After a royally good nights sleep, I was awake at 06:00 and getting ready for the day. The first obstacle was getting ourselves down from on top of our hill. Cue 18% gradient descents. And no, Mum, don’t worry – I walked it. After the downhill of last week, I thought I didn’t really want to take any chances of a broken neck, this close to the end.
It took a good ten minutes to walk down, when it would have literally taken about three to pedal it, but the gradient, coupled with the morning mist and dew, was just a recipe for disaster. So, the inner accountant in me took over and we walked, which was actually easier said than done!
The river was incredibly misty this morning; you could hardly see ten metres away, and it was cold for once. I think my Garmin recorded 10 degrees at the coldest point today.
It took about an hour to get back to Passau and out the other side, on to the EuroVelo. I’m really not a fan of the cobbled streets – it really slows us down and the bumping along does not help Bikey’s rear end!
We were back on the EuroVelo and on our way, heading for Austria! The border was about 22 miles into the ride and the empty bike path and early morning gave me yet another chance to practice my singing. Honestly, I’m going to be pro by the end of this. I can do a particularly good Hugh Jackman in the Greatest Showman now. Those people lucky enough to pass me are in for a real treat. (Please note: I am definitely joking – it was terrible singing but lots of fun so, act confident and no one will question you…?)
By 09:30 we passed through the most uneventful border crossing I have ever seen. I thought the German one was bad, but at least they had a proper sign! I felt let down by the Austrians, but I celebrated the moment anyway. It was quite an incredible moment to pass from Germany into Austria, especially when I came into Germany on my bike, so essentially I just crossed the entirety of a country. On my bike. On my own. I had a moment to take it all in. The setting and scenery were pretty incredible for my moment as well. The Danube was looking amazing and the hills on either side of the river, just really made it. It was very special.
We cracked on, as there really wasn’t much else to hang around for! At the earliest opportunity (30 something miles) I stopped for a snack. There were little boats dotted along the river bank taking people (and mostly cyclists) across from one side to the other. I didn’t think I’d need to cross over, I just assumed you could follow the bike path all the way along the river. However, soon after I left my stop, the bike track came to a very abrupt end! Luckily it was a beautiful day and I was loving life on the Danube, so I backtracked a little to the nearest river crossing and waited for a boat to pick me up.
It didn’t take long for my ride to arrive and we all jumped on board. The most ridiculous thing ever was that we had to wear a mask! Wear a mask, on an outdoor boat!! I chuckled to myself (underneath my mask, of course) and duly paid my €2 to cross. It took all of 4 minutes maybe, and then we were on the other side of the river and back on track.
A few miles down the road, there was the first cafe I’ve seen on the bike path. Honestly, these people are missing a trick. There are so many cyclists on here and no refreshment stops at all! Even though this place was really busy, I stopped anyway as I wasn’t sure where my next stop would be. I can’t tell you how lovely it is to sit on the river, writing this, looking out to hills, trees and water, and drinking my coffee. This is what it’s all about.
Lunch stop was a little less eventful – I parked up at a lone bench again, and didn’t really hang around for long. 100km days take a fair few hours to complete, so I just keep steadily plugging away. However, saying that, I was managing to hold 15mph for decent sections along the route today. There was also a hell of a lot of e-bike overtaking happening. Winning all round really.
It was a truly great day of riding today: the cycle path was fantastic and the scenery just incredible, with the old Danube glittering by the side of me for most of the day. It was only the last 10km that let the side down: the cycle path was alongside a very busy road into Linz, so that wasn’t enjoyable but other than that, another stunning 100km.
A lot of people have been asking how my legs are holding up. And, to my surprise, they are doing amazingly well! I’m pretty sure I’m getting stronger each day and with each ride, as I’m cracking out 100km and getting faster each time. We have a rest day tomorrow but I honestly think I could just keep going.
I found the Airbnb, negotiated Bikey up more stairs (genuinely the hardest part of the day, not the 100km!), showered, put a wash on, and headed into town. It will be a leisurely start to the day tomorrow, as come Wednesday we have an 85 mile + day, so I will be making the most of my lie in.
Today was definitely up there with one of my favourite rides. Of all time. The photos really don’t do it justice, and to be honest, neither do the videos. But just know this, people: I loved it.
821 miles down…175 miles to go!