Sunday, August 10, 2008

Walchensee Loop

Walchensee Loop

After rather successfully killing myself last week, I decided to take it a bit easier this week, so when Radina told me that she was going to head out from Wolfrathausen to Walchensee, I agred to join her. The morning was cool, so I started with arm warmers and knee warmers. It also helped that we started out on the Isar Radweg, which while mostly unpaved, was also very well shaded (so much so that the trail was still muddy from yesterday's rains --- yuck!).

Soon, the trail gave us two choices, an 16km ride to Bad Tolz, or a 10km ride to Bad Tolz. Well, mama didn't raise no dummy, so I chose the 10km ride, which turned out to make the distance shorter by climbing a hill. That was fine by me, though on dirt, the climb was a bit difficult --- I had mounted 700x28mm tires the day before, however, so I was quite pleased that I had done so.

The day shaped up to be pretty warm, and by the top of the hill, I decided to shed my leg and arm warmers and put on sun screen. The short descent down the hill wasn't very fun, but a few rollers later, we were dumped out onto smooth asphalt and a fantastic descent. A few jiggles of the road, and we were finally on the bike path into Bad Tolz. I had previously only ridden into Bad Tolz from the South, and coming from the North was quite different --- you hit a lake to your left and a river, and the view of Bad Tolz from the bike path is quite impressive.

We then followed the Isar bike path again, something I had never done before. Somewhere in the vicinity of Lengries, however, the bike path crosses the river, and not wanting to do so, we stayed on the West side of the river and got onto the road. From here, it was a straight shot up the Jachen river into the Walchensee. I had first ridden this road from the opposite direction in April, and at that time there was a strong wind headed this way, making the descent not much fun. The climb was so gentle that I hardly felt it at all, and certainly didn't think much of it until we got close to the Walchensee.

At the Walchensee, I spotted the bike path which I didn't realize existed the last time I had been there. Well, Radina wanted some pictures, and this was a good place for lunch anyway, so we rode down to the closest beach, ate lunch, took pictures, and then got going again. The bike path was unpaved, of course, but crowded nonetheless. At one point the bike path goes up the hill while the walking path goes along the lake. That reduced the traffic some but as soon as the climb was over and the road became paved again the place became crowded.

Wind-surfers dotted the lake like bees around a field of flowers. Sunbathers, swimmers, and rubber rafts paid court to the rocky beaches. It hadn't been nearly as crowded the last time I rode here, so summer must have arrived! After a bit of contemplation we immediately rode to the end of the road and turned right. I remembered this road from our hike a month back. The traffic was annoying as I remembered but no buses passed us. The climb, fortunately was short and not steep at all, and the descent down into Kochel was fun!

When the road flattened out, however, the traffic was not so fun. I proposed following a route I had planned, but Radinaa took a look at the climb I was proposing and would have none of it. So we tooled around along the flatlands, taking the direct route back to Wolfrathausen, where we had ice cream before getting onto the train.

Not bad for 820m, and a thoroughly nice day.
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