Bike Trip 2010

User:
chris
Dates:
22 May 2010 - 16 Jun 2010
Duration:
3 weeks, 4 days
More:
http://picasaweb.google.ca/...

Wednesday 16 Jun 2010 12:18

Hamburg Hauptbahnhof. This wraps up Bike Tour 2010. In a few hours I will board the overnight train to Zurich.

The end comes with sadness and joy. I'm sad it's over, but happy it went so well. I saw many great things, met interesting people, and pedalled many kilometers (2043km to be exact).

I look forward to returning home, seeing my girlfriend, seeing my friends, and beginning work on the next TrackMyTour. I plan to write a short summary of the trip and will post photos soon. Tschuß!

Posted: June 16, 2010, 10:18 a.m.

Wednesday 16 Jun 2010 10:53

Posted: June 16, 2010, 8:53 a.m.

Wednesday 16 Jun 2010 8:28

Crossing the Elbe for the last time.

Posted: June 16, 2010, 6:28 a.m.

Tuesday 15 Jun 2010 18:41

Setting up camp for the last night of the tour. There are chickens running around the campsite. I get the feeling tomorrow will be an early start.

It was a tough ride with headwinds that reminded me of the time in Holland along the North Sea last year.

I went to a neighbouring hotel for supper, beer, and the North Korea vs. Brazil World Cup game (1-2).

Posted: June 15, 2010, 4:41 p.m.

Tuesday 15 Jun 2010 18:18

2000km!

Posted: June 15, 2010, 4:18 p.m.

Tuesday 15 Jun 2010 15:48

I visited the Lauenburg train station to pick up a ticket for tomorrow's return trip to Switzerland. Naturally, I arrived during the one hour in the day when the ticket counter is closed. In the station was a restaurant, so I went in, had lunch (which sucked), and watched some of the New Zealand vs. Slovakia World Cup game.

After lunch I returned to the ticket counter, explained what I wanted, and got the answer I almost expected: "I can't sell you that type of ticket." Always something, I thought to myself. The agent explained I could get the ticket from a travel agent in town, which was across the bridge, a left, a right, up the hill, left, and then right again. A good chunk of this was also on bone rattling medieval roads made out of stone blocks. Groan. Why can't the German railway sell me a ticket for their service? Why must I go to a travel agent?

Fortunately, the travel agent was open and I sighed with relief when the agent said, "No problem," to my request. I got the ticket, and will be on the Hamburg to Zurich night train tomorrow night.

I continued towards Hamburg on the opposite side of the Elbe, and soon ran into problems with the high water levels that didn't allow me to continue. Nowhere was this indicated. Frustrated, I double backed over the crap roads and returned to the other side. I'm in no rush to ever return here.

Posted: June 15, 2010, 1:48 p.m.

Tuesday 15 Jun 2010 12:51

Posted: June 15, 2010, 10:51 a.m.

Monday 14 Jun 2010 20:41

I'm camping just outside Hitzacker after riding 128km. The mosquitoes are horrible.

Posted: June 14, 2010, 6:41 p.m.

Monday 14 Jun 2010 18:58

Posted: June 14, 2010, 4:58 p.m.

Monday 14 Jun 2010 16:11

Who the hell builds a road with sand!?!

Posted: June 14, 2010, 2:11 p.m.

Monday 14 Jun 2010 13:51

Posted: June 14, 2010, 11:51 a.m.

Monday 14 Jun 2010 11:32

Stopped in Wittenberge for lunch. I cycled with Martin to Wittenberge, but from here on we continue in different directions.

Posted: June 14, 2010, 9:32 a.m.

Monday 14 Jun 2010 9:06

Posted: June 14, 2010, 7:06 a.m.

Monday 14 Jun 2010 3:14

Shortly after departing this morning I met Martin from Magdeburg. We cycled the rest of the day together, discussed various topics, and I learned he organizes the Magdeburg Critical Mass bike rides. We planned to cycle to Havenberg opposite the Elbe, but couldn't get there since there was no ferry service due to the high water. We went to Werben instead.

At the Werben campsite we were greeted by Klaus. Recently turned 50, Klaus was excited to have a Canadian visit after he received a Canadian photo book for his birthday. While sharing stories he pulled out shot glasses for Martin and me and poured each of us a schnapps. One became two and he later invited us for beer. I've never had such a great welcome in all my years of touring. Thank you!

In the evening we watched Germany destroy Australia in the World Cup (4-0).

Posted: June 14, 2010, 1:14 a.m.

Sunday 13 Jun 2010 15:54

Hafenfest!!!

Posted: June 13, 2010, 1:54 p.m.

Sunday 13 Jun 2010 13:25

Stopped for lunch at the Tangermünder Kuhschwanz.

Posted: June 13, 2010, 11:25 a.m.

Sunday 13 Jun 2010 11:29

Posted: June 13, 2010, 9:29 a.m.

Sunday 13 Jun 2010 10:08

Posted: June 13, 2010, 8:08 a.m.

Sunday 13 Jun 2010 9:24

I'm guessing a 20m drop at these locks.

Posted: June 13, 2010, 7:24 a.m.

Sunday 13 Jun 2010 8:08

This is the fourth time I've seen the "Clara Schumann" since entering Germany from the Czech Republic.

Posted: June 13, 2010, 6:08 a.m.

Saturday 12 Jun 2010 18:55

I'm staying the night in Magdeburg after a chilly and wet ride. I debated heading home from here, but after checking the forecast and maps have decided to continue to Hamburg. It's 301km, and I should get there by Wednesday.

Posted: June 12, 2010, 4:55 p.m.

Saturday 12 Jun 2010 16:59

I'm in Magdeburg and haven't decided what to do next.

Posted: June 12, 2010, 2:59 p.m.

Saturday 12 Jun 2010 15:45

Schönebeck

Posted: June 12, 2010, 1:45 p.m.

Saturday 12 Jun 2010 13:51

Calbe - My mom's birth town.

I'm standing in the town square and a bride just arrived for her wedding.

Posted: June 12, 2010, 11:51 a.m.

Saturday 12 Jun 2010 13:19

Damaschkeplan - My mom lived the first five years of her life in this house.

