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Sonntag, 8. Januar 2012

....bit wet on the bike lane today... and the legend of the dwarven fox.

On Friday I decided it was time to get in some endurance riding...
Oh, yes, it´s that time of year again, miles of boring road riding to keep me from falling off in summer;-). To keep my annoyance on not getting dirty at all to a minimum, I started by riding the beautiful (and flat) bike lane around the lake near my place. This lane is a good way to get around, for it connects several towns in my region, and with some creativity, it even gets you as far as Cologne! No Cologne however that day, just two hours to get the muscles flexed. I set out into the direction of Hohenlimburg, a beautiful part of my town (although the inhabitants insist on not belonging to Hagen at all, a stance I can relate to-somehow:-) especially when looking at all the beautiful houses, all the castles (one intact, one ruin) and archaelogical sites to boot). The lane is a beautiful one that runs along the river Lenne. It turned out it was the other way round, and the river ran along the bike lane.
I actually tried to ride it (some 100 m or so), lunatic that I am, and got wet and cold chest-high, but no worries, that dried in the wind... brrrrr:-). No big feat, however, just plain stubbornness and stupidity. I even was washed off two times, and it was really plain stooooooopid to try that at all. Advice: Leave it be. Take a boat. Really.:-)
 I left the lane (or the river) as soon as possible, and boy was I grateful I wore lycra / spandex /fleece tights and a jersey, for that dries rather quick. Also found out that my pack keeps water out fairly well, for even my two washouts left it rather dry inside, so dry in fact, that my documents and money came out unscathed. Phew! Advice: Put them in a zip-tie bag inside the pack... or two plastic bags. On the trail out I got some mud (more of a swamp) in the face in the bargain, and it was a _____ ordeal, so much for some relaxed endurance riding;-). But might be I am a bit strange in the head, but I actually liked that ordeal a lot afterwards. Gives me strength when facing my everyday office job, if you ask me. Whenever there´s something going awry, I know that this simply cannot be as hard as riding a stream by bike. Little can.
In Hohenlimburg I decided to ride to the "Hünenpforte" (the giants´gate), for there is an interesting local myth to it. It is a rock formation that actually leads inside a little cave. Maybe I ´ll do a post on it later, together with my own (mythologically reconstructed) version of the story. Oh, and the story...it goes as follows:


Once upon a time when dwarves lived in the Klutert caves in the Ennepetal valley, there came a lone wanderer headed towards Limburg at the Lenne. He was very tired and did not know where to go. In the Ennpetal valley he met a dwarf, strolling along following his own business. He asked him of the way to Limburg, and the dwarf called a fox that was his companion. "Here," he said, "take that fox by the tail and follow him through the Klutert caves. But whatever may occur to you, never ever let that fox´s tail go, and he may guide you well through the darkness!"
So the wanderer took the fox by the tail and followed him through the darkness, and well was he guided. Thus they came to an exit, and the wanderer saw a big gateway leading to the outside. But what terror begot him when he looked outside! There was a mighty roar and huffing and a sound of the wind tearing town trees and branches, and before the gate there lay a mighty giant, sleeping and snoring along. Suddenly he came awake, and he rose and yawned and spoke as follows:

"What is that smell? There must be a human near! I want to eat it whole!"

The wanderer in his hideout began to shake and tremble with fear, his face slack and ashen grey with terror, and, with his shaking hand, let go of the fox´s tail. And the fox, was he glad to be free again or fulfilling his master´s biding, ran away into the woods, and the giant followed him to hunt him down. If he ever succeeded, I do not know, but the wanderer was able to escape, for the giant was distracted, and thus came to Hohenlimburg.

(Retold freely after a telling by an old Hohenlimburg guy, for a German version of the official tale look here)

This place certainly has a very distinct atmosphere to it, and although it is geological nonsense that the Klutert cave (Ennpetal) had a connection to Hohenlimburg, there HAS to be a truth to it, for in the neighbouring just across the road there is the site of a prehistoric (palaeolithic, meso-, neolithic and iron age) archaeological key find. There is another archaeological site just upon the hilltop, the "Alte Stadt" (old town), a medieval watchtower, and one hill farther away the "Raffenburg", a castle ruin dating back propably to the early medieval ages (Saxon hill - fort) and maybe even older. A lot of material for a myth - head and scribe like myself;-). By the way, it was my team´s own Jaykay helping out with reaming and saving the finds in the "Blätterhöhle". He is quite an interesting guy, riding mountainbikes for ages now (he was one of the founders of our team), a cave climber, archaeologist, even gets a fit of reenactment now and then;-), invents and builds his own somewhat weird ...erm.. things , paints, carves wood, does bushcraft, rides cruisers, writes (and not even bad at all;-)), works as an engineer and loves the meatballs of his mother;-).

Being wet and cold and fluffy from all that harcore action and climbing through raspberry vines to shoot some bad pics of the Hünenpforte (apologies!the light did not deserve that name that day...), and weather turning even fouler, I rode home. 

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