River Danube Tour Day 12b (no number 13): Oh Deary deary me what a head wind

Today we left our campsite after a lovely sleep.  It was very quiet but if you read the blog for yesterday that I wrote this morning you will know we narrowly avoided a vicious storm again.

Today we rode from 10k just before Tulln, went through Vienna and we are now in a town called Orth.  We are having to stop in a guest house at 75 euros for bed and breakfast as camping from Vienna all the way to Budapest does not exist really.  Looking at the guide there are a few camping places but they all exist within one or two stages, so we might hit one of them if we are lucky.

The wind is blowing from the east and it is a heavy head wind.  As it is blowing hot air at us it is a double whammy.  It was 40 degrees again today.  It is crazy hot!

Tomorrow the wind is blowing from the west so we should have a tail wind, but our day will be short as they are predicting a lot of storms tomorrow with the change in wind direction.  On the plus side the temp for the next couple of days looks a bit cooler.  The storms are meant to come in the afternoon so we are going to get a move on straight after breakfast.

This morning as we were riding along we saw the corn fields shake like in the UFO films when aliens are charging through the farmland after a crash landing.  Then out came two deer full belt straight across the road in front of us.  They continued on in full view a round a trimmed field before daring into another field of head high corn.  It was a lovely sight.

Vienna looks an interesting city, we could just pass through though.  If it was cooler or we had more time in the itinerary I might have had the energy for a bit of sight-seeing.  But if you don’t know your way around or you have not spent enough time somewhere to get your bearings it all becomes a bit stressful and the urge to get back on the road takes over.  But my uncle was correct, there is graffiti art everyway!  every part of stone, concreate and glass was covered when we travelled through one area of the city.

We did 86.6km today and it was enough.  We are just about 30km from Bratislava the capital of Slovakia so we will be defo crossing the border tomorrow and hopefully doing another 40-50km when over the border.

We are going to get some pizza and bring it back to our room as we think it must be the only air-conditioned bedroom in the whole of Germany and Austria.  Supermarkets and banks tend to be a good place to waste some time!

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River Danube Tour Day 2: Finding the source of the great flow

Today we got up early and had breakfast as 0800.  The weather forecast is stating 32 degrees everyday whilst we are cycling but on the bikes the breeze makes it feel bearable.  We were on a bit of a mission to find cooking camping gas.  But we also wanted to go up and see the highest waterfall in Germany the entrance to the walk was literally just across the road, 4 metres away.  The waterfall walk once you go through the gates is about 30 mins.  We did not go up as far to see the 160m drop but we did see the seven cascades.  This was not through any other reason other than we did not know you had to go higher to see the big one! doh.

Once we got on the bikes straight away we were on a 1100m mountain climb and it felt good.  I love nothing better than getting in to an easy gear and pacing a way up a mountain full with luggage.  The bikes handled it superbly and I was so impressed at how easy it was even though in places they were advertising 20%.

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Once on the top it levelled out to nice meadows and beautiful tall trees.  The only thing you could hear at times were the cow bells.  It was just magical!

There has been some disputes over the years as to where the Danube actually starts and the villages of both places have come to a solution.  So there is the start of the highest stream which feeds into the Danube and they class it as the head water of the river.  We were there first as that is the highest point.  This area is called Bregquelle then after 40 odd km’s we came to Donaueschingen.  Here they have a Roman wall where they built a wall around the spring where the streams and river surfaces again, this is called the official start.

It has been one hell of an amazing day of cycle touring.  If you have not been to the Black Forest in Germany you need to get here.  I am having such a beautiful time, if it continues like this it will be a tour that will stay in the brain cells for many years.

 

River Danube Tour Day 1: Planes, Trains, Automobiles, Trains, Trains, Auomobiles, Trains, Trains

As I know from doing this kidda thing for the last decade, getting to an awesome place with a bike is probably the most challenging bit.  Riding the route you have planned is the reward for all the effort.

