Midweek In Hochsauerland

HSK 2016 - Article Header

Medebach Hochsauerland

After our previous trip to the Hochsauerland area, I promised to come back one day for more cycling and last week we made good on that promise.

Like last time, we rented a cottage in Medebach, which is in ‘High Sauerland District’, the area where the highest ‘mountains’ are located.

And while these, or any other climb around here, will not make it onto my ‘been there, done that‘ list, they offer enough altimeter gains to help you finish a Strava climbing challenge in no time…

Read moreMidweek In Hochsauerland

Up Next: Hochsauerland

hsk-medebachNow that September seems to be done throwing record-breaking temperatures at us, it’s time for our next trip to the ‘hilly’ area of Hochsauerland, Germany.

If the trip to the Vosges was any indication of my abilities to handle that sort of terrain, I’d do well to plan my cycling adventures a little less enthusiastic, lest I’ll end up in the back of the van again.

As it seems these ‘climbing abilities’ – pitiful at best anyway – have diminished further, even the hills in the Vosges proved enough to finish me. In my defense, I’d like to point out that the average grades on the ‘friendly rolling’ hills there are often close to 10%.

However, the hills in Hochsauerland are not as high as in the Vosges and the climbs are – in general – a lot shorter…

Read moreUp Next: Hochsauerland

Planning Short Trips

Although I stopped meticulously planning my season after everything got messed up in 2012 and 2013, due to unplanned short holidays in the hospital, I still do plan short cycling outings abroad.

These are typically aimed at humiliating myself in ‘mountainous areas’, or at least anything that involves something more challenging than what the south of my country has to offer.

For this year, I have not planned anything as spectacular as a ‘Tour de France’ or ‘Giro d’Italia’, but both the Vosges and Hochsauerland offer (more than) enough challenges…

Read morePlanning Short Trips

A week in Hochsauerland

Veloviewer Activity WheelLate last year, we booked a ‘mid week’ in a Center Parcs bungalow in Medebach, a town in the Hochsauerland district (or Kreis in German).

Thanks to grocery store Albert Heijn, we had a nice discount on the (usually steep) price, but with a catch: we had to book for a week no later than the last week of March.

The district covers the largest part of the Sauerland mountains, with elevations up to just over 800 meters, which is why I thought it to be a nice (first) training stage for the expedition to the French Alps later this year.

However, as the area is better known for the ski resort Winterberg, I expected temperatures well below comfortable this time of year – I was not disappointed…

Read moreA week in Hochsauerland

Warming up for the Alps

We just had the warmest 8th of March ever – the temperature rose to a staggering 16 degrees (Celcius), which would not be bad for an average day in July.

Tomorrow, a new record will be set, as the expected high is around 20 degrees…

Much better compared to last week(end), which not surprisingly left me with a cold. Added to the back issues I had, the sneezing did not help over the past couple of days.

Still, I got on my bike Thursday, when the temperature was well over “normal” also. Because that (short) ride went well, I decided I was getting better and went out for some more yesterday.

Read moreWarming up for the Alps