2009-05-09 48 9
A sports area at Böblingen, mostly tennis courts.
A saturday location in bike range couldn't be missed. So it wouldn't.
Pure cycling time was estimated to be around two hours through the Schönbuch forest area, on a route that would keep the slopes to acceptable gradients. I had prepared for a good number of smaller geocaching detours, maybe a little bit of shopping at Böblingen or Sindelfingen, and planned to start not later than 12. Of course, this didn't happen, so when I finally was on my way, it was past 1.
Shortly after starting, I remembered that there actually had been something different today: The biannual municipal flea market, usually the only one worth visiting in my town. Ugh. I can't really wholly miss that one. So, well... there was a bit of spare time, wasn't there? Took the route through the inner city and stopped to take a fast tour of the market. A very fast one, actually, and didn't buy anything except of a few small books. It was rather late for that, anyway, and the dry and sunny weather had brought half of the town here today, so the interesting items were mostly sold off already. So that's how you get yourself not to buy anything: Go there too late and don't even take a decent look at the offers.
After about half an hour I was back on the bike to continue on my planned route. I decided to take a fast one for now, maybe take detours if there was some time left after crossing the forest. Went for the Goldersbach valley, through Bebenhausen and into the forest. When stopping at an intersection to leave a bookcrossing book at an overview map put up there, someone on a heavily loaded recumbent bike came from behind and stopped... and it was someone I knew. "Oh, hello, you surely can give me directions, can't you? Which way would you recommend to go for the Würm valley and Pforzheim?" I could. I had taken that trail two years ago to get to Karlsruhe, and I recommended him to a) spare a specific detour, b) take the road instead of the recommended cycle trail whenever it seems a good idea. After all, he seemed to be in a bit of a hurry, wanting to reach Soltau (halfway between Hannover and Hamburg) by next friday. Sounds like a ambitious plan... Some more smalltalk, and off we went each in our direction.
I chose another way than last times to get up to the forest margin and the plains at Holzgerlingen. I wasn't sure about how long it would take me for the rest so I still restrained from detours and stopovers and took what I assumed to be the fastest way. At 15:35 I reached the entrance to the sports facilities the hash were in.
The place was labelled as "Sports and games for everyone", looked very welcoming and open, and people were walking in and out, watching tennis games or playing themselves, or just getting some coffee. I couldn't see any reason why anyone would mind me entering as well, so I decided I wouldn't need to go for ambassador, and went to explore some of the surroundings to pass time until 4 pm. Returned a few minutes before official time, went in, trying to pretend to be interested in the facilities as such. Found the spot right on a way near the children's playing ground, and, as there probably wasn't anyone else coming, waited only for stroke 4, then left the place again.
Now, there was not much hurry to get back, so this time I could go for some detour and at least search one mystery geocache that had waited to be logged for over a year as it never had been any near to my routes.
While still on the plains, dark clouds arouse in the sky - a thunderstorm seemed to be approaching. Well, getting wet is one thing, but you don't want to be out on a bike during lightning. When it got rather close, I searched and found shelter in a village named Hildrizhausen. And it was a good thing to do so, because what had started as light rain at the time I decided to stop, turned into heavy rain and then into a hailstorm. You really do not want to get hit by a hailstorm on a bicycle.
After about half an hour it had cleared up again and I went to cross the forest back home. I was totally alone there now, as all the other people probably had fled the forest when the storm came up. Now that the sun had come out again, the rainwater was vapourizing into steam, wafting like mist through the trees and over the meadows. The hail grains still hadn't melted away, and at some places it looked almost as if it had been snowing. A rabbit crossed my way, birds singing mixed with the sound of the creek. And these views, the atmosphere the forest was in now, that was totally worth the whole trip.