We set off this morning at 0510 and got the train from Sowerby Bridge at 0545 to Manchester Airport.  As we had a big box we bypassed the massive queue and Ryan Air Checkin and was told to go straight to the front, bonus!  Our plane was delayed by about 30 mins, but we had a nice breakfast in the airport so no worries.  We landed at about 1500 local time.

When we landed in Stuttgart we then had to get a taxi from the airport to the train station.  As we had the Bromptons we did not need to wait for the train that I had booked with cycle carriage.  We could jump on any train we liked!!  This would have saved us ab out five hours, but we missed a stopped and had to do a  bit of back tracking, so in the end we only saved a couple of hours, still a bonus.

As the train was getting closer to our destination in Triberg the scenery suddenly changed.  If you have not been to this neck of the woods, sorry forest, Black Forest.  You need to get here quick, it is beautiful and amazing!

Our total journey consisted of:  Taxi, train, plane, taxi, train, train, train, train and taxi.  But it was sure worth it.  We got to our hotel and it is a rite old traditional building.  We got here quite late 2100 so they did some quick and easy bites for us, a couple of G&T’s and an apple strudel with vanilla sauce.  Feeling proper sorted.

Just time now for a shower, as we have been given a free ticket from the hotel to walk up to the highest waterfall in Germany.  So that is the plan for tomorrow morning before we set off on the route.

C2C3: 15th – 18th July

It is only a couple of weeks before forty five!! teenagers take on the coast to coast route.  They are doing the 170 mile Way of the Roses route.  As this is the third time of running this fund raising trip we have given it the name C2C3, (coast to coast III).

The students are carrying their own gear and cooking their own food using single burner stoves.  They are doing this to raise money for their school.  So far they have raised £8500 including gift aid.  They have a target of 10k, so they are not too far off.  Please promote their ride my sharing their donation link on Virgin Money Giving.

https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/NHGSC2C3

We really have a good time on the trip and the students learn a lot about being on the road, building resilience, being independent and staying safe.

They are setting off from Morecambe on the 15th July and completing in Bridlington on the 18th July.

Cycle Budda Life Ep1

Diary of a Lifestyle Cyclist and Tourer

I have several bikes in my shed, bedroom, cellar and conservatory.  All very different.  A carbon race bike that does not get much use.  A fatbike gets more use than the carbon bike.  A steel utility tourer with Rohloff hub and a cross bike in bits.

This morning I jumped on the steel steed and with all the snowy weather we have had recently a lot of salt has been put down on the roads.  When I jumped on it this morning I knew something was not right.  The Rohloff had spun around and the wheel was twisted.  How? I do not know, it was running fine the last time I got off it!  One thing for sure all the salt put down to combat the snow has not helped, even though I did give it a quick rinse before I put it away a few days ago.  I had to hot foot it back to the shed.  Choices, fatbike, no not this time, people might think I was riding it because of the snow and that had all gone.  Cross bike in pieces, Carbon bike, it will have to be even though I really did not want to.  I justified the decision with the fact carbon can’t rust as far as I am aware.  Now, the race bike had been serviced a few months ago and not been ridden since….. Chain Snap eh oh that is easy to fix.

My point…. I came across the saying the number of bikes you should own is n+1, with n being the current number of bikes you already have.

Now I love this.  I constantly look at bike websites and wish I had most of them.  I am not into slick race bikes anymore so I can give or take them.  But any sexy utility, tourer and everyday bike I am all over it!  But due to space I have been on a mission to find the perfect one bike!  Let me tell you I don’t think it can exist if only for the reason you need another bike to jump on to when your current one fails between your legs.  It is a bit like having an AA membership if you own a car.  You need a conveyor belt of bikes to go through in turn.  One you are riding, one in the workshop and two in ready in the shed waiting to go.  So if you are a lifestyle cyclist that needs a bike for commute, shopping and fun I will put a number on five bikes minimum.

