Belinda's Black Forest Raid: part 1
Having invested in a Skoda Yeti (with an internal bike rack no less) earlier this year, we decided to make good use of it and take our Leggeros to the Black Forest and Switzerland. This can just about be done in one day's drive, following an early Euro Tunnel crossing.
Most Brits have not discovered the Black Forest for cycling but if you are interested in a variety of cycling parcours without quite scaling Alpine or Pyrenean heights, then it offers an abundance of opportunities. Freiburg was our base in the Black Forest, just over the French border near Colmar and Strasbourg, also easily accessible from Basle airport. It is a beautifully restored mediaeval town with a huge Gothic cathedral and beautiful central square. The Black Forest enjoys a Mediterranean microclimate, making it ideal not only for fair-weather cyclists but also for growing white and red grapes. The area is one of the best for German wine and you are surrounded by vineyards almost everywhere you go.
As well as the climate, the area is known for its cuisine (Badische Kueche). Forget the knuckles of pork so beloved by the Bavarians, you can experience fine cuisine but also, more importantly, good quality, hearty food (and good beer) suitable for cyclists. Restaurants and cafes are usually open all day so if you want lunch at 3.00pm that's great, but don't forget to leave room for the cake!