Posted: June 12, 2010, 11:19 a.m.

Saturday 12 Jun 2010 10:20

The Hugo Junkers Technical Museum

Posted: June 12, 2010, 8:20 a.m.

Saturday 12 Jun 2010 9:01

I just visited the Bauhaus in Dessau and didn't know what to expect. From what I read, the Bauhaus was an influential school of design that basically paved the way for modern design. Looking at the building makes it clear. It was built in 1925 in a style decades ahead of its time. Check out "Bauhaus" on wikipedia for more information.

The place is still functional as a school and where (from what I understood) post graduates work. I arrived before the opening time, but was given a short and private tour by a gentleman who has a history with the Bauhaus dating back to the 60s. He showed me some of the inner architecture that didn't impress me until I remembered it was designed and built 85 years ago. Amazing!

Posted: June 12, 2010, 7:01 a.m.

Friday 11 Jun 2010 23:03

I'm camped on a small patch of grass of the Dessau Yacht Club. In the evening I biked into town to watch the France vs. Uruguay World Cup game (0-0).

Posted: June 11, 2010, 9:03 p.m.

Friday 11 Jun 2010 16:08

Crossing the Elbe.

Posted: June 11, 2010, 2:08 p.m.

Friday 11 Jun 2010 13:27

The main entrance of the Castle Church, where Luther posted his 95 theses in 1517. The original door was destroyed in some war, and this new one was added in 1858.

Greetings to the Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in Sudbury, Canada. I first heard about this place from you in Sunday school many years ago.

Posted: June 11, 2010, 11:27 a.m.

Friday 11 Jun 2010 12:05

Wittenberg is preparing for a huge city festival this weekend in celebration of Luther's wedding anniversary. Drink and food stands line the main street, and the city square (before city hall) has been converted into a beergarden. People will be dressed in medieval clothes and over 100'000 people are expected. "Chaos and full stress," my waitress tells me. I'm debating whether to stay or go.

Posted: June 11, 2010, 10:05 a.m.

Friday 11 Jun 2010 11:22

I'm standing before the entrance to the Lutherhaus, where Martin Luther lived as a monk and later with his family until his death in 1546. It's now a museum.

Posted: June 11, 2010, 9:22 a.m.

Friday 11 Jun 2010 10:20

This poor guy was either abandoned or separated from its mother. I watched it timidly cross the main road, and hope it survives.

Posted: June 11, 2010, 8:20 a.m.

Friday 11 Jun 2010 8:39

The Elbe ferry isn't running today due to high water, so I'm riding on the west side instead of the official route on the east side. This side is nicer anyway, I'm told.

Posted: June 11, 2010, 6:39 a.m.

Thursday 10 Jun 2010 15:59

A great ride today puts me 115km ahead. I'm camping near the Lausiger Teiche outside of Pretzsch, which seems popular for swimming.

Posted: June 10, 2010, 1:59 p.m.

Thursday 10 Jun 2010 13:22

I'm at the German Cyclist Church in Weßnig.

Posted: June 10, 2010, 11:22 a.m.

Thursday 10 Jun 2010 12:31

At a lunch buffet popular with bike tourers.

Posted: June 10, 2010, 10:31 a.m.

Thursday 10 Jun 2010 11:07

In the middle of the middle of nowhere.

Posted: June 10, 2010, 9:07 a.m.

Thursday 10 Jun 2010 10:19

Tree pollen covers parts of the trail.

Posted: June 10, 2010, 8:19 a.m.

Thursday 10 Jun 2010 8:27

Posted: June 10, 2010, 6:27 a.m.

Wednesday 9 Jun 2010 16:25

I'm staying at a campsite on the Elbe a few kilometers west of Dresden. The ride was nothing short of spectacular with a dedicated route directly along the river. I got into a minor accident when the group before me suddenly slowed down. It was completely my fault, and luckily wasn't more than my front pannier slamming into the rear wheel of another cyclist.

Posted: June 9, 2010, 2:25 p.m.

Wednesday 9 Jun 2010 12:11

I'm standing before the Frauenkirche in Dresden. The Frauenkirche was destroyed in WWII, lay as rubble during the Cold War, and was reconstructed from the rubble after German reunification. It seems to be popular with tourists.

Directly across the street of the Fraunkirche is the "Ontario Canadian Steakhouse". I'll bite. Looking through the menu you can get a buffalo burger, bison steak, caribou, brownies, donuts, Moosehead beer, and a variety of Canadian wines. It seems out of place. I had the ribs while watching a duo of street performers (the kind that stand frozen until you give them money) fail at making a show or much money. I felt bad for them.

The Frauenkirche is impressive. I gawked at the gorgeous architecture (the church is round inside), lit a prayer candle for my mom, and left.

Posted: June 9, 2010, 10:11 a.m.

Wednesday 9 Jun 2010 10:23

In the historical old town of Pirna.

Posted: June 9, 2010, 8:23 a.m.

Tuesday 8 Jun 2010 20:25

Camping the night near Königstein. I met a cyclist from Berlin cycling from Magdeburg to Prague, essentially the same as me but in the opposite direction. We had supper, a few beer, and shared stories about work and bike touring.

Posted: June 8, 2010, 6:25 p.m.

Tuesday 8 Jun 2010 15:36

Back in Germany. Good bye Czech Republic... it was a good time.

Posted: June 8, 2010, 1:36 p.m.

Tuesday 8 Jun 2010 15:22

Posted: June 8, 2010, 1:22 p.m.

Tuesday 8 Jun 2010 14:42

Schloss Dečin in Dečin. This will be the last major town before crossing back into Germany.

Posted: June 8, 2010, 12:42 p.m.

Tuesday 8 Jun 2010 12:46

Posted: June 8, 2010, 10:46 a.m.

Tuesday 8 Jun 2010 10:58

Stopped for lunch in the town square of Litomerice. It's very pretty, but they could make it much prettier by replacing half the parking spaces with cafes.

I just ordered the "BIG ESPRESSO for good morning", and I think it's the biggest espresso I've ever had.

