Day 11 – May 16th – Gone against the wind but reaching home

The consumed oxygen in the „neatly arranged“ container wakes me up early. With no breakfast served, I easily set off at 7am for the final lag of my journey. Headwind, my faithful companion, starts at the same time. First gently, but after 30 minutes I start doubting if I manage the remaining 80 kilometres.

Breakfast after 25 kilometres in St. Pölten tastes well, but has a political aftertaste. St. Pölten is the capital of Lower Austria. Seven nano federal countries + Vienna in tiny Austria means 8 local parliaments, local governments, local administrators in parallel to same structures on the federal level. This oozing federalism is primarily:
a) an artificial employment scheme for countless politicians and bureaucrats
b) taxpayers‘ money burning machine
c) impediment to any reasonable political progress
Anyway, I put up with the fact that this will not change during my lifespan and try to enjoy my breakfast.

„Beware of trains! “ is my greeting to two technicians in orange suits standing on the rails.
„We always do,“ they reply. A conversation ensues. I learn of how they measure with ultrasound the quality of the rails. Also, that in the summer, due to the heat, the radius of the rail curves increases by three centimetres. So strictly speaking during hot days we travel further than we paid for 🙂
Before we part, we agree that our ancestors were train drivers. A grandfather in my case and a great-grandfather of the technician in the orange suit.

The headwind gives me a hard time. I look for excuses why to make frequent stops. During one of them, I take a gulp of linseed oil and put also a few drops of this viscose miracle on my squeaking chain and gears. It works for both of us.

Part of the cycling tracks lead on normal roads. The closer to Vienna, the heavier the traffic. Though in Austria (and Germany) only steady backlight is allowed for the bikers, I turn on my red flashing light on my helmet. The highest intensity. And start humming Bee Gees‘ „Stayin‘ Alive…“

Finally, I am at the top of the last hill. Now only 10 km to go down. This will total today’s trip to 83km and 600 altimeters. The wind still tries to stop me, but I do not care and keep pedalling and reviewing what happened in the last days. Wonderful, eventful and eye-opening experiences. Definitely worth the sweat. Altogether 800km and 8000 altimeters in Austria plus the 200km bonus of the Lake Constance trip.

Thanks to all of you who helped me to make this happen!

My final 83km and 600 altimeters to reach home. All in all the whole lovely trip with 1000km and 8000 altimeters

Early morning in Lower Austria

One more biker’s romance. Sorry for my repetitiveness

St. Pölten. The breakfast was flawless, politically is the local parliament equally redundant as those in city of Vienna, Graz, Klagenfurt, Linz, Salzburg, Innsbruck and Bregenz.

A little proof of the headwind

Castle Neulengbach. Till today completely unknown to me. Shame undone.

Entering home. What a feeling!

Geschriben 16.05 2024 um 20:58