[ blog » 2022 ]Ride: Ulm ( by Philipp Gesang, location: the bike shed)

After touching on the southern border of the state of Baden-Württemberg last week I felt the east was ready for a visit as well. The round trip to Ulm and back home was one I had planned years ago but never got around to realize until now. Only the first half of the trip was a true novelty for my legs though as I did ride Ulm → Tübingen already in the past.

Getting up early really is the key to enjoyment of these longer trips. No cars or inattentive e-bikers hogging the roads. Less sweating due to the chilly temperature, so water bottles last longer. The sun isn’t burning the skin as merciless yet. Bugs tend to sleep in too, reducing the general ickyness about an order of magnitude. This combination makes the time before 9:00 h easily the best part of the ride. And compared to last week I actually managed to get up in time.

Thanks to this punctuality I made it to Ulm before noon but then wasted some time there navigating the city center. I insisted on crossing over into Bavaria to Neu-Ulm, otherwise I would have saved a lot of time. No harm done though. After getting some halftime ice cream from a gas station in the Blau valley I headed back home. That valley with its picturesque small towns is a magnet not just for tourists but also tons of cyclists. For a while I shared the wind with some French guy who lived in Ulm. At Schelklingen I unfortunately passed the Hohle Fels without really noticing it, it’s fairly unremarkable viewed from outside compared to what’s within.

The only really taxing climb of the day followed, around 300 m of altitude gain in one more or less contiguous piece from the Ach valley onto the Suabian Alb mountain range that separates the Danube basin from that of the Rhine. After that it was pretty much all downhill to Tübingen so I added some minor ~100 m climbs to counter the inevitable boredom. I ended up with a well-rounded trip, not quite as demanding as last week’s but still fatiguing enough for the weekend to feel well utilized.

Map: Tübingen – Ulm – Tübingen; distance: 214 km, altitude gain: 1814 m.


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