Posted: June 8, 2010, 8:58 a.m.

Tuesday 8 Jun 2010 10:42

I stopped in Litomerice to have my wheels trued. While putting the panniers back on the bike I overheard six tourers argue about which way to go, while some looked at me with self pity. It made me laugh. It's one thing I don't miss about traveling in a group.

Posted: June 8, 2010, 8:42 a.m.

Monday 7 Jun 2010 20:09

I'm staying the night at a small campsite across the river from Roudnice nad Labem. I had supper at the neighbouring pub and got into a conversation with a local Czech who spoke as much English and German as I do Czech. We seemed to understand each other, I think.

I saw a funny looking dog today. It looked like a deutschhund, but it was shaven from the waist down to resemble a lion. It was oddly funny.

Posted: June 7, 2010, 6:09 p.m.

Monday 7 Jun 2010 17:32

An unfortunate name for a tour company.

Posted: June 7, 2010, 3:32 p.m.

Monday 7 Jun 2010 16:49

Posted: June 7, 2010, 2:49 p.m.

Monday 7 Jun 2010 15:27

Posted: June 7, 2010, 1:27 p.m.

Monday 7 Jun 2010 13:59

A late start today, but the ride has been great. Some of the roads are in terrible condition or go along busy roads. This should change once I get to Germany.

Posted: June 7, 2010, 11:59 a.m.

Monday 7 Jun 2010 11:39

Met a Dutch couple cycling from Prague to Hamburg, and they invited me for coffee. Thank you! I may also have found a new TrackMyTour user.

Posted: June 7, 2010, 9:39 a.m.

Monday 7 Jun 2010 0:05

Standing with my bike on the Charles Bridge was one of the goals I had on this tour. In fact, it was my only hard goal, and the rest of the tour is now more or less open.

Shortly after leaving the campsite I was joined by a Czech cyclist and we rode and chatted together for about 5km. He also tours, and is going on a short tour with his wife next week. If you read this, I wish you lots of fun!

After we parted ways I stopped to closer inspect the warp. I discovered the rim was cracked, and from then on rode a little more cautiously.

Getting to central Prague was easy. The recreation path runs directly along the Moldau River and goes directly to the center of the city without any traffic.

While standing and taking photos on the bridge, some Japanese tourists took an interest in my bike and started photographing me with it. It's weird when I think about it. Those photos may end up in a photo album in Japan, or in a section of Facebook I'll never see.

I found a hotspot and began researching bike shops in town. Everything I found was closed (Sunday), so I decided to camp for the night and try in the morning. I started heading towards the campsite and stumbled on a bike shop that happened to be open. They didn't have Bontranger rims, but sold me something comparable and said I'd have to go to the other shop to have it assembled. Fine. Having this fixed today would be a huge relief.

They told me to go down a road, though a tunnel, then right 400m. Easy enough, but when I got to the tunnel it was clearly not for bikes. This was confirmed by a lady who said it would be very dangerous, but was kind to show me an alternate route.

The people at Mujsport were great for getting my bike fixed. They worked an hour overtime and I now have a fixed bike. Thank you!

From here I continue along the Moldau River, which will eventually become the Elbe. I should be in Dresden in 2-3 days, although the weather isn't looking good for tomorrow.

Posted: June 6, 2010, 10:05 p.m.

Sunday 6 Jun 2010 13:39

Greetings from the Charles Bridge in Prague!

Posted: June 6, 2010, 11:39 a.m.

Sunday 6 Jun 2010 12:13

I'm on a popular recreation trail along the Vlatava River that should take me into central Prague. The place is full of cyclists and rollerbladers.

The crack in the rear rim seems to be getting worse. I passed a few bike shops, but none were open.

Posted: June 6, 2010, 10:13 a.m.

Sunday 6 Jun 2010 11:10

Posted: June 6, 2010, 9:10 a.m.

Sunday 6 Jun 2010 9:19

After closer inspection I found a cracked rim to be the cause of the rear wheel warp. I need to get the wheel replaced. Anyone know or want to research where I might find Bontrager 28" wheels in Prague?

The Czech countryside is wonderfully scenic and hilly. The sad part is the break down of infrastructure and buildings. Things I commonly saw: smashed windows, abandoned buildings, broken fences, crumbling roads, unused railroad tracks, disintegrating farm equipment, peeling paint, and overgrown playgrounds. It also appears the remaining folk in these areas are of the older generation. I wonder what it'll look like in 20-30 years from now? Don't mistake me, not everything was like this, but there was enough to notice.

Posted: June 6, 2010, 7:19 a.m.

Saturday 5 Jun 2010 15:47

It was much better today. The idea to cycle to the Greenways path has paid off. Although hilly, the route is on paved roads, is consistently marked, and low traffic.

I'm camped 35km short of Prague, and should be there by lunch tomorrow. I don't plan to stay in Prague very long. I've been there before, have seen some of the sites, and have little interest to get swept into the tourist rush. Česky Krumlov was enough. After Prague I'll be on the Elbe bike route that'll take me to Dresden.

The campsite seems to be a hotspot for companies doing rafting and kayaking tours on the Sázavou river. There must be 40 or so tents organized in clusters for each company. It could get loud tonight.

I'm unnerved about my rear wheel becoming untrue. I can distinctly feel the warp in the brake lever when applying the rear brake. The local bike shop is closed until Monday, and I'm guessing it'll be the same for most bike shops.

Update: The tents are also for large family groups and not just for organized tours. In the evening I played in a volleyball circle, which was a lot of fun. I hadn't done that in years.

Posted: June 5, 2010, 1:47 p.m.

Saturday 5 Jun 2010 14:12

Posted: June 5, 2010, 12:12 p.m.

Saturday 5 Jun 2010 12:51

My rear wheel developed a warp, which is no surprise after the beating it took yesterday.

Posted: June 5, 2010, 10:51 a.m.

Saturday 5 Jun 2010 11:42

On the Vienna-Prague Greenways. Let's see if it delivers.

Posted: June 5, 2010, 9:42 a.m.

Saturday 5 Jun 2010 11:32

Listening to Freebird while zipping along the Czech countryside. It doesn't get better than this.

