Tobias Woggon and I have been mountain bike pros for a long time now and we have both independently travelled the world on two wheels. Our bikes have taken us to beautiful places and shared unique experiences with people from many cultures. A love and passion for bicycles has the power to unite people.
This year, it was time to focus on travel in Germany. Although we were not aware of this during the long planning phase, “holidays in Germany” and “cycling” are now hot topics. With our panniers loaded on our gravel bikes, we took to the road CO2-free. On the way, we are also helped to deliver some parcels from BIKE24 in Dresden. The five “customers” were all no strangers to the mountain bike scene. We met German champions and even world cycling champions, delivering their order to their doorsteps. They invited us in to take a look around their homes and we chatted over a good coffee (or two).
In total, we rode 745 miles (1,200 km) and 39,370 feet (12,000 m) of elevation gain over 10 days including one rest day. Our route took us from Dresden to Vogtland, Regensburg, Upper Bavaria, the Allgäu, the Swiss side of Lake Constance, the Black Forest and as far as Stuttgart. After a hot and dry spring, we chose exactly the time in early June, when it rained almost constantly.
Our rides averaged around 80.7 miles (130 km) and 3,937 feet (1,200 m) of altitude per day. Cycling these distances day after day pushes your limits but you may be surprised by how much you’re capable of when you try. Neither Tobias or I are endurance athletes and we only did a few practice trips of 62 miles (100 km). Spending ten hours a day in the saddle seemed to fly by thanks to the countless unforgettable moments we experienced on our journey.
I cannot recommend more strongly that everybody should explore Germany by bike. It is great to explore the beautiful landscapes that can be found away from the motorways and how different and interesting people are when you cycle from A to B in one day. Riding by bike helps you to experience places fully, whilst improving your fitness and learning more about yourself along the way.
The first day was very exciting because we were driving into the unknown - and also because it was supposed to be one of the hardest days overall. Over 2,000 vertical meters into the Vogtland were already an announcement.The first 40 kilometers were accompanied by some Bike24 colleagues, which made it easier for us to get going. After that, Tobi and I were alone with our five packages, which were to be distributed in succession in southern Germany and Switzerland.It was sunny and warm, but still very tiring, especially when we rode in the Vogtland. Suddenly the mountains became steep and the strength decreased. We were able to save ourselves right up to André Wagenknecht's front door near Plauen. André is a well-known rider in Germany, above all due to his success in enduro and his longstanding collaboration with the bike manufacturer Cube.
Today should actually be a day of rest to get strengthened in the next two to three days to Bad Aibling, over 300 kilometers away. André showed us his home trail, then it started to rain, but we decided to walk a few kilometers. We just wanted to avoid getting really flat at some point and thought: “50 kilometers are always possible”.The 50 kilometers to Rehau "went", but I had to fight quite a bit with the heavy legs of the previous day and above all because of the bad weather. André accompanied us a bit at the beginning, which made things a little more pleasant.
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The journey from Rehau to Regensburg should be our longest stage of the tour. In the end, 174 kilometers in just under ten hours were on our speedometer ... and I have to say: It was very hard!At the beginning the weather was still good. We knew: At the beginning it goes a bit uphill and then only downhill to Regensburg. Even if it sometimes looks like this on such a long route: It is definitely NEVER “just downhill”. The small counter climbs were a problem for us and especially the rain showers in between.It was all the more wonderful to feel the way into the city in the evening light next to the beautiful river Regen. The pizza in downtown Regensburg was a terrific treat - even if we almost fell asleep while eating.
After the previous day with 174 kilometers, there was another big stage today. Neither would it have been so bad if we had not had a brutal headwind for the first 50 kilometers.It was safe for Tobi and me to look at - we literally had “no more bucks” right from the start. But we motivated each other and with a snack or two, for example in the beautiful city center of Moosburg. When the Alpine panorama appeared in the background, the pain was more bearable.At the end of this day I was very proud of us and we were really looking forward to a day of rest with bike professional Andi Wittmann, who is known for his daring tricks and jumps. In the meantime he is more on the E-MTB, which he was finally able to repair thanks to our delivery of a tubeless repair kit.
Even if we didn't know that at the beginning of the day, but today should be the best day of our tour. Why? Because we had a steady tailwind and good legs through the rest day.It went straight to the beautiful Allgäu to enduro professionals Ines Thoma and Max Schumann. Despite the good conditions, the last 20 kilometers were hard for me. It was a common thread running through every stage that I always had problems with the last 20 kilometers.Now that I was aware of it, I always imagined that we would just drive 20 kilometers. Crazy how much the head and the mind make up when it comes to motivation and strength distribution.
The hardest should follow the best day of the tour today. From the kilometers it doesn't look that bad, but the weather was incredibly modest. Fortunately we had some companions again, Ines Thoma took a part with us. It is extremely motivating to have another partner in suffering - and also someone with whom you can talk about something else.Tobi and I had now shared all the stories and had little to say to each other. But that was not bad either, because we were able to ride very well together and it is probably important to have a good colleague with us to share the hard but above all the beautiful moments.Fortunately, we were allowed to cross the border and were then welcomed with a snack plate by the Swiss cross country driver and former world champion Ralph Näf. He could understand very well how finished we were now and served us the best coffee of the tour.
Once again we were accompanied for the first few kilometers by our host, Bike Pro Ralph Näf. Back in Germany it went on alone and in the very mountainous Black Forest. In the meantime, Tobi and I were a well-coordinated team and we enjoyed the good feeling that we had come this far.Today it was only 85 kilometers, but they were tough again. Slowly, the air and strength became really scarce and I still didn't know if I would make it to the end. Fortunately, I discovered seat cream that made it a little easier.
Almost 100 kilometers were planned, but without a day off it gets harder and harder. However, the goal was to visit the German mountain bike downhill legend Marcus Klausmann - and that motivated us a lot.In the deepest Black Forest, the 15-time downhill master then opened his door for us and showed us how he lives. With Pumptrack in the garden you can live very well, which his son impressively demonstrated to us with a really good performance on the garden route.In terms of landscape, the Black Forest is really great and something very special for me, since I haven't really been here often.
Just felt like we were just starting (well ... not really!) We are already on the last day of the tour. Due to some external circumstances, we had merged a few tours and overall drove faster than planned. It would have been two more driving days, but somehow you get used to the long days and cover every distance.Today's goal was in Kirchheim / Teck with Manuel Fumic, our German cross country superstar, who unfortunately had suffered a relatively serious injury shortly before during a training crash. We were very happy that we could still visit him briefly and got rid of our package from Dresden. In this way get well soon Manni!The feedback on our Germany Ride was huge and we would like to thank everyone involved again. Especially at komoot for top route planning. Now we are recovering for the time being, but a sequel is already planned for next year.