When asking fellow cyclists where to ride in Germany, the recommended place is The Black Forrest or “Schwarzwald”.
But a close friend recommended cycling around The Moselle Valley.
And so we did.
Driving into the picturesque village Ediger-Eller after a 4 hour drive, we couldn’t shake a cheeky smile of our faces. Leaving Belgium in rain, driving into good weather, nice landscapes and most important for us cyclists, smooth tarmac is exactly what you need.
And so it began, 5 days of riding in this beautiful place we called home for a little bit. Landscapes that shifted from riding between vineyards to riding in the middle of the woods.
The first day of our trip, might just be the one with the most memorable moments. With little planning we started our first ride with only one midway point in mind, the famous Nurburgring (Which I had no idea with it was, until I was snobbishly explained by the boyfriend, that it is basically race car heaven. It was a must to go there. And so we went).
Putting all of our trust in our beloved Wahoo, we set up the route to the Nurburgring address, and so began our first ride.
Within the first 10K of our 120km ride, we founded ourself climbing a full gravel hill. Not a 1K, not a 2k climb like we get in Belgium, a proper 10k of gravel climbing.
The next road being, buttery smooth, we thought that it might’ve been a slight twitch in the system. Until we ended up riding until about kilometer 30 in the middle of woods. Big chunks of ‘road’ that looked like they hadn’t been entered in months.
Places where nature took over, where humans had left it.
Both loving the roads and enjoying the views whilst making jokes about how we will get lost and need to call for help on our first day. Both the annoyance we started to feel when not reaching our midway point, and continuing to find ourselves in the middle of forests. Longing for smooth roads.
Much frustration and arguing about which way to go later, we went old school for the rest of the ride. ONLY following traffic signs, and there it was. The sign of the Nurnburgring. For my boyfriend it was his boy/men’s dream pitstop, for me it was a relieve that we were finally at our midway point.
The road back to Ediger-Eller was like we expected this place to be, beautiful sights of nature, whilst climbing and descending smooth tarmac, the type we Belgians could only dream of.
Any cyclist knows the importance of solitude when riding. Whether it is at home, to do your training correctly and in your specific zones, but also on a cycling holiday. Climbing, is something we all do differently. Some smash, some Froomey. I’m a Froomey, my co-pilot is a smasher. So of we went, on every climb, listening to our own bodies. Thus we found our moments of solitude on a duo trip.
I cherished these little moments, dancing on the paddles. My rhythm, carefully listening to my breath, the way it coordinated with the amount of power my body was pushing through on the paddles. Glancing around me, taking it all in. Sometimes, when riding uphill, when my body was in auto-pilot, I caught myself grinning at little things, the animals appearing on the side of the road, people staring out cars, overseeing the town, so on. I found my happy place.
I would say that the solitude is the reason why I enjoyed riding and staying here this much. The quiet gave me the inner peace I was looking for this year. On and off the bike, this place is peaceful, the pace is easy. Walking the streets when the sun is waving goodbye, through the typical sights of German small town architecture, with barely any people in sight. Sitting by the water, watching the young fishes swim at the side of the lake, before they joined the big guys in the middle.
For me, right then and there. It was all I needed.
The next days we got in our rhythm. Waking up, finding a route online, getting ready, riding, ice-cream, riding home, foodies, sleep. It’s certainly a life one can get used to.
But this is it, time to go back to our fugly roads, reminiscing about how good the tarmac and training was where we came from.
So long Germany, so long.