Posted: June 5, 2010, 9:32 a.m.

Saturday 5 Jun 2010 9:11

Stopped for breakfast and coffee. Not a cloud in the sky.

Posted: June 5, 2010, 7:11 a.m.

Saturday 5 Jun 2010 8:03

1000km

Posted: June 5, 2010, 6:03 a.m.

Friday 4 Jun 2010 21:51

Today was horrible. I cycled 98km, but many of those kilometers were useless. I found out the hard way that some of the marked trails on my "bike touring" map isn't for biking at all. About 8km on one route I discovered it was a hiking (or maybe a mountain bike) trail. Later on, another route clearly marked as a cycling path went on some of the worst roads I've ever been on. It alternated between massive puddles, large loose rocks, and slippery mud. Of course, little of this was on flat ground.

My goal for tomorrow is to get onto the Vienna-Prague Greenways path, which I assume will be more sane than what I'm doing now. The route is ca. 20km east of here, so my challenge is to get there without going through what I went through today.

On the lighter side, I love Czech Budweiser beer and it costs about CHF 1.20 for a 1/2 litre. It's almost criminal not to drink it.

Posted: June 4, 2010, 7:51 p.m.

Friday 4 Jun 2010 19:33

On the bridge over the Vlatava River.

Posted: June 4, 2010, 5:33 p.m.

Friday 4 Jun 2010 17:54

I realized most impressive buildings or castles are impressive from afar. I went on the worst of worst roads for this anti-climatic moment. I turned around.

Posted: June 4, 2010, 3:54 p.m.

Friday 4 Jun 2010 17:30

Worst road. Ever.

Posted: June 4, 2010, 3:30 p.m.

Friday 4 Jun 2010 13:30

I arrived in Pisek after a slow start and slow ride. The weather has improved, but there was still a strong headwind. I shouldn't complain.

I tried adjusting my brakes this morning and did what I usually do: I made it worse. The front brake doesn't fully retract when I let go, which I think is being caused by friction in the brake cable. I'll try putting a drop of oil in there.

I picked up some maps and am now standing on a functional 13th century bridge that crosses the Otava River.

Posted: June 4, 2010, 11:30 a.m.

Friday 4 Jun 2010 11:55

Posted: June 4, 2010, 9:55 a.m.

Thursday 3 Jun 2010 21:46

I misjudged the distance to Pisek and only made it to Tyn. I still rode 75km, but it felt like half of that. Yesterday's rain turned into a light drizzle, which was pleasant to ride in. Tomorrow should finally being some sun.

I cooked dinner at a sheltered area of the campsite and am now enjoying a beer at the bar. The rest of the patrons are watching an old western dubbed over in Czech.

Posted: June 3, 2010, 7:46 p.m.

Thursday 3 Jun 2010 13:54

I skipped lunch in Ceske Budejovice after a waiter sneered at me for parking my bike outside his fenced area. I'd rather leave than risk him spitting in my food.

I rode north to Hluboka nad Vltavou, where there is a cool castle on the hill. Enroute I saw a sign for the Greenways path that connects Vienna to Prague, which is different than the route I'm taking. A local stopped to offer help and suggested a route with some hills but with less traffic. Thank you! From here it's to Tyn and then to Pisek.

Posted: June 3, 2010, 11:54 a.m.

Thursday 3 Jun 2010 11:53

Česke Budejovice! Home of the real Budweiser beer. I read somewhere the city is named after the beer and not the other way around. Can anyone confirm? I usually don't have a beer while riding, but today I'll make an exception.

Posted: June 3, 2010, 9:53 a.m.

Thursday 3 Jun 2010 10:28

A great day to be on the bike. I'm very impressed with the Czech cycling infrastructure. They should market it more!

Posted: June 3, 2010, 8:28 a.m.

Thursday 3 Jun 2010 10:06

Outside the Zlatá Koruna monestery.

Posted: June 3, 2010, 8:06 a.m.

Thursday 3 Jun 2010 9:50

Posted: June 3, 2010, 7:50 a.m.

Thursday 3 Jun 2010 9:31

The Czech Republic route #12... my way out of here.

Posted: June 3, 2010, 7:31 a.m.

Wednesday 2 Jun 2010 21:29

It was a rest & rain day in Česky Krumlov. I woke without any pressure to pack or do anything, and it felt great.

The first stop was to climb up the big castle tower. I have no idea what it's called, but it's the tallest thing around here (photo). My living in Switzerland (and the 100+ steps to my apartment) paid off. I got to the top in short time, while everyone else was stuggling and wheezing. I enjoyed the view and took a few photos.

Next was a city walking tour. I joined the German speaking tour since nobody else had signed up for the English one. Just then the rain got worse and I had no umbrella, but a German fella on the tour was kind enough to share his. I know that breaks rule #1 of manliness (never share an umbrella with another guy), so I ducked under arches or other shelters whenever possible. The tour was interesting (from what I understood), and confirmed what I assumed: the city has been completely converted into tourism. I can't remember all the stats, but the one that stuck out was that 2/3rds of restaurants close during the off season. It's certainly apparent when it seems that every building is a hotel or pension.

During the tour I saw a wax museum I wanted to check out. I bought a cheap umbrella (I already broke it) and hoped I wouldn't run into the German fella. The wax museum was neat, but lacked context. Often they'd create a scene but I had no idea to what time period it belonged. I did get portraits of Bill Clinton and the pope.

The next stop was the torture museum. These things fascinate me for a few reasons: 1) how evil people can be, 2) the flawed logic that torture can extract confession, and 3) the squeamishness of it. I arrived and saw they had a combined ticket special for the torture and wax museums. I didn't know this earlier, so I simply showed the ticket lady my receipt from the wax museum and she started freaking out. No! No! No! I expected her to start stamping her feet or something, and by no means did I confront her or complain. Yeesh! Tourist fatigue?

I walked around a bit more, bought some maps, and ended up at a medieval tavern for supper. I'm wishing Erik was here for this: A big meat plate with potato for $10. Very nice. I also met a couple from Australia on tour, and we shared touring stories, talked gear, and agreed the weather sucks. If you read this: Safe travels and hope we cross paths again!

