My Philosophy

"Don't tell me the sky's the limit when we have footsteps on the moon!"

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Tour de Austria: Day 2

This is quite a fun story to tell, I don't mind telling of my stupidity because it turned out to be so rewarding. I had planned about 50 miles of riding, weaving in and out of lakes and towns, it's not exactly that far but with the hilly terrain it could have been tough.

To start with I had to find the Radweg (Cycling trail) from Salzburg north to Obertrumer See, which as it turned out I hadn't and I spent an hour going not quite the right direction, but it was good enough so not much time was wasted. The trail I took was nearly straight up hill for a while, until I came to my favourite kind of place for cycling - the rolling up and down hills. I saw this view and thought it was as good a place as any to stop for lunch.

I hoped to god that I wouldn't have to climb that hill... I did

I had a quick consult of my map and it indicated that I was only 5 miles from the first lake of the day, so after an apple (you can call that either third breakfast or first lunch). The time before reaching the lake went by really quick and so this view opened up.

The funnier view though was when I looked down at my arm - if you remember from my last cycling post I had a pretty bad tan line on my arm, this time I decided to go in a vest top and try to even it out, by only putting sun cream on the existing plan. Genius. the funny part was that a lot of bugs had been committing suicide against me while I was cycling, and a lot of them got caught in my sun-creamy arm.

All those black specks are flies

Even funnier was when the flies would fly into my glasses, so I would see a squished blob on my lenses. When I got up to high speeds they would quite comically slide off, like in the cartoons.

When I was cycling around this first lake I saw something that was a little surprising; a guy that looked like he was in his 80s was also cycling around the lake, after cycling up a light hill I stopped to take a couple more pictures and he caught up with me and said "Servus! Los Gehts!" (Hi! Off we go!). I laughed. I doubt that would have happened in any other country (except Germany maybe).

This was a very beautiful place, but there is a better picture of it further down (or up) the trail. I stopped in a town called Mattsee, which lies between 2 lakes. I expected that there would be a pub or something to stop for a Radler, but amazingly there wasn't one (well there was one but not open till 5) suitably disappointed but still craving the refreshing shandy I stopped off at a pub in the town centre.

The waiter here was very friendly and kindly gave me directions to the next Radweg. The only problem was I asked in German and didn't completely understand the response - needless to say I got lost shortly after this. To get out of the town is quite a steep uphill, but I came to a main junction, where both directions were main roads with 100kmh speed limits, so I assumed I went too far and went back down the hill. There was no other route.

Normally there are signs that point cyclists in the direction of the track. This is one of the many critical times where there wasn't one, and I cursed my German for not being able to understand what the guy said. Straight or left. I tried straight, 100m later there was a left turn, which I knew was the direction I needed to go, so I went that way (the other way was a dual carriageway). After not too long this way seemed to be nearly vertical, at this point my legs were getting weary so i gave up and went back down.

As Spok says "Once you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable must be the truth". Having eliminated the impossible I went along the 100kph single carriageway. At first glance it didn't seem so steep, but it got very steep and I could see that the top was very far away, my legs were weary still and I could see a parking place to stop and catch my breath. I am glad that I did because what I saw took my breath away.

This is half way up the hill that I didn't want to climb earlier - worth it though for this view

I summoned the energy to have another go up the hill. As it was a very fast road I didn't want to stop on the road so I resolved to make it all the way up without stopping. I succeeded but was already feeling that I had bit off more than I could chew, but there was nothing for it - I had to make it to Mondsee to make my reservation in the nice hotel.

I can see that this post is already getting a bit long, so I think it would be best to split this day into several posts. Stay tuned for the REALLY stupid parts :)

Viel Spaß homies!

1 comment:

  1. Loving the posts, I'm looking forward to the REALLY stupid parts!!