Friday, April 25, 2014

Danube Bike Trip — Day 4

Grein to Melk

It rained during the night. I noticed that as soon as I got up. I opened the window to check the temperature and it felt cold, very cold. In fact, a few drops of rain were still falling. Breakfast at the Hotel Aumühle was okay, nothing like the huge feast in Linz. I had stopped at a Hofer supermarket just before entering Grein yesterday and bought some food that I ate in my room last night: herring in sour cream, cheese filled chilis in olive oil, yogurt and bread. After the 30 € Wiener Schnitzel extravagance the other night at the Arcotel it was time to save a bit of money on dinner. The store stuff was surprisingly tasty and now that I've had the hotel's breakfast I reckon I made a good decision. I also bought a Yesss SIM card (5 €) so I can be in contact with Helga, my Couchsurfing host in Vienna.
A chilly damp morning

Pretty rocks alongside the Donauradweg

St. Nikola

I started the ride today wearing a polypro pullover cap instead of the baseball hat I got from Eurobike. The weather this morning was so chilly I figured the extra warmth would be welcome, and it was; most of the day was cold and overcast. Once again, the dark clouds had a silver lining because of the nice tailwind accompanying them. Some photos of the journey along the Donauradweg follow:

A section of the bike path travels this highway
Bicycle access ramp to a bridge

Just after this photo was taken I got caught by the rain at last. I jacketed up and had to wait only a short while until the sun came out. (Willy Nelson was singing Blue Skies at the time, no kidding!). But then as I was pulling in to Melk, some hail started. I was only minutes away from the Hotel zur Post so I hustled right on over there and parked the bike for the night.

Blue skies — for a while
Is that the last of the rain? Not quite.
When I parked the bike in the Hotel zur Post garage I had logged 56.2 km (35 miles) in 3 hr 16 min of pedaling,  4 hr 15 min total. Maximum speed I reached was 57 km/hr (35 mph) going down the hill to town from the Hotel Aumühle. I might have gone faster but I got stuck behind a big truck and couldn't get around it. There was a fairly steady tail wind for much of the afternoon. It's always good to travel this cycleway from west to east.

The Bike:
Eurobike supplied this bicycle for the trip. It was very well made and maintained, a bit heavier and sturdier than most touring bikes seen in the U.S., and perfect for the sort of riding I'm undertaking. The waterproof handlebar bag and single pannier reminded me of the high quality Ortleib panniers I own. Both are easily clipped onto and off the bike so they can be taken along when leaving the bike unattended.

It had Shimano SIS indexed shifters for both front and rear derailleurs, and Shimano cantilever brakes. It also had a headlight and tail light powered by a generator that I never had occasion to use. Everything worked well — the bike rode quietly and was quite solid and comfortable. I give Eurobike good marks on their choice of equipment. Electric assist bikes are available for slightly more money.

Audio gear: iPhone 5, PanApp player, Mighty H Bluetooth Headphones
Today's Playlist:
St. Vincent: St. Vincent
U2: Joshua Tree
Wilco: Sky Blue Sky
Wilco: Wilco [The Album]
Willy Nelson: Stardust


  • Want to use a shopping cart at Hofer? It will cost you 1 € to rent one.
  • Want to smoke in a restaurant? Some Austrian cafes and restaurants still allow this. There are many smokers in Austria.

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