I mentioned already that the specific cycling routes were marked and sign posted, the problem is when these are missing at key junctions. This happened shortly after the events of my last post but with happy results. The route I would have taken would have skipped one of the lakes in the area, it was only a small 7 mile diversion but if I hadn't made it I would have missed out on this view!
And to prove I was actually there instead of taking pictures from Google :-)
I went further around the lake, which curved up hill and I noticed my energy levels were getting low and stopped here for another bite to eat and drink. At this point I was very confident of where I was.
I don't have a clue how it happened but the next time I looked at the map I was in a completely different place to where I thought, and heading South instead if North. It turns out that there was a point where I was following 2 routes and turned off following the wrong one. I had 2 choices; head back north back to the originally intended route or carry on South and go another way round to my destination town. The first if my major incorrect decisions. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.
This route would add an extra lake and wasn't much further so I went for it. The map I was using had different colours for the different routes but it also had a separate colour for commonly used Radwegs but not part of an official route. I saw one of these near that would be a short cut to the lake. Remember what the hobbits said about short cuts? Yep they lead to long delays. This time is no exception.
The map also graded the difficulty of the hills with numbers. This route had a 3 and a 1 and then down to the normal ground level by the lake. I had already done a 3 and a 4 that day. One more couldn't hurt could it? If you hadn't guessed that was my second stupid decision.
I wanted to be able to tell you that none of the hills beat me, but I had to walk up some of the first part of the hill; but this was my fifth hour of hill riding... My ambition got the better of me and I was feeling a pain in my right knee when pushing hard. That would prove a problem over the next couple of days. The hill seemed never ending, weaving round and round, it didn't take long for me to have to walk up all the time. This was also pretty tough.
Finally it levelled out and there was a bench at the top! FTW! I thought I had passed the worst of it so had a little rest and was looking forward to some nice sweeping down hills that would make the toil up the hill worth while. Little did I know that this would be a middle plateau, with much a much higher one to come. If there was a way down I couldn't find it. From then for the next hour it would be a long toil up hill. Poor decision number 3 was not turning back, it would still have been quicker.
To give you an idea of where I was here is a Google satellite view of where I was.
Red is the actual route that I went, through a hill/forest. In blue is the official cycle path, without any tough hills. At this point in the story I was where the X is, which is about 600m up, only 450 to go!
The craziness that happened in the forest will be explained in the next post! Stay tuned.
Viel Spaß homies!