Saturday, July 27, 2013

Day 17; Emmersdof to Vienna

Day 17; Emmersdof to Vienna

We were looking forward to today's ride. Reason? 3 nights in a Vienna hotel.

The ride itself was mostly following the Donau (Danube), mostly flat and occasionally tail winds. Our average speed for the day was over 17 MPH (27 KPH) so we were moving at a nice rate. The temperature is starting to rise in the past couple of days with today being in the lower to mid 90's. As long as you keep moving and can find a shady path, you're doing OK, but if you stop you'll feel the heat quickly. Day's like today it very important to be drinking from your water bottles often,

The past several days have left our bikes very dirty and dusty and in need of chain lubrication We're planing on finding a self service car wash tomorrow and clean up our bikes as well as wash our clothes in preparation for the next leg of the trip.

That's it for now, Happy Biking,

Brian Cox

Friday, July 26, 2013

Day 16, Linz to Emmersdof

Today started with a solemn visit to the Mauthausen concentration camp which was off the route today. I’m just not equipped with the words to describe the feelings that I experienced while I was at the memorial to the victims the Nazis from WWII.

 I took many pictures while I was there but there were many areas that I felt it wasn't appropriate to photograph. It was a location that requires much more time to absorb and reflect than we had time to devote because we still had a schedule to keep and it was going to be a long hot day.

The roads to the lunch stop were mostly up on the levee that protects the countryside when the Danube rises. This year, it breached the levee and washed out the roads in several places as you will see in my pictures from today.

 The day was longer than most today, 109 km and the day was warmer that past days, but we were able to squeeze in an ice cream stop. I have to say, the Austrians know how to make coffee and ice sundaes.

 If you find the blog interesting, pleas feel free to leave a comment of two.

 That's about all for now, happy biking,


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Day 15, Passau to Linz

Day 15, Passau to Linz

As I was writing the blog last night storm clouds were gathering. You could see them down the valley and as I got back to the tent it started to fall in buckets!! As the rain pounded my tent I checked it for leaks. Satisfied that the tent was sound I inflated my air mattress and laid out my sleeping bag and set my alarm clock for 5:45 AM. I was only 8:30. Soon the lightening and thunder came and I put in my ear plugs and went to sleep.

The morning was foggy and cool, but you could tell that the storm had past.

We departed Passau in the morning commute traffic. Busy streets and bridges to cross and finally some small winding streets flowing with cars zipping by us. But pretty soon we were on our way with more quiet roads and increasingly breathtaking views. Riding a bike seems to make the views more impressive for some reason. Perhaps because you feel as if you deserved them or perhaps you are not enclosed in a shell with windows zooming at 60 MPH. But with bikes you feel the road, smell the plants and even feel small temperature differences as you pop in and out of shade. Either way the gentle climbs, view of the Donau with the barges and ferries and the steep heavily forested slops to river made for a ride not be forgotten.

We did our best not rush through the day. The distance was 102 kilometers, about 67 miles and we stopped 4 times during the day. First for coffee and pastry, second for Lunch, third for more coffee and pastry and finally fourth for and ice cream cone.

We achieved our personal best, we managed to be the last ones into camp. For the past couple of days the husband and wife team of Helmit and Pat, from San Diego, foiled our goal of being the last one into camp, but today we stretched our day out long enough  that it took us until almost 4 PM util we reached the campground. Enough time to dry out our tents from last nights deluge and set them up. I’m charging up the Garmin for tomorrow and I guess it’s time for a beer before dinner.

Just a wonderful day, Happy Biking,


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Day 14; Straubing to Passau

With wonderful weather so far, it’s bound to rain sometime. We woke to overcast skies and the air heavy. Got up packed up the tent and sat down for breakfast and the sky started to spit a bit. Everyone ran for their rain gear but it really didn't get much past the spitting stage and after several kilometers the rain gear came off. Slowly through out the day the dark clouds turned less dark and finally patches of blue sky started to appear.

It really turned out to be a wonderful day. Some unpaved roads but many more paved roads. We were starting to travel in the sections of the river that had experienced flooding only weeks ago, but really couldn't really spot any differences from the bike path. Perhaps the damage will be more visible as we progress down stream toward Vienna.

We stopped several times today with a final stop at a food/beer/ice cream shop adjacent to the bike path about 14 kilometers from the end. We swept though the town at the end, but shortly we zipped up the hill to the campsite. Check out the photos, the site is situated on a flat grassy strip of land with river running along it. The prettiest campsite so far. From the internet point of view, it’s the second night of no internet connection, so I’m typing the blog text into my Chrome computer and will upload it to the blog with the photos and Garmin trip information the next time I get a connection.

Well that's all for now, Happy Biking!!


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Day 13; Regensburg to Straubing

Day 13; Regensburg to Straubing

We've been staying in some nice hotels on this trip, mostly on our break days. The hotel this time was a smaller European type located right in the center of the old town, just a half block from a main square. The hotel was originally built in the 12th century but has been updated just recently

Today’s ride was pretty short, about 52 km. The route was mostly along the bike paths, both paved and unpaved. The paths twisted and turned as it followed the river. We were into camp by 11:30 and put up our tents and heading off to town for coffee, pastry and finally lunch.

We found a bike shop on our way back to the camp and popped in to see what they had. We find ourselves drawn to bike shops even if we don’t need anything in particular, but just to look around. We then head back to the camp to wash up and relax a bit.

It’s nice to have these short days to relax a bit, but I wouldn't mind it if the short days were a bit longer or perhaps have alternate routes for riders that would like to put some additional miles on the bikes. Either way, it was a pretty nice day. Sunny with some clouds later in the afternoon and pretty warm. I’m guessing about 90 degrees at the peak of the day.

As I’m writing this, it’s about 8:50 PM and has turned into a beautiful warm summer evening. This has been a wonderful ride so far. We were told by the bike shop owner that we would soon see signs of where the rivers flooded earlier this summer because of the rain that Europe had received.

We’re counting ourselves lucky that we've has such wonderful weather so far on this trip.

That’s all for now, Happy biking,


Sunday, July 21, 2013

More Bike Trails Today

Wonderful day on the ride today. Almost all 66 miles was on bike trails that shadowed the river. The temperature was a bit warmer that in the past week, but overall very nice.

The bike trails have mostly been unpaved with a hard packed surface but with a layer of fine gray dust on the surface that has left the bikes and their riders with a layer of dust at the end of each day.

The elevation gain for each day has been very low since we’ve been hugging the river so much of the time. We’ve also been very thankful for the wonderful rain free weather that we been having. Just a month ago rivers were swollen and running over their banks because of the amount of rain that the area was receiving.

That’s it for now. Happy Biking,