The first segment of the circle ... from Fürstenfeldbruck to Dachau
Sunday March 25, 2018
Today was the day to start my intended project of circling around Munich from one city train line to another. We rode our bikes to the train station, got on the train to Fürstenfeldbruck and from there we cycled along the Amper River to Dachau where we got a train home. Sounds simple enough, right? It was, but I was dead tired at the end of the day.
This is only a small portion of the circle around Munich, but it's a beginning. I'm hoping I'll be in better shape by the time I finish my rides.
I have some excuses or explanations why cycling was such a chore today. First of all, I slept very little the night before due to an upset stomach. But I got on my bike anyway, I give myself credit for that. Secondly, I have hardly done any cycling all winter and am not sure what's up with my heart problems. Add to that the many unpaved paths we had along the river today, they're not as easy as asphalt. So I have now built a case for being tired after riding 29 km's, including the ride to the train station and back, on an e-bike. Now let's talk about the ride.
We cycled to the station, about 2.5 km from where we live. So many people milling around there - it made me tired already. There is an elevator that takes you to the lower level where the ticket vending machines and lots of shops are. We bought a ticket for my bike - 3 Euros for the whole day. Bicycles with 20 inch tires ride for free. We didn't need tickets for ourselves since we both have a monthly city train pass which was valid for the distance we wanted to travel. We then took another elevator to a lower level where the trains run. No pictures of the second elevator. By that time I felt I was getting in everyone's way and being a general nuisance with my bicycle and camera act.
There are a few things you have to know about taking a bicycle on the city trains or subway. As I already mentioned, you aren't allowed to take your bike into all cars. However, on weekends there might by lots of cyclists and people use other cars anyway. There are also time restrictions. No bikes Monday through Friday between 6 a.m.and 9 a.m. and between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. During school holidays there is no afternoon restriction.
Thank goodness for those elevators. Our e-bikes are heavy. When choosing our starting points and destinations in the city train system, I want to be sure there will be ramps or elevators to the platforms. A little internet research and I found a map showing which stations provide wheelchair access to the trains. That means no stairs and they are good for bikes, too.
Now that we have the logistics out of the way, let's finally get to the ride. Well, the beginning was boring. We rode through some residential areas of not much interest. Eventually, the route took us to paths along the Amper River. Closer to the little towns there were lots of people out walking on the paths as well, but we also had stretches that were fine. All in all, it is early spring which means shades of brown. The ride wasn't sensational but we did see parts of Munich's surroundings that we weren't familiar with, more interesting for us than for a show and tell for others.
Our destination was the train station in Dachau, a name that evokes associations with its concentration camp under the Nazis and probably little else. It is certainly important to be reminded of the Nazi atrocities - but there is also another side to Dachau. It's a historic little town with cobblestone streets, old townhouses, the Dachau Palace with its gardens (Wittelsbach summer residence), the late Renaissance church of St. Jakob, and some museums and galleries. We didn't visit the old part of Dachau today so no pictures.
Just headed for the train station and were lucky that a regional train, not the city train, was just due to arrive. This meant no stops on the way to Munich's Central Station as opposed to ten stops on the city train. The trade off is that you can roll your bike onto the city train and the regional train has steps. The incredibly friendly and helpful conductor helped us lift our bikes up the two steps into the train and when we arrived, he also helped us get our bikes off the train. After another 2.5 km we were back home.