The first part of the day was bicycling at its best. I left the hotel after another sumptuous breakfast and started south along the Donauradweg. It was cool and overcast but quiet and calm, perfect biking weather. By my calculations the day's run to Linz was going to be roughly 56 km, about 35 miles. Back in the day that would be a piece of cake for me. I used to do the 29-mile North Fork Loop in just a few hours. and it involves some big hills. These days I'm used to riding a bike with a big comfortable seat, and a motor, not to mention being 10 years older, so I worried that 35 miles might present a bit of a challenge. After a few minutes riding though I felt that all was right in the world. I was zipping along listening to the birdsong and going with the flow, literally, through some country that, while not as wild as Alaska, was agreeably rustic and quite beautiful. Heavy forest rims both shores of the Donau along here.
|A very pleasant bike path|
|View of Untermuhl, Austria|
The 20 km from the Donauschlinge south to Aschach has got to be one of the nicest pieces of cycleway in the world. I enjoyed every second of it. At Aschach I crossed the river again to proceed along the north shore to just before Linz where I crossed it again. The Eurobike staff provide a guidebook and maps and make suggestions about which side is most scenic or easiest to travel. That means we often find ourselves on bridges, taking a ferry or crossing at one of several power projects that span the mighty Donau. The second part of this day's travel wasn't in the same class as those first 20 kms. The path traversed some farm country and a few long, straight stretches that were a bit of a slog. The last 10 km were predictably unpleasant as traffic intensified the closer we got to Linz.
|A gravel forest road runs alongside the bikepath here|
I had a good tail wind on these straight stretches and that really, really helps. The few riders I saw going the opposite way were fighting for every inch of forward motion with heads down and clothing slapping in the fresh breeze. No thanks. Been there, done that.
I had been noticing a smaller gravel road, a forest service road, paralleling the bike path. I decided to ride it for a while just for a change of scene.
|Out of the wind — a good place for a rest|
|The last few miles before Linz|
I decided to stay in the hotel for the rest of the evening. I had traveled 56.6 km in 3 hr 49 minutes ride time, 7 hours door to door.
Audio equipment: iPhone 5, Mighty-H Bluetooth headphones
Beck : Morning Phase
Beethoven: Piano Trio, No. 1 Op. 1 No. 1
Massive Attack: Heligoland
The National: High Violet
Radiohead: In Rainbows
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