To paraphrase the great Jens Voight and I use almost his complete words and sentiment in an imaginary conversation I had after my September 1 gravel ride. “SHUT UP BODY, it isn’t on Strava”. “But I ache” and “we hit the dirt” says my body. “But it isn’t on Strava” repeats my mixed up head. This latter sentiment is not shared by Voight I would think.
I joined Strava for the first time under a week ago and now I am left bereft because my venerable Garmin has died and is pushing up pixel daisies. So, does this mean that only for a few days did my rides really happen because they were recorded on Strava? Or is it some sort of Karma because I had slipped toward the darkside?
Placing my hand on a First Edition (1992) of Ballantine and Grant’s great book, ‘The Ultimate Bicycle’, “I swear that what I am about to tell you is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth” etc.
With my Garmin now defunct I set out with no real plan but something made me turn up the cobbled climb of the Zieten Barracks and then more climbing of Panzer Weg, which in turn took me up to the old military training grounds at Kerstlingeröderfeld. Here I mixed Panzer Weg concrete with gravel, more cobbles and dirt single track.
It was by now clear that I was revisiting a ride I did early on in my new home in Germany and this prompted me to think of the many rides I have taken in the Leine Valley below. On a whim I decided to link them together and I added some extra gravel Leine Valley routes to the mix. I was embarking on an amalgam of many rides including the ‘High and Low Ride’ with the ‘Off with the Leg Warmers’ and ‘Zeiten Barracks/Kerstlingeröderfeld’ rides. With a few more variations thrown into bring the total distance to over sixty tough kilometres.
Coming down from Kerstlingeröderfeld featured a long descent through the Goettingen Wald over long wide gravel and much single track which made for a lively ride.
Once in the Leine Valley it was mostly pushing on with a few hills to disturb the rhythm, but those on route were hard and there was also the relentless pounding from the track because gravel comes in all sorts of styles – big, medium and small. I also had to add the leg testing Kopfsteinpflaster Carousel into the forest which rises up from the valley toward the peaks of the Gleichen Hills.
This was one of the toughest rides I have done for many years and yes my body is right, and I listen to it more than my head. So it did happen despite not being on Strava.
Many of my German rides are here: https://veloklubhaus.com/2019/08/28/gravel-bike-goettingen/
The ride: as above
Panzer Weg up to Kerstlingeröderfeld
The descent from Kerstlingeröderfeld through the Goettingen Wald
Usually the first stretch of gravel into the Leine Valley
The path to the Gleichen I ignored this time
Concrete farm and forest roads
Back in the Leine Valley
Nothing broken but a wee bit sore