Three Rivers Tour – Almost Vienna

Rain again in the morning but got brighter. Fabulous tail wind all day and motored along at a good pace. Did 82 ks.
Lester got a good ferry ride today, just Ma, Me, Lester the Qhub and Scott on a ship all to ourselves. Lester loves ships in the hope of meeting the sheep’s captain or one of the sheep’s crew. Ha ha, a baaaaad joke.
Brilliant cycle paths along the Danube in a gorge all the day. Loads of cute Austrian villages too. Ate sandwich lunch at 11 and then stopped at a cafe for lunch number two, cake and coffee, life’s a drag.
Camped in the world’s best campsite near Krems. Number one showers and fabulous views of old castle ruins and old abbey. Continue reading

Three Rivers Tour – Donau & Austria

We are nicely camped on the banks of the Donau in Passau. Gorgeous old city but FULL of tourists. Went for a walk in the old town but had to get out to quiet campsite. Much better.

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Day started cloudy but the sun put his hat on and by midday it was one vest day at long last. The Donau is at very high level and the cycle path was slightly under water in places. Great day and Ma riding strong. Told her we were going to do 80 something but she was going well so I skipped a campsite and rode on to the next one 20ks later. We finished on 99.85 km. Ma not happy so got back on bike and rode another 150 m for her first ever century. Yee ha! Continue