Seven Hills

Not an exceptionFrom September 11 to 18, we spent a week in the area just south of Cologne, known as the Siebengebirge or Seven Hills.

We rented a cottage in the rustic (and rural) town of Bruchhausen, from where I plotted my rides in the area.

As you can read on the Wiki page, there are actually 40 hills, none of which get any higher than 460 meters.

The seven the area is named after are:

Großer Ölberg (460 m)
Löwenburg (455 m)
Lohrberg (435 m)
Nonnenstromberg (335m)
Petersberg (331 m, Former name: Stromberg)
Wolkenburg (324 m)
Drachenfels (321 m)

We have previously passed / sped through the area many times on our way to Austria, Switzerland or Italy and it has always been in my mind as a possible target for a short trip, not requiring a lot of travel (time).

It’s only some three hours from our home, which is just an hour more than going to the hills in the south of my own country.

We’ve previously been to the Eifel and Hochsauerland (2014 and 2016) and I was expecting more of the same.

However, although I got enough climbing done, I was disappointed with the overall experience.

Obviously, or so I guess, if you know the area and or get off road a lot, there may be more fun to have, but other than the repeated climbs up the Drachenfels and the one time I did try an alternative and got lost, I had to cycle on mostly busy roads.

I always try and find as many “K” marked roads as I can, but I didn’t find many and travelled the much less attractive “L” and “B” roads.

Besides, Bruchhausen – and some other villages – may seem remote, but you are still in one of the busiest areas of Germany, between Cologne/Bonn and Koblenz.

Another “problem” I encountered, was that it’s nearly impossible to cross the Rhine. There are bridges in Bonn, Neuwied and Koblenz and a few ferries in between, but they all required detours or were not meant to carry a car.

So while I was interested in exploring the other end, towards the Kottenforst park, that turned out to be too much of a hassle and in the end, I didn’t.

Drachenfels ruinProbably the cycling highlight of the week was the trip to Königswinter, where the Drachenfels are nearby.

Paula had to walk most of the way up to the restaurant and castle ruin, but I cycled up the “supplier” route, which is closed to motorized traffic.

(She did try, but a forest ranger popped out of nowhere within 50 meters of entering the road.)

On the bright side, I got to cycle that one up and down a few times.

Other than that, while I was doing my thing, the hard work was done by Paula, trying to find spots along the route to wait for me and / or take pictures.

I preloaded my routes on my Garmin, so she didn’t really need to guide me, but for her the navigation on the iPad showing the route was a little more complicated.

Poor (GPS) reception in the area often caused the iPad to lose its position, so good luck trying to find your way when it does…

SpeedMax 2020The other highlight was our trip (by car) to the Canyon Experience Centre in Koblenz, which at the time was open, since there was a little relief from the Corona pandemic *

I wanted to test their Speed Max TT bike, which I immediately wanted to take home after I did.

That’s not possible anyway and besides I actually want a TT bike with disc brakes.

They didn’t know of any plans to come up with one anytime soon, so I’ll wait for that to happen **

For those of you that like statistics: I cycled 692 kilometers with 10,404 meters of D+ in the eight days we were there.

Here are the details of each ride, with links to the Strava entry:

 

Fri, 9/18/2020 Siebengebirge – Epilogue 2:00:14 57.42 km 455 m
Thu, 9/17/2020 Siebengebirge – Stage 6 3:47:48 95.56 km 1,206 m
Wed, 9/16/2020 Siebengebirge – Stage 5 3:48:09 90.08 km 1,412 m
Tue, 9/15/2020 Siebengebirge – Stage 4 4:24:30 106.33 km 1,516 m
Mon, 9/14/2020 Siebengebirge – Stage 3 4:39:23 103.67 km 2,253 m
Sun, 9/13/2020 Siebengebirge – Stage 2 3:24:09 81.78 km 1,462 m
Sat, 9/12/2020 Siebengebirge – Stage 1 4:00:06 105.47 km 1,318 m
Fri, 9/11/2020 Siebengebirge – Prologue 1:59:01 51.55 km 846 m

And here’s the pretty VeloViewer wheel to show for it 🙂

VeloViewer-Siebengebirge

 


Edit:

* Little did we know…

** In November they announced their 2021 model with disc brakes, so I’m going to get me one. If Paula lets me…