Tuesday June 25, 2019
It felt like anything but glacial on the day we joined the local chapter of the ADFC or German Biycle Club for their weekly Tuesday afternoon ride. The blazing sun brought the temperatures up to a sweltering 32°C/90°F. Nevertheless, nine brave cyclists showed up for the outing. The program was to investigate some glacial erratics that had been dug up in the course of construction for a new highway near Starnberg, a ride of altogether 30 km.
I was familiar with the German word for glacial erratic, findling, but glacial erratic had not yet found its way into my English vocabulary. Here is the lowdown: A glacial erratic is a piece of rock that differs from the size and type of rock native to the area in which it rests. Erratics are carried by glacial ice, often over distances of hundreds of kilometres and mark the path of prehistoric glacier movement. Their lithographic origin can be traced to the parent bedrock, allowing for confirmation of the ice flow route. Erratics can range in size from pebbles to large boulders. *Wikipedia
Although Janos and I have already discovered many good bike paths in the area on our own, today's ride with the bicycle club expanded our repertory with some interesting bike paths that we will want to cycle again in the future. Our group leader, Sebastian, was well informed and stopped here and there to fill us in on some interesting details about the landscape and local architecture. He also seems to know the trails around here like the palm of his hand. The pace was just right and about half of the group were riding e-bikes, and since it was a week day afternoon it wasn't surprising that most of the participants were retirees. We first followed a dedicated bike path along a road out of Gauting to the west, then turned south on dirt paths between fields to the villages Unterbrunn and Oberbrunn. Then on to the site of the glacial erratics.
No ride is complete without a coffee stop. We stopped at Rieden where the golf course there has a cafe-restaurant open to the public, you don't have to be a golfer to take a seat, have a refreshment and enjoy a sensational view of the Alps.
From there we cycled back to Gauting on paths through the forest that were familiar to us. Altogether a very enjoyable day.