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I did the Stoneman Miriquidi Road in silver, that means on two days. However, not the original route, but the C-Edition, which doesn’t cross the border to Czech Republic and stays within Germany. I wanted to cycle without luggage. So I needed a hotel from which I could start both stages. Two nights are sufficient. Arrival on Friday in order to be able to start early in the morning. Return directly after the second tour on Sunday.
The town Pobershau was my starting point. From Pobershau the original route can be divided into two almost identical sections. The C-Edition can be devided in a first stage with about 190 kilometers direction east and a second stage with about 135 kilometers direction west. It took me about 1:45 h from Dresden to get by car to Pobershau.
Erzgebirge is just great for cycling. Wonderful landscape, wonderful views and lots of variations. It’s rarely flat, almost always wavy. Somehow the exact opposite of my recent tour to the Baltic Sea.
I went on Friday after work. It rained. This time I had thought of the drinking bottles. But did I pack the cycling shoes? A brief stop made it clear that everything was fine. It was raining the whole time until Pobershau. Bleak weather. Quite fresh temperatures. The car thermometer showed 12 degrees. But the weather forecast for the weekend was good. Temperatures around 20 degrees were announced. Not too cold and not too warm. Just right for the difficult tour.
Day 1: Direction Altenberg
Already the beginning of the tour was great. From the valley in which the hotel was located, it went steeply straight up. The route led through the forest towards Olbernhau. Olbernhau was nice. The first checkpoint on my route was the Saigerhütte in Olbernhau. I had never heard of the Saigerhütte before. It is an impressive ensemble of buildings with roots dating back to the Middle Ages.
In any case, I want to go back to Olbernhau. At the latest for the Christmas market this year. Hopefully this will be possible.
On roads I never cycled before I continued towards Seifen. Very nice. The second checkpoint was on Schwartenberg. As in Seiffen, I’ve been here before. Always worth it. The tour continued along the border towards Altenberg and Zinnwald. Here it was essentially all streets that I already knew. But also always some new section. All in all, a very nice route. Further checkpoints were in Holzhau and Zinnwald.
Half of the day was done reaching Zinnwald. The tour changed the direction back to the starting point in Pobershau. The route led past the bobsleigh arena via the checkpoint in Bärenfels to Frauenstein and on to the Lichtenberg dam. I missed the “Blockhausen” checkpoint as the only one on the whole tour. I have no idea where that could have been.
End of day one
Me last checkpoint of the day in Niederlautenstein I reached in company. The stitch up, past the castle ruins, was another challenge. We had a short conversation. Then a local resident came to us with and offered some water. I only had 11 km to go, but my bottles had been empty already for a while. No gas station on the route. The two that were on the last stretch had already closed. That was a very welcomed offer and a great help for both of us. Shortly after the checkpoint, we parted ways again. I continued to the hotel. He still had about 50 kilometers to complete the Gold Tour. It’s clear to me: Cycling the entire route in one day would be way too much for me. At the end of the fun, there would still be too much distance left.
As usual, the last kilometers turned out to be with significantly less pleasure. It started this time at a little more than 48 kilometers before the end of the stage. They dragged on and were not that easy. When I cycle alone, I concentrate too much on the track. How much is left to cycle, how much longer will it take, and similar things went through my head. The focus on the fun and the experience was lost. It helps to cycle in a group or at least in pairs. You are distracted from the focus on yourself and on the track.
Summary of the first day
In the morning after I left, I was still happy about the quiet and empty streets. In the evening, this is exactly were the trouble is. There is just nothing were you can buy something to drink.
My hotel was an official lodging partner for Stoneman Miriquidi Road. But unfortunately not really right for it. The internet didn’t work in my room. I was asked three times in the restaurant if I was a house guest. Why actually? Only straight and angry looks in the direction of the waiter helped me to get the menu. It took the same looks again to finally be able to order. The food selection was very clear. Unfortunately there was no food suitable for cyclists. Only dishes with fries that were difficult to digest were on offer. And salad.
Breakfast started at eight. I actually wanted to leave at eight at the latest. That didn’t fit. So I was at at breakfast eight o’clock straight. And I wasn’t the first there. It was almost difficult to find a place. It shouldn’t be so challenging for them to guess that eight o’clock is too late for their guests. At least the internet worked pretty well in the restaurant. But not in the room.
Day 2: Direction Fichtelberg
If breakfast only starts at eight, the day just starts too late. I also had to change a hose before the second stage. The front wheel was slowly losing air. It is better to pump with the floor pump than when you are out and you have to do it with the small one. I canceled the part of the tour to Marienberg at short notice and parked the car there instead of leaving it in front of the hotel. The start of the second day was just too late. It was almost ten o’clock.
I started the second stage over the Wolkensteiner Schweiz. Small but very nice. It must have taken me about 50 km to warm up my legs. At the beginning every hill was difficult, the legs hurt. When I didn’t expect it anymore, it became much easier all of a sudden from one moment to the other.
First checkpoint of the day two was at Greifenstein. Second checkpoint directly after the petrol station in Rittersgrün, at the beginning of the ascent to Fichtelberg. The ascent to Fichtelberg is actually not really difficult to cycle. It’s long but not really steep. There is only one not very long section where the incline is a little steeper. The third checkpoint was on Fichtelberg.
Much more difficult and probably even the most difficult ascent of the entire route was the way to the following checkpoint. Up to Bärenstein.
The end of the Stoneman Miriquidi Road
And there they were again: The last 40 kilometers. They dragged on. Actually it was almost downhill. Still, the end didn’t come closer. The legs hurt again after all. I was tired. Again and again there was a short ramp. The barely noticeable incline on the main road, on the way to the junction to the last checkpoint on the Drei-Brüder-Höhe, was almost as difficult as the ascent to Bärenstein. When I finally reached the checkpoint up there, the fun came back.
And in the end, after two days of cycling, I was just five minutes too slow. Five minutes! I’ve already been back to Marienberg. And five minutes before the end of the two-day bike tour, five minutes before reaching the car, five minutes before finishing the Stoneman Miriquidi Rad, a heavy summer rain began. It poured. But who cares? The car was still where I parked it. I changed my clothes in the rain and drove back to Dresden. The stoneman was done. I’m standing on the Wall of Fame on Stoneman Miriquidi Road. Was fun. I will do it again.