Germany: Sauerland Heartbeat Tour

Text: Andi Seiler • Photography: Andi Seiler

A journey through the countryside on low mountain-range roads, past massive bales of hay, picturesque little villages, and along beautiful expanses of water - this is the tour through Sauerland, in the heart of Germany.

"Sauerland, my heart beats for Sauer­land..." Softly I hum the melody of the song that made the German band Zoff and the region Sauerland so popular all over Germany. My co-rider Andrea pushes her helmet beside mine and her look tells me everything. Obviously I am not such a good singer because she knows the melody and the lines of the song a little bit differently.

We roll through the beautiful valley between Mollseifen and Züschen, south of Winterberg, a town renowned for bobsledding and skiing. And although it's not comparable to the dizzying heights of the Alps or the Rockies, it's definitely a nice recreational spot to experience in winter, and great for touring on bikes in the summer. Off the main routes, we breeze into the countryside, traveling only on the yellow or green roads of the map through the most gorgeous areas of the region.

The birds are singing and the crickets are chirping
While enjoying this kind of spontaneous riding I suddenly remember there must be a shortcut to the Silbersee (Silver Lake) - so-called by insiders, but it doesn't have an official name - around here. It's a small lake where I spent many weekends camping and barbecuing with friends when I was young. Nowadays camping is officially forbidden but the officials tolerate it if you behave correctly: keeping the place clean and not getting too boisterous. It's a different world here and still a relatively undisturbed region compared to the bigger cities like Winterberg that depend heavily on tourism. Even today we only see two little tents beside the lake and very conveniently located, when hunger strikes, next to the grill. It's so quiet you clearly hear the birds singing and the crickets chirping. We sit in the knee-high grass and inhale the fresh forest air. Pure nature at its best!

We could stay all day and relax but we still have a ways to go. As soon as I'm back on the bike the song returns: "Sauerland, my heart beats for Sauerland. When I die please bury my body at the shore of the Lenne. Where the dung heaps are steaming, there are no palm trees at all, not any..."

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For the complete touring article, including facts & information, map(s), and GPS files, please purchase the Fall 2002 back issue.