This is one my preferred climbs in the Vosges.
It offers both interesting scenic and hard parts and it is variable.
After entering the D43 near Soultzbach-les-Bains,
the first 6 kilometers in the valley of the Krebsbach
are easy with a slope of 2-5%.
In the village of Wasserbourg
keep to the right and follow the signs to Le Petit Ballon and Ried.
Here the party begins
with a steep stretch at the end of the village.
The next four kilometers are cycled on a narrow, winding and very well paved road.
It contains the steepest kilometer (11.1%)
that I have found so far (July 2014) in the Vosges.
It is followed by a short descent (8 m) to the hamlet of Ried.
From there the climb takes a wider but still quiet road,
first through forests but the final 2 kilometers of the trip
take place in the typical open landscape of the highest parts of the Vosges.
Steepness is variable here with slopes up to 10%.
From the highest point of the road (at 1163 m),
a short walk of another 100 elevation meters leads to the summit
of Le Petit Ballon.