Current Bike Project

The Cannondale cross bike that I have has been to battle with cycle touring and was showing the scars from a couple of coast to coasts and the excellent ride back from Spain on the Velodyssey route.  It was an amazing trip.  My partner her nine year old and myself all the way on the coastal route if you want to see beautiful things and jump in the sea then it is a must do tour.  You can see how we got on in previous posts.  Anyway the bike did an amazing job.  The only problem is that the paint work got a bit tatty.  So I have jazzed it up with a metallic purple powercoat which looks cool.

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It is also getting built up in a different style.  I am going for SOMA Sparrow bars.  MTB 1×11 shifting and Hydro disc brakes.  Brooks saddle.  It will look the bee’s knee’s when it is built up.  Some stuff is just starting to trickle through, so the tools are coming out.

So far the brakes and BB have come.  The handlebars should be here in the next week.  By the end of next week we should of seen some progress that I will share with you.

 

NHGS Cycle Fundrasier

Starting on the 15th July forty two teenage students are cycling the Way of the Roses route, coast to coast from Morecambe to Bridlington.  It is 170 miles over some tough hills in the Yorkshire Dales.  The really cool thing is they are carrying their own gear and cooking their own meals.  Being completely independent and showing grit and resilience.  It is the third time the school has done a coast to coast ride to raise money and the student manage to get about £10,000 each time the ride has run.  Please show your support to the students and donate on their Money Giving Page https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/NHGSC2C3 Please share this link with as many people as you can, the students will really appreciate it.

Eyewear

If you are in need of sport eyewear that has removable lens and can be made prescription please consider these specs from Sunwise.

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The profit, around £15 for each pair will go towards the C2C ride above.  Please contact:  Stewart Mitchell (Eyecare) LLP, 81 Godwin Street, Bradford, BD1 2SH, Call 01274 723362, http://sidneyfraser.co.uk/

Here to Help

I may be able to assist you in the following ways:

  1. You want to dust off your old bike and commute to work but want to build up some confidence.
  2. You would like a guided tour around Calderdale/Yorkshire.
  3. You want help setting up a local cycle club.
  4. You want to set up and host a cycle fund raising activities/event.

e-mail me at djugroop@gmail.com and we can talk about your cycling requirements.  No harm in asking to see what we can do!

Upcoming Rides, Tours and Fundraising

The next few cycling escapades in order of completion include:

April 3rd – April 5th:  I will be undertaking my Advanced Mountain Bike Leader Award.  I already hold the Multi Day Tour Leader Award which is suitable for long tours on the road.  Being able to confidently take groups off the tarmac and into some beautiful, peaceful countryside is the main advantage and incentive of holding the Advanced MTB Award.  Both awards have been led and organised by Cycling UK (CTC).   https://www.cyclinguk.org/courses-and-training.

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May 26th 2018 – May 29th 2018:  Coast to Coast ride (Way of the Roses) with a small group of teenagers.  This will be about twenty young kids tackling the 170 miles from Morecambe to Bridlington.

July 15th 2018 – July 18th 2018:  Coast to Coast ride (Way of the Roses) with NHGS.  Forty one students will be riding to raise money for their school.  Please donate here  https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/NHGSC2C3.  For information on the route click this link:  http://wayoftheroses.info/route.

July 21st 2018 – July 23rd 2018:  I will be doing the 98 mile off road West Highland Way.  For this trip I will be travelling light and doing some proper bikepack bivvying 🙂  You can find information from the official site here.  https://www.westhighlandway.org/.

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July 28th 2018 – August 13th 2018:  Cycle tour of the first half of the river Danube.  Starting in the Black Forest of Germany and ending 1300km later in Budapest, Hungary.  This is the offical site for the route.  https://www.danube-cycle-path.com/.

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As I do the routes I will be blogging more frequently to inform you of the cycling to inspire ideas and trips of your own.