The weather forecast shows some improvement for the day after tomorrow, but I'm feeling ready to pedal tomorrow. I should be in Prague in 3-4 days.

Posted: June 2, 2010, 7:29 p.m.

Tuesday 1 Jun 2010 20:21

Arrived in Cesky Krumlov where I'm staying the next two nights. The day was physically and emotionally draining, and a rest day should help recharge the batteries. I'm not sure what there is to see or do here, so please drop me a note if you have ideas.

Posted: June 1, 2010, 6:21 p.m.

Tuesday 1 Jun 2010 15:40

Česká Republika!

Posted: June 1, 2010, 1:40 p.m.

Tuesday 1 Jun 2010 15:13

It is miserable here.

Posted: June 1, 2010, 1:13 p.m.

Tuesday 1 Jun 2010 13:42

Stopped for lunch in Reichenau. I like how portions get bigger and prices get cheaper as you get off the beaten path. I just received the biggest serving of schnitzel. I wanted to take a photo, but I was already getting enough stares. This is the first time I got Pez candies with my coffee.

That track I'm following wasn't such a good idea. It went along busy roads with impatient trucks and buses, and climbed much higher than necessary. In Reichenau I'm back on an official route, which appears to be much better. This was confirmed by my host at lunch. I'm glad I pushed on to get here as I almost threw in the towel about 12km back. Let's see how the rest of the day goes.

Posted: June 1, 2010, 11:42 a.m.

Tuesday 1 Jun 2010 11:31

Brutal.

Posted: June 1, 2010, 9:31 a.m.

Tuesday 1 Jun 2010 10:09

Another cold and wet morning in Austria. I started following a GPS route I downloaded from bikely.com before realizing it went along the highway. Who posts a bike track that goes on the highway?! Yeesh!

I started to follow a second track and this one seems a little better. It lead me to a McDonald's, where I'm now having breakfast.

Posted: June 1, 2010, 8:09 a.m.

Monday 31 May 2010 18:31

I had a rough start in Passau, but things improved once I started moving. It took a while to find the post office since they moved and those I asked still thought it was at the old place. I also stopped at the tourist office and a bookstore and neither had information about cycling in the Czech Republic.

The trail today wasn't as great as I remembered it. It was still fantastic, but the sections next to the main roads outside of Passau and Linz stressed me. Otherwise, it was quiet and peaceful.

For a short section I cycled and chatted with a couple from Australia. They're on an eight week bike tour and plan to go through Vienna, Budapest, and Prague. If you read this: Good meeting you and enjoy the rest of your trip!

The weather was all over the place again. It was cold and windy, and I had to keep changing layers as it alternated between sun and rain. This is expected to continue.

I arrived in Linz and it took a while to find the tourist office. They provided me with maps and some idea of what to expect north of here and in the Czech Republic. The area was busy with construction, traffic, and people. I got out of there as fast as I could.

I'm staying the night at a campsite just outside of town. At the campsite I met an Englishman touring with his son, and he showed me the ultimate camping accessory: A French press coffee maker built into the mug. I told him I make instant coffee, and he replied with a smile, "Compromises..."

Posted: May 31, 2010, 4:31 p.m.

Monday 31 May 2010 14:17

Posted: May 31, 2010, 12:17 p.m.

Monday 31 May 2010 13:23

Posted: May 31, 2010, 11:23 a.m.

Monday 31 May 2010 12:37

On the ferry crossing the Donau.

Posted: May 31, 2010, 10:37 a.m.

Monday 31 May 2010 10:27

Posted: May 31, 2010, 8:27 a.m.

Monday 31 May 2010 9:44

Leaving Passau.

Posted: May 31, 2010, 7:44 a.m.

Sunday 30 May 2010 22:22

I arrived in Passau and found a pension moments before the next storm rolled through. The bike is filthy from the rain and mud today, and will need a good oiling tomorrow.

Passau is where the Donau and Inn rivers meet, and is likewise a hub for their respective bike routes. This place is no stranger to cyclists.

I'm trying to decide what to do next. I visited a bookshop and found countless bike maps for Germany, but nothing for the Czech Republic. I guess this makes me a little nervous. I have a route from Linz to Prague programmed into my GPS, but have no idea how reliable or good it is. I'll ask around tomorrow when more shops and the tourist office are open. At the very least, I'm looking forward to the route from Passau to Linz, which is one of the nicest sections along the Donau.

I stopped at an Internet cafe, which only had a locked down version of IE6. Horrible.

I'm now closing the night at another Shamrock Irish Pub. No live music, unfortunately, but the local beer is great.

Posted: May 30, 2010, 8:22 p.m.

Sunday 30 May 2010 15:46

I got caught in a massive downpour. It's now sunny and beautiful again.

Posted: May 30, 2010, 1:46 p.m.

Sunday 30 May 2010 14:28

...and, it's raining again.

Posted: May 30, 2010, 12:28 p.m.

Sunday 30 May 2010 13:23

It's become a nice day. Groovy.

Posted: May 30, 2010, 11:23 a.m.

Sunday 30 May 2010 12:37

Stopped for lunch at a restaurant in Kirchdorf. The size of this place implies they usually have many customers, but I'm guessing the rain is keeping most of them home today.

It's been raining until now, but the sun has come out since sitting down for lunch. It may turn out to be a nice day afterall.

Posted: May 30, 2010, 10:37 a.m.

Sunday 30 May 2010 10:11

I broke camp during a short break in the rain. It looks like a wet day ahead.

Posted: May 30, 2010, 8:11 a.m.

Saturday 29 May 2010 18:47

I'm staying the night at a small campsite outside Braunau. The ride was great and followed along the river most of the time. I've come to really enjoy river paths.

I saw two other tourers today. One had a self made rear pannier made out of aluminum that extended over the rear rack. I've never seen anything like it, but the rider told me it's light and waterproof.

The weather... well, I won't write too much about it, but was many times better than the iPhone weather app predicted. I learned something about riding in the rain. Getting wet isn't the problem. The problem is dressing to stay warm but to also not overheat (and sweat), regardless if you get a little wet. I finally found a mix of cycling clothes that let's me accomplish this, and that has made riding in the rain far more enjoyable.

