With the short spring in the last few days, there was also the opportunity to do some sport away from the shoemaker's pony. In my case, that meant getting my mountain bike out of the cellar, with intend to test a bike tour that had been planned for quite a while. And said route exceeded all my expectations, which ultimately motivated me to present this to you on my blog.
In short, it was a nice mix, scenic highlights mixed with culturally interesting things. A sporting challenge that should still be realistic for many everyday cyclists. And of course, fun passages for the mountain bike, which should in principle also be possible with any bike suitable for gravel. And then the route is also easy to reach from Munich. By car in about half an hour and with the S-Bahn to Starnberg almost as quickly. So, all in all, we have a tour that gives us the perfect start to the mountain bike season.
If you arrive by car, as in my case, it is best to start from the Maisinger Schlucht hiking car park, just before the entrance to Maising. It begins with a straight downhill and towards the tour's first scenic highlight, the ride through said valley. The small Maisinger Bach meanders through a deeply cut forest gorge towards Lake Starnberg. And we ride through the enchanted valley on a beautiful wide gravel road right next to the stream. Cyclists should proceed with caution here, especially on the downhill sections and sharp turns. The gorge is a popular hiking tour, and accordingly, many people can be out and about here.
There are no technical challenges. The gravel road is consistently easy to drive. The stream only has to be crossed once on a narrow bridge without a railing on the left side. Particularly cautious contemporaries may be tempted to shove. When we pass under the state road's large bridge, this is the first sign that the gorge will soon be over. After we crossed the stream's left bank, seen downstream, we have the opportunity to follow a beautiful path directly on the river bank. This leads us back to a bridge and another short descent. There is even a small jump here, which we can take, with particular consideration for hikers. Shortly afterwards we can cross the Maisinger Bach one last time to marvel at the small Marienkapelle on the other bank. Here is an excellent place to take a break and strengthen us for the climb to come.
As we approach the Starnberg waterworks, we can see our way up the left valley's slope. We fight this uphill for a short while until we turn left onto the even steeper "Alter Berg". We follow it up until we reach the Andechser Straße. As soon as we arrive on the more busy road, we can already see our next destination on the right. There is a sand-coloured round tower with a red tile roof and a cross on its top on a hill. It is the so-called Prinzenturm. The Bavarian Prince Carl Theodor, King Ludwig I's younger brother, was buried here in 1875. His two wives, who had died earlier, were also laid there with him for their final rest. We can get to a gravel path through a small gate that takes us up the mountain to the mausoleum. From there, we have an absolute dream view over the Alps and their foothills and some benches to fully enjoy the view.
It goes downhill on the same path and through Söcking until we reach the bike path next to Andechser Straße. Shortly after leaving the village, we cross the state road and have a nice descent that takes us quickly towards Perchting. After we have passed through the town, we cross the street and find ourselves on a gravel road.
From here it goes on gravel roads and smaller paths crisscrossing through the forest. After a sharp right-left combination, the first real mountain bike descent of the tour awaits us. It goes slightly downhill on a muddy beaten path until we meet another gravel road shortly afterwards. We follow it across large clearings in the forest until we finally arrive at the Bundeswehr Shooting Range. We always ride around the cordoned off area with the fence on our left until we come across a small rise at its western end.
For some inexplicable reason, on my tour, I mistakenly turned left here. There I found a small, barely recognizable path that also led uphill. I have included both options in the GPS track of this tour. The route over the steep way, which is also slippery due to numerous branches and moss, could be worthwhile for fans of technical cycling challenges. All others just continue straight.
No matter how you reach the top of the hill after that comes an exciting, fast downhill on a wide gravel road that rewards us for the effort. And after a short ride between fields, we see the village Frieding on the horizon. But we bypass this without further ado and find ourselves after a short uphill stretch on a beautiful asphalt road. It goes rapidly downhill with the option of changing to a single trail right next to the road after a short drive. When this ends in a parking lot to the left of the road, we have to turn right again onto the next gravel path. This leads us through a small valley and gets narrower and narrower over time until after a short climb, we land on a flowy single-trail.
After crossing another road and a piece of forest path, we find ourselves on the road leading to Herrsching. We only follow this downhill a few meters, but we mustn't miss the left turn onto the Andecheser Höhenweg. We follow this high path in up and down over hill and dale. Several times we pass viewpoints from which we can see the Ammersee. But after a long ride, we finally see the Andechs Monastery in front of us through the trees. This is also where the most prominent mountain bike challenge of the tour is.
The short and very steep descent into the Ochsengraben awaits you directly to the right. On the slippery foliage and with some gradual slopes, a lot of feeling on the brake lever is necessary to complete this section. But if the descent is too steep for you and if you don't want to push your bike, you can continue straight ahead and reach a slightly easier crossing of the Ochsengabens. Whichever route you choose, in the end, both of us will lead us to the Andechser Klosterberg. We have to conquer this in a final effort to finally enjoy the magnificent view of the Alps from the forecourt of the monastery church.
After the short descent from Andechser Berg, which includes a small section with steps, we meander through Erling until we find ourselves on Herrschinger Straße. On this, we ride downhill to the first serpentine, where we turn left onto a gravel path. A rapid descent follows, at the end of which we turn left. We now ride on gravel roads, always slightly uphill, through the forest until we have almost reached Fischener Straße. If you still have strength in your legs, you can continue straight ahead and downhill to a beautiful photo spot above the Ammersee. However, the downhill section does not particularly stand out in its riding pleasure rating, and we also pass another vantage point over the lake later on in the tour. Therefore, I can only recommend this extension to those who want to collect a few more meters in altitude gain on the subsequent ascent.
It doesn't matter whether we take the descent to the Ammersee with us or not, in the end, we find ourselves on Fischener Straße and have to follow it uphill for a long way. In a sharp right turn, we finally get onto another high path. This takes us past great views of Lake Ammersee and the Alps to a small mountain meadow, over which a barely recognizable way leads downhill to the left. We follow this to the edge of the forest, where it goes uphill again for a short time. We then descend through the woods on the last single trail of the tour. But this is once again incredibly worthwhile. It has already been cut a little in the ground, and so the curves can be ridden almost like very narrow berms.
On well-developed gravel paths, we now ride through the Mesnerbichel where we can admire the unique hilly landscape of the nature reserve. If we continue to follow the trail, we will finally reach the village of Machtlfing. From here we have to go a long way over a small forest road to the next place: Aschering. From here the Maisinger See is signposted, a sure sign that we have almost reached our destination. To reward yourself for the effort, you can equip yourself with a Covid-compliant snack to take away at the Maisinger Seehof, or even swim in the lake in warm weather. From the Seehof we only have to ride a few minutes until we finally reach our parking lot and starting point, where we end the tour.