Well, overtaking ships is certainly not something I do every day, but today I cycled from Vienna to Stockerau (and back) to meet some friends. The easiest way to get there is along the Danube bike trail (Velo Route 6), a very famous and popular bike route among tourists. Beside fully loaded tourists from basically all over the world, one rides along families on their weekend bike trips, sporty road cyclists and old ladies on their shopping trips.
me about 20 min to get from our flat to the mighty river and another 1 ½ hours to Greifenstein. There I met up with my friend D. and his wife F. for lunch. Later we cycled together to their home in Stockerau. That's very easy cause there is a river power station and cyclists and pedestrians are allowed to cross the Danube there. To get to Stockerau itself one cycles through a floodplain forest – that's where I ate my bug (well, I spat it out and continued cycling with my mouth closed ;-)).
Cyclists in Stockerau
Stockerau is about 30 km upstream from Vienna and a few kilometers away from the Danube. On the way there I had to cope with strong headwind, but on the way back I could overtake some ships, because I also benefited from a light tailwind. Almost back I got caught by a short shower as I went onto the Danube island (but it was already finished when I left it).
All in all
I spend a lovely day on a lovely bike route in Europe. If you got interested you can read more about it on Wikipedia, the EuroVelo 6 website (by bicycle from the Atlantic to the Black Sea) or the official website of the Donauradweg in Upper Austria (German). Or have a look at more personal impressions by the Cycle Tourist or by Filigree from Lovely Bicycle.
All in all
I miss the Danube trail! I love the feeling of knowing that there is soooo much open bike-road in front -- that if you want, you can cycle all the way to the Black Forest.
On weekends, especially if it is a sunny day, the trail around Vienna and Klosterneuburg can be so congested, that it is hard to cycle. But further out, towards Tulln, it becomes almost empty.
Oh, and not only did I eat some bugs -- I even got a black eye from an enormous bumble bee that hit my eyebrow at full speed!
Why is it always a strong headwind and a light tailwind? That seems to be universal.
@ Filigree: Oh, I was lucky. No bumble bees for me. That certainly is scary and hurts.
Yeah, you're right. The trail can be pretty crowded in some places.
@ Jan: Maybe that was just my subjective point of view and a headwind feels much stronger because one has to work against it. But I also cycled on the other riverside on the way back ;-).
I am talented in getting hurt; that's the only explanation I can think of for a bumble-bee-impact black eye!
I was thinking a lot of the Danube trail yesterday, when we went to explore the Minuteman Bikeway on the outskirts of Boston. It is a great trail, but nothing compared to the endless grandeur of the Danube trail. I really do wish we had something similar here!
Ack, yeah, gotta watch out for those bugs in summer. The trail looks great, though! Wish there was something that long near where I live.
That would be a dream vacation for me - to cycle from the Black Forest to Vienna on the Danube Trail! Someday, someday...
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