Posted: May 29, 2010, 4:47 p.m.

Saturday 29 May 2010 15:32

Inn-Salzach-Blick. Where the Inn and the Salzach rivers meet.

Posted: May 29, 2010, 1:32 p.m.

Saturday 29 May 2010 14:32

Burghausen

Posted: May 29, 2010, 12:32 p.m.

Saturday 29 May 2010 13:06

It was another good night in Salzburg. After a day of sightseeing, I met up with Glenn whom I met at the Irish pub the night before. We had some beer, went for supper, and ended the night at the Irish pub.

The tour continues north along the Salzach River to Passau. The route is easy to follow, flat, and mostly on paved or hard packed gravel paths. Perfect.

Posted: May 29, 2010, 11:06 a.m.

Friday 28 May 2010 12:31

The photo is of Salzburg taken from the Hohensalzburg Fortress.

I'm resting the day in Salzburg. Last night I visited the Irish Pub and had a great time: good people, great music, and lots of beer.

I visited a bookshop and researched routes to Linz. I wanted to ride directly there, but have decided on the safer (i.e., flatter) and slightly longer route through Passau. This will also allow me to enjoy the section of the Donau River bike trail from Passau to Linz, which is gorgeous.

Posted: May 28, 2010, 10:31 a.m.

Thursday 27 May 2010 18:10

Salzburg!

Posted: May 27, 2010, 4:10 p.m.

Thursday 27 May 2010 17:30

Crossing the Saalach into Austria. On the left is Austria; on the right is Germany.

Posted: May 27, 2010, 3:30 p.m.

Thursday 27 May 2010 17:02

Here is where I go straight and leave the Bodensee-Königssee-Radweg that has guided me since Lindau. This is 35km short of the Königssee, but with the weather being what it is, I don't think I'll be missing much. I plan to write a short review of the route later.

Posted: May 27, 2010, 3:02 p.m.

Thursday 27 May 2010 16:31

Posted: May 27, 2010, 2:31 p.m.

Thursday 27 May 2010 15:47

Tiesendorf

Posted: May 27, 2010, 1:47 p.m.

Thursday 27 May 2010 14:07

Posted: May 27, 2010, 12:07 p.m.

Thursday 27 May 2010 12:06

That may have been the best lunch of the tour. I'm going for seconds.

Posted: May 27, 2010, 10:06 a.m.

Thursday 27 May 2010 10:28

I'm stopped at a Shell station for coffee. Reminds me of the times in Norway. I wanted to get air for my tires, but the machine wouldn't inflate to more than 60 PSI. The light rain this morning has been surprisingly enjoyable to ride in.

Last night was relaxing. I found a restaurant in town where I downed a few beer, had supper, and read a chapter from Superfreakonomics. I'm reading the book on the Amazon iPhone Kindle app, and am impressed with how well that works. The book is good too.

Posted: May 27, 2010, 8:28 a.m.

Wednesday 26 May 2010 17:46

I arrived in Neubeuren where I'm staying the night in a B&B. The weather was far better than predicted and I stayed dry the entire time.

It was a great ride with more gorgeous views and fast downhills. Most of the route goes through agriculture lands, and farmers were busy spraying their fields with crap fertlizer. The stench was revolting at times.

Unfortunately, the forecast remains grim until at least Monday. I hope to get to Salzburg tomorrow, but I'm guessing it'll be the day after tomorrow.

Posted: May 26, 2010, 3:46 p.m.

Wednesday 26 May 2010 15:45

Crossing the Inn River, which flows from Innsbruck, Austria.

Posted: May 26, 2010, 1:45 p.m.

Wednesday 26 May 2010 14:47

Posted: May 26, 2010, 12:47 p.m.

Wednesday 26 May 2010 12:22

Stopped for lunch at a campsite on the Schliersee.

Posted: May 26, 2010, 10:22 a.m.

Wednesday 26 May 2010 10:46

Tegernsee

Posted: May 26, 2010, 8:46 a.m.

Wednesday 26 May 2010 10:33

Posted: May 26, 2010, 8:33 a.m.

Wednesday 26 May 2010 9:03

It's a gray morning in Bad Tolz with a slight drizzle.

Posted: May 26, 2010, 7:03 a.m.

Tuesday 25 May 2010 18:33

I'm staying the night in Bad Tölz. The ride today was perfect with a steady decline and a fierce tailwind. I could ride at 30km/h for long stretches without peddling. Here's wishing for more days like this.

I'm staying in a hotel due to the grim weather forecast. It's hard to believe it'll change so much given that the weather has been perfect for the past four days. Let's see what happens. I'm not a big fan of cycling in the rain, but breaking camp in the rain is even more depressing.

Bad Tölz is a pretty town, and a change to the many sleepy villages I passed through while getting here.

Posted: May 25, 2010, 4:33 p.m.

Tuesday 25 May 2010 14:28

Kloster Benediktbeuern & Biergarten

Posted: May 25, 2010, 12:28 p.m.

Tuesday 25 May 2010 12:34

The ride has been amazing until now with strong tailwinds and being mostly downhill. I felt sorry for the people traveling in the opposite direction.

Stopped for lunch in Ohlstadt. Podio rules.

Posted: May 25, 2010, 10:34 a.m.

Tuesday 25 May 2010 11:47

Posted: May 25, 2010, 9:47 a.m.

Tuesday 25 May 2010 11:14

Just saw a parked van with "No! To a total smoking ban!" splashed on the side. Nearby was the owner filling up a cigarette machine.

Posted: May 25, 2010, 9:14 a.m.

Tuesday 25 May 2010 10:11

Day 4 of my bike trip and good so far. The campsite had a raised section for tents with a nice view of the mountains and the Neuschwanstein Castle. I slept great.

Stopped to rest and have breakfast. Lots of wind today, and fortunately it's a tailwind.

Posted: May 25, 2010, 8:11 a.m.

Tuesday 25 May 2010 9:38

Stream crossing.

Looking forward to getting off this dirt road.

