Day 11 – May 16th – Gone against the wind

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

Breakfast after 25 kilometers 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 the major federal one. This oozing federalism is primarily:
a) an artificial employment scheme for countless politicians and bureaucrats
b) tax payers‘ 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 breakfast in the capital of Lower Austria .

„Beware of trains! “ is my greeting to two technicians in orange suites standing on the rails.
„We always do,“ they reply. A conversation ensues and I learn of how they measure the quality of the rails with ultrasound. Also, that in the summer, due to the heat, the radius of the rail curves increases by three centimeters. 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. At one of them I take a gulp of linseed and put also a few drops of this miracle on my squeaking chain and gears. It works.

Part of the tracks lead on normal roads. The closer to Vienna, the heavier the traffic. Though in Austria (and Germany) only steady back light 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“

I am not more than 40 km from my home but pass through places I have never been before and had known them only as names on the highway exit signs. Some of them are amazing, others just to pass by.

Finally at the top of the last hill. Now only 10 km going 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 also 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!

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.
What a feeling!

Geschriben 16.05 2024 um 20:58