I need to start by addressing the wind situation today. Personally, I don’t think that the wind has been all that kind to me on this trip. To say we’ve had more of a headwind than a tailwind is an understatement. Today, however, we have had all winds, in all directions. We started with a headwind, had some tailwind (hallelujah) halfway through, then finished on a cheeky crosswind. So much wind in one day.
Big day today, so we started with the usual early morning start. I sound like a broken record, but we had another terrible nights sleep: a flat party above at 1am, followed by some sort of domestic bust up at 3am with lots of shouting, meant for a very broken nights sleep. Ah well, this seems to be the usual now anyway.
For once, navigating out of the city was pretty straightforward and we were straight on EuroVelo 6. It was early and cold, so the waterproof was on and it didn’t actually come off for about 30 miles. It felt hard first thing: combination of a headwind (boo) and tired legs post rest day, meant pushing out 12mph was an effort. I have noticed that the day after my rest day, my legs feel trashed which is odd, you would expect them to feel great but they really don’t. It’s like they have to get reacquainted with the bike again; “hello legs, I’m Bikey, nice to meet you”, “hello Bikey, this is painful, does it get any easier?” Is how I imagine a conversation between my legs and Bikey would go. (I’m going mad, aren’t I?)
I was grateful for the bench I found at 27 miles, but didn’t stay long. My first proper cafe stop was mile 49, where I had a disappointing coffee and Clif bar. I am truly amazed at the lack of refreshment points along this cycle route. It’s so busy with cyclists yet hardly any cafes. If I was an Austrian, I’d have a whole chain of cafes going on. There is money to be made here, my friends.
All this time I had been pushing into a headwind. Fifty miles of it. There was also lots of criss-crossing from one side of the river to the other, which felt rather pointless but I guess Mr EuroVelo was trying to make it more interesting.
My big break came about 100km into the ride, and for some unknown reason the winds changed and we got a headwind!! It was a time for celebration. Who would have thought after 100km in, we could be motoring along at 20mph?! Bikey was an absolute speed demon. We were overtaking e-bikes left, right and centre! Honestly, the enjoyment levels just sky rocket when you get a tail wind, it was a much needed break and really made the next 15 miles pass so easily.
By 70 miles in, I was after another stop and surprise, surprise, there were none around!! Have they not heard of Dragons Den or the Apprentice out here?! I finally did stumble upon a guy selling snacks out of a little cabin, and we stopped for a croissant by the lake. He even had deck chairs out, so bonus points to him.
It was then, for the final 15 or so miles, we had to endure the crosswinds. At times it was actually really scary as the wind would catch the bike and send it across the path, literally from one side to the other, and when you’re that close to the river, it could have been a case of “life jackets please, we’re going in!” Thankfully, we didn’t…
Finally, and it did seem like finally, we made it to Krems. Those last few miles took forever. I think I could have walked them, backwards, on one leg, quicker. They just felt like they took forever!
We arrived at the hotel and could not find a single sole to check in, but once I had done a few laps of the building, we found the owner and had the quickest checkin ever. Luckily, for one final time, we sneaked Bikey in upstairs and collapsed on the bed. What a day! 87 miles, 30 degree heat and 20mph winds – Bikey is going to sleep like a baby tonight…
909 miles down…52 miles to go (so it’s not going to be quite 1,000 miles but hey, it’s pretty close!)