Posted: May 25, 2010, 7:38 a.m.

Tuesday 25 May 2010 9:21

Posted: May 25, 2010, 7:21 a.m.

Monday 24 May 2010 18:13

Staying the night at the Brunnen Campsite. The tourist office guy in Hohenschwangau tells me the weather looks good for tomorrow, but wet after that until Friday.

I'm quite sore today. It was definitely easier than yesterday, but still strenuous. I expect tomorrow to go easier since it's all, more or less, downhill.

Posted: May 24, 2010, 4:13 p.m.

Monday 24 May 2010 16:23

Made it to Hohenschwangau, home of the famous Schloss Neuschwanstein (Google it if you're not familiar with it). It was built by King Ludwig II, and later became the model for the Walt Disney castle. Legends say that Ludwig was crazy.

The place is crawling with tourists.

Posted: May 24, 2010, 2:23 p.m.

Monday 24 May 2010 15:15

Stopped in Füssen for lunch. Will probably camp nearby tonight since the next campsite is about 75km further on. I'm a little nervous about the weather. It's been perfect until now, but the next five days look grim.

Posted: May 24, 2010, 1:15 p.m.

Monday 24 May 2010 12:18

Posted: May 24, 2010, 10:18 a.m.

Monday 24 May 2010 12:11

Just shy of 1000m elevation, which will be highest point of the entire tour.

Posted: May 24, 2010, 10:11 a.m.

Monday 24 May 2010 11:55

Posted: May 24, 2010, 9:55 a.m.

Monday 24 May 2010 10:36

Stopped for breakfast #2.

I think I was entertainment for some of the others at the campsite last night and this morning. Often couples or families would turn and look at me in unison. Are bike tourers that odd? I'm guessing they don't go camping very often, and they saw my loaded bike and me sitting and cooking in the grass as a novelty. I found it amusing.

Posted: May 24, 2010, 8:36 a.m.

Monday 24 May 2010 10:00

The Rettenberg Festivus Pole

Posted: May 24, 2010, 8 a.m.

Sunday 23 May 2010 16:42

Made it to the Grosser Alpsee near Immenstadt, where I'm camping for the night. According to my map, today will have been the hardest day for hills. I believe it, and will certainly be hurting tomorrow.

Guess what's for dinner? Daniela: You're not allowed to guess. :)

Posted: May 23, 2010, 2:42 p.m.

Sunday 23 May 2010 13:18

Just came across a Pfingstfestzelt beer tent. Oompa band playing, lederhosen, lots of beer drinking, and clapping along. They just announced the cake table is ready, and the place erupted in cheers. Germany is cool. :)

Posted: May 23, 2010, 11:18 a.m.

Sunday 23 May 2010 11:29

Stopped for a needed lunch in the middle of nowhere. The restaurant seems to be very popular with cyclists.

The ride until now has been through farmlands. Farmers are cutting their grass and massive tractors sometimes pass by. The bike path is well signed and follows lonely roads. Perfect.

Posted: May 23, 2010, 9:29 a.m.

Sunday 23 May 2010 10:58

Posted: May 23, 2010, 8:58 a.m.

Sunday 23 May 2010 10:49

Schloss (Chateau) Syrgenstein

Posted: May 23, 2010, 8:49 a.m.

Sunday 23 May 2010 8:27

Posted: May 23, 2010, 6:27 a.m.

Saturday 22 May 2010 17:58

Arrived at the Park Camping campsite near Lindau where I'm staying the night. This is the start of the Bodensee-Königssee-Radweg, which I will be riding for the next week to Salzburg.

I forgot it was a long weekend, so no wonder the route was full of cyclists and the campsite is nearly full.

Posted: May 22, 2010, 3:58 p.m.

Saturday 22 May 2010 15:19

Friedrichshafen

Posted: May 22, 2010, 1:19 p.m.

Saturday 22 May 2010 14:47

On the Bodensee ferry to Friedrichshafen. I used to take this ferry often around 8 years ago to visit a customer on the German side.

I already found something I forgot to pack: The strap for my handlebar bag. :(

Posted: May 22, 2010, 12:47 p.m.

Saturday 22 May 2010 14:12

Waiting for the ferry in Romanshorn that'll take me to Germany. A cycling club or team just arrived. Not only do they look silly, but they're obnoxiously loud.

Posted: May 22, 2010, 12:12 p.m.

Saturday 22 May 2010 13:12

I just ran into my girlfriend's folks tending to their sailboat.

Posted: May 22, 2010, 11:12 a.m.

Saturday 22 May 2010 12:49

Posted: May 22, 2010, 10:49 a.m.

Saturday 22 May 2010 12:15

In Klosterplatz St. Gallen: The start of my bike trip!

Posted: May 22, 2010, 10:15 a.m.

Commenting is closed

Well done!! Congratulations!!!!

Posted: 16 Jun 2010 by Peter Meyer

Hi Pete- I'm quite interested in cycling the full length of the Elbe.

Posted: 14 Jun 2010 by chris

A few days late to make a well-timed comment... but see you've visited a few well-named places along the way ;)

Enjoy the last few days!

Posted: 13 Jun 2010 by Anke

Why Hamburg and not Berlin?
Peter

Posted: 13 Jun 2010 by Peter

Hi Tim- I have a few photos from my other camera, which I'll post after the tour. Other than the name, I'm not sure what makes it the "Cyclist Church".

Posted: 12 Jun 2010 by chris

p.s. Tucson "Bike Church":
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2653/3926424823_7a9e24190b.jpg (152k)

Posted: 11 Jun 2010 by Tim

keinen Fotos von der Radfahrerkirche? Shade!

Tim

Posted: 11 Jun 2010 by Tim

Hey Pete- Got the wheel rebuild in Prague. Was lucky to find something open on Sunday night.

Posted: 10 Jun 2010 by chris

You seem to be really flying.

Did you get your wheel problem sorted out?

Peter

Posted: 10 Jun 2010 by Peter Meyer

Yo.. nice tour man! If you made this app for Android I'd also track some tours ;)

Posted: 9 Jun 2010 by Adrian

Hi Anke- Thanks! I didn't stay very long. The mad rush of tourists just didn't appeal to me. I hope to visit sometime during the off season.

