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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Nürnberg to Amberg

We left Nürnberg expected the hottest, hilliest and hardest day of the ride. We were not disappointed.

This first picture is of interest only to me, but I thought I'd share. Four years ago I rode the Five Rivers Train with my father (we are following that from Nürnberg -> Amberg ->; Regensburg). I had the route plotted on one of the mapping sites and was following along use Google Satellite maps. Low and behold, they came a place were it look like we went thru somebody's driveway -- thru an arch and next to some buildings.

Well, my father and I ended up reversing the route and as ended up approaching Nürnberg from a different direction and missed the arch. But today we rode thru it.

It was quite nice as we left Nürnberg, riding thru the woods next to the Pegnitz river. Soon we got  out into the open and it got warmer. We decided to stop in Lauf for some (non-alcoholic in this case) re-hydration. They had a nice town square.

Lauf an der Pegnitz main square

We continued on (and up) to Hersbruck but along the way we got a little lost and separated. I made it to Hersbruck first and was supposed to pick a prominent place to meet. Well they have a pretty big biergarten right in the middle of the town square.

Since Hersbruck is famous for hops, I had to try the local beer. Not bad, but very, ordinary -- and no special hop character.

Hersbrucker Kellerbier
It look like the steep climes start just after Hartmannshof so we decided to stop there for lunch. The village looked pretty sleepy and the only thing we found open was a cafe at the new train station (the Nürnberg S-Bahn line has been extended this far). They were serving Augustiner from Munich, of all things. So we had lunch and a beer.

Augustiner Hell in Hartmannshof.
 We all ordered a "Bauernomelet" ("Farmer's Omelet") with is usually an omelet made with whatever is leftover from yesterday: ham, potatoes, sausage, etc. That is what ours looked like but instead of potatoes they used sliced (and fried) kloss. The other two promptly "de-kloss-ified" their omelets. I ate mine. The waitress was worried we didn't like the food and I assured her it was fine, they just didn't like kloss. She said they usually use potatoes but only had kloss today.

The next 20 km where very hard. The temp must have been over 90 deg F and we had some steep up hills. Finally, after Neukirchen there was one long one were we reached an elevation of 480m (having started out at about 310m in Nürnberg). There was a faded sign that said (I think) this was the division between the Rhine and Danube watersheds. So the continental divide!

After that some nice downhill runs and then up hill to Sulzbach-Rosenberg, which is built on a hill. Coming up to the town square we passed the Fuchsbeck brewery and decided we earned a beer.

Fuchsbech Lager

I have to say I think I enjoyed this beer the most of any so far on the trip.  A few more ups and downs and we were out of town on the last leg to Amberg when Tom got a flat on his rear tire. He has a internally geared hub which made getting the rear tire off a pain. But we finally got everything replaces and made the 12km to Amberg at a very gentle pace.

Amberg has 5 or 6 breweries (depending on if you count an occasional part time ("hobby") breweries. Three were close by our hotel (or had tap rooms close) and that was all the energy we had left.

First was Winkler

They had three beers, a Pils, a Helles and a darkish Zoigl. The Zoigl had a weird aftertaste and about half of it ended up watering the plants. The Pils was nice at the start but not as nice as it warmed up. The Helles was a good at the end as at the start and was judged the winner.

Helles, Zoigl, Pils at Winkler
 A couple blocks away was Schiessl. They had a big screen TV in the biergarten (with lots of sad faces as Germany was losing to Italy) but the inside was empty (and out of earshot of the soccer match).

Schiessl Gastwirt
They also had three beers, Helles, Hopfen (a sort of pils) and a Zoigl.

Again the Zoigl had a strange flavor but not as strong as the Winkler. The Helles and Hopfen were judged equally good.

We decided to skip the third brewery, Schloderer, as it is basically a brewpub and four years ago, at least, the beers were not too interesting.

Tomorrow: Regensburg on another hot day but hopefully not so many hills.

Distance ridded: 86km
Total Distance: 1195km

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