“How fast can I cycle from Passau to Vienna?”
This question followed me around for the last two years since I did the beautiful cycling trip with my ex-partner in a nice 4 days ride.
Being on my bucket list since then I thought I’d try it one day. Planned. Trained. Ready to go.
As I learned on my around the world trip: don’t plan too much, take chances and just follow your instinct.
So, when I realized that these are the last free days without work I made a quick decision to just go for it and booked Friday an overnight bus ticket to Passau for Sunday evening. Pretty unplanned. Completely untrained. And not knowing how it will end up.
I felt so excited. I hoped I’ve packed everything I would need in my small backpack for the maximum of 3 days. My return bus from Vienna to Frankfurt would be on Wednesday. That gave me 3 full cycling days – the third one more a spare as I hoped to arrive on Tuesday.
My bike sat on the back of the bus. I tried to rest and sleep a bit. My bus should arrive at 4 am in the morning in Passau – my starting point. I would need the cold air to get a fresh start into the long day.
Disclaimer: I don’t have a GoPro. So every time I wanted to record a snippet I needed to stop or be very confident with my phone out in one hand. (Doesn’t anyone wanna give me a GoPro? Haha.)
I needed 17 hours (excluding the long breaks) for the 336 km – 206km on Monday, 130km on Tuesday. I started 4am Monday morning (after a short and disturbed night on the bus) and arrived 4pm on Tuesday. I had 9 hours of solid blackout sleep in between in Melk.
I made a couple of longer stops for food, isotonic drinks and resting my feet. And of course my not-used-at-all-to-sit-in-the-saddle-so-long-butt. I made more stops than planned as it was just too beautiful sometimes to pass by. And too hot.
I had headwind that made me swear a lot.
I fell in the morning of day 2 – not off my bike but with my bike. Because I was still clicked into the pedals and forgot about that when I made a fast stop. You have a lot of time to think “shit” when you’re falling slowly to your left and see the ground coming closer. I wish I had a video of it.
I had two times in the end of both cycle days where only an ice cold Coca Cola saved me from a tremendous heat and exhaustion headache. But I have a perfect biker tan now and finally jumped into the river Donau.
My rating for the idea (during the trip): “what the hell did I think…”
My rating for the idea (after the trip): “that was great, I wanna do it again!”
I will never skip leg day again. Maybe the next time I’ll actually train for this.
I love my randonneur bike with its fenders, rack, heavy lock and deep tread tyre.
I feel so alive right now and recharged although I spent so much energy.
Thanks to my lovely Austrians René and Carry who took care of me in Vienna – “We have an elevator. And there will be ice cream.”