Hi there,
greetings from Germany. Still reading the NoCal forum from time to time (one-loop-riding-2-beer-drinking paradigm...) - so I didn’t forget about this great community here.
So here comes some input for your bike travel planning to Europe.
Germans don‘t know anything about humor, right?
Well, see what I found in near my house in „Pfälzerwald“ (palatinate forest), located about 100 miles southwest of Frankfurt (roughly).

There is one hill right between 3 tiny villages. Legend says there were 3 men walking west towards „Höningen“, one of the 3. One collapsed and died. So the others didn’t know how to handle the situation, but wanted to continue their trip - so they buried their mate right there on that hill in the woods. Later, arriving in town, they were put in court and sentenced something weird which the legend doesńt talk about... Maybe they were the ones having to build the crucifix in memory of the dead man.
The hill is called „dead man hill“ since then.
Constantly, hikers and bikers come along and take care about the dead man: the skull gets new sunglasses, sometimes a helmet or a new hat, balls (Easter eggs) and something to drink, like a Hefeweizen, but including a glass.
So dead man is happy, enjoying the view and welcoming bikers being exhausted after the like 400 ft vertical climb on a nasty ramp. The downhill trail on the other side is a nice dark-blue first flows then rocky rut with some fun to be had.







So whenever you are around, make sure you ping me for a trip to the dead man!

Cheers
Bernd