
Iron Curtain
15km to the DDR
Friedland Transit Camp
The Old DDR Border
Letter from Germany 7 – Liberation
Grenze Hopping
Duderstadt and the Grenze
Ride Without Frontiers in Gö – the Dreilländereck
Meeting on the Frontline
World War Two
WW2 Aircraft Crash Sites 1
WW2 Aircraft Crash Sites 2
The Seven Years War 1
The Seven Years War 2
The Thirty Years War
John Parr – WW1 Cyclist
Big Bang in Gö
Nationality isn´t Simple
Immigrant in Germany
Friedland Transit Camp
WW2 Memorial
World War One Book

A reminder that war sucks!
The Stadt Friedhof where the war dead overflowed 

Attention/Take Note

The Gö Peace Ride is a suggested route for a bike tour and not a race or competition. Should you decide to follow our tour description or a GPS of the route described, you do so at your own risk.

You are responsible for cycling as you think you can, according to your ability and fitness level.

Die Gö Peace Ride ist ein Routenvorschlag für eine Fahradtour und kein Rennen oder Wettkampf. Solltest Du Dich dafür entscheiden, unserer Tourbeschreibung oder einem GPS der beschriebenen Route zu folgen, tust Du dies auf eigene Gefahr.

Du bist selbst dafür verantwortlich, entsprechend Deinem Können und Fitness-Niveau, so zu radeln, wie Du es Dir zutraust.

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