Posted on July 9, 2008 by rodney
Tags: tour

After spending some time drying out my tent in the morning, I headed over the hill of Wallsee, then over the kraftwerk to the opposite bank of the Donau. Today all the Austrian air force were out. There were planes and helicopters everywhere. During the night a couple of really loud planes boomed overhead. I imagined huge multi-propellor bombers overloaded with tonnes of H-bombs were headed for Russia. I haven’t been keeping up with the news so my suspicion was that due to some political blunder Russia had cut off the gas supply to Western Europe. Europe, no longer with enough gas to cook their käsekrainers, declared war in retaliation.

Since then Europe hasn’t been turned into a smoking pile of rubble so either they won the war or the situation calmed down. Anyway. The Donau Radweg is a bit of a nanna route. The hills next to the river (such as the ones I drove through this morning) are something different. They’re not huge but with my luggage I would only do 60-80km through these in a full day. Usually one would find some 10% or steeper inclines, especially if one gets lost. I would only want to do a couple of such inclines per day as they are quite tiring. Now here is the GPS tracklog of today’s route.

Look a bit south and there are the proper hills – the ones that stick their big rocky heads through the clouds. My goal is to get to France, through Switzerland and Leichtenstein. So at some point I would need to cycle through these. So while huffing and puffing up these little 350m hills, using my last granny gear, I decided that the next step from Linz would require some serious contemplation.

Added to this I remembered my dream last night. It’s one I’ve had before where I’m walking in sand dunes near the beach on a cool cloudy day with a big swell and lots of noise from the waves and then it starts snowing a lot and everything including me gets covered in snow and then I wake up. I guess the obvious interpretation is that I’m worried about the forces of nature – mountains, rain, wind, etc.

Anyway today’s cycling wasn’t too exciting. I just powered it along the river through the headwind. Decided to carry the bike up the stairs and cross the bridge at Mauthasen which was a bit of a mistake because I ended going through another horrible soulless industrial estate, then next to the railway/autobahn. But I got to the nice town of Enns which is on a hill where I took a photo, and bought some cakes from the markets there.

Back down to the river and across another kraftwerk, more driving next to the bank through the wind. Got passed by a racing cyclist and decided to draft him for a bit but the pace was a little much. Later on was passed by an old guy on his mountain bike bouncing up and down on his shocks with the fat tires buzzing. Got a good tow from him going about 27km/h all the way to Linz, where he turned off.

Found the centre of Linz at about 2:30, went to the tourist bureau, ate my cakes, and watched some of a game of chess on the street with those huge 15:1 scale chess pieces. Black’s “pawns & bishops only” opening was pretty pathetic and so I left as soon as – with careful and long consideration – he sacrificed his first bishop. Went and blew some cash at a smokey R&B hip hop music internet cafe, then headed back out to camping at about 4:30.

Dep 9:20, arr 2:30, dst 60km.

    <li><a href="">View all photos from today</a></li>