elevation profile Zorge to Wernigerode
Brocken in the background
Harz landscape with Brocken
suggested route covered with debris from trees
Harz narrow gauge steam train

My host in Zorge felt I should take the first 5km of this trip extremely seriously, as apparently they count as the steepest bike climb in the whole of Germany. One part of the climb has an incline of 16%, and I discovered that at about 12% the front wheel of the bike didn’t have any purchase, because of the weight of the luggage on the back. Luckily I only had to push for about  1/2km.

Thankfully this leg of the journey was very beautiful, in a mountainous sort of way. That initial rise goes through the woods, where the only things to be heard are birds, insects, and the wind, which was calm on that day.

The second image shows the “Brocken” (literally “Lump”) in the distance, considered Germany’s most prominent mountain, and the origin of many myths involving witches.

I wasn’t expecting to push the bike after I’d got to the top of my climb, but the storm damage to the forests, which you can see in the fourth image, meant that some of the tracks were not navigable by bike.

It was really great to hear the “whoo-whoo” of the Harz narrow gauge steam railway. My route crossed the railway line frequently. 

I really enjoyed this trip, the scenery is beautiful, and it’s worth the effort of those first five kilometres. I also learned to love gear 1! With 15kg of luggage, gear 1 is the answer for any type of incline 🙂