Posted: 7 Jun 2010 by chris

Hi Erwan- That's exactly the plan, and I'll make a point of checking out Pirna. I couldn't find the other place you mentioned on the map. Where is it?

I'm excited to see the Frauenkirche in Dresden. There's quite a story behind that. Any other must see places? Favourite pub?

Something screwed up and I deleted your previous comment. Sorry!

Posted: 7 Jun 2010 by chris

This is great Chris! Prague is the most beautiful town I know...
If you need good addresses in Dresden just let me know
See you
Erwan

Posted: 7 Jun 2010 by Erwan

Well done on getting to Prague! And more importantly on finding a bike shop that can hopefully sort things out for you soon... Having visited Prague twice last year, I'm feeling nostalgic - may need to go looking through some pics... Anyway, enjoy the next leg of your tour!

Posted: 6 Jun 2010 by Anke

Hi Simon- thanks. Beautiful today, and should be the rest of the week except tomorrow. Tomorrow will be a slow day anyway as I try to get my bike fixed. I think I found the right shop.

Posted: 6 Jun 2010 by chris

Congrats on getting to Prague. Looks like you finally have some nice weather.

Posted: 6 Jun 2010 by Simon

Hi Tim- I'll be passing through Prague, but don't plan to end there. I'll continue to Dresden and then to Magdeburg. After that it's open.

Glad you got your wheels back. They went through the trouble of changing your wheels? I hope you see your laptop soon.

Posted: 4 Jun 2010 by chris

Hi Erwan- I visited a restaurant recommended on that site. Excellent! Thanks!

Posted: 3 Jun 2010 by chris

Hey Chris,

Glad to hear you kept with it. I think the struggle you described is pretty common to all bike tourers, and it certainly is for myself.

Continue to love the photos and comments (and I agree: those French press mugs are pretty slick). I think the torture museum (didn't know any existed) would be pretty fascinating.

I *think* the beer was named after the German name for the town, according to Wikipedia. Also, Anheuser-Busch has made unsuccessful attempts to buy the Czech brewing company to secure global rights to "Budweiser," but has failed.

Are you ending in Prague?

Re: the bike: I'll have a longer story about it later (a local blog is doing a story about it, which I'll send you), but basically a local bike co-op was aware enough to become suspicious, google the bike, check the serial, and hang on to the bike. I got it back, though the wheels and pedals were downgraded, a front rack, seat post + saddle, and handlebar tape missing, but with an ADDED kickstand! I'm pretty happy to have it back.

The computer is supposedly in the hands of the Tucson police department, but I can't get ahold of my detective. They aren't very thoughtful or responsive, it seems.

Tim

Posted: 3 Jun 2010 by TIm

Hi Pete- It was a mix of many things against me... big hills, heavy traffic, cold temperatures, rain, and the unknown of what to expect once I crossed the border. I started waivering and thought how easy it would be to go home, but this would completely ignore the bigger picture of why I'm out here. I do this for adventure and to get out of my comfort zone, and I can't let one tough day make me run back to it. That internal fight is the emotional part. Now, I couldn't be happier to be going on.

Posted: 2 Jun 2010 by chris

You'll have to comment on what made this last leg so emotionally draining. I hear your weather has been brutal. I imagine that laundry will be on your todo list today.

Posted: 2 Jun 2010 by Peter Meyer

Hi Chris,

A lot of event in Krumlov in June:
http://www.ckrumlov.info/docs/en/kaktualita.xml

Enjoy, it seems to be a beautiful city!
Erwan

Posted: 2 Jun 2010 by wan

Lieber Chris
Wir schauen deine Berichte. Ich war schon in Cesky Krumlov (UNESCO Weltkultur-Erbe) - eine der schönsten Städte in Tschechien an der Moldau gelegen. Sehenswürdigkeiten: Schloss (nach der Prager Burg, das grösste), Budweiser Tor, Klarissen- und Minoritenkloster und eine wunderschöne Altstadt.Schade, dass das Wetter so schlecht ist. Am Wochenende sollte es besser werden! Sonne und warm.
Wir fliegen morgen für 4 Tage nach Wien (Geschenk an Oma zum 80. Geburtstag).
Wir wünschen dir alles Gute auf deiner Fahrrad-Tour und viel, viel Sonne.
Gerti und Dieter

Posted: 2 Jun 2010 by Gerti

Hi Pete- thanks for the wishes. I'm more worried about hypothermia. It's chilly out here!

Posted: 1 Jun 2010 by chris

You take care of yourself on the road.

Thanks for the update.

Posted: 31 May 2010 by Peter Meyer

Hi Ben - Good to hear from you and thanks for the kind words. I'm enjoying the solitude, but it can get lonely at times. Knowing that friends are following along with interest certainly helps. I also look forward to your visit!

Posted: 29 May 2010 by chris

Chris - Love the comments and updates you're giving. The photos here and there of signs and vista bring an enormous sense of nostalgia.
Aside from that, I'm also loving your website. Great usability and fun to follow.
Looking forward to seeing you this summer and catching up!

Posted: 28 May 2010 by Ben

Hi Tim, I can't recommend it enough. Europe has a very open attitude about bikes, and you see this with the multitude of bike paths. The route I'm on now is just spectacular... very little auto traffic and full of beautiful scenery.

Glad you got your bike back. What changed? The colour? Get your Mac back?

Posted: 26 May 2010 by chris

hey Chris,

looks fantastic. I am beginning to see how essential it is that I travel to Europe (bringing, of course, my bike).

In other news: bike recovered, crazy enough. Looks different, and lost a few valuable pieces, but it's back!

Ride safe!

Posted: 26 May 2010 by Tim

Hey Chris, I wish you an excellent journey through Germany and Austria! Let's hope the weather will stay as good as it was last week end!
See ya
Erwan

Posted: 25 May 2010 by wan

Go Chris!

As soon as I saw the 1st photo (bike at the fountain) I already regret not joining you :(

Have a good time man.

Posted: 23 May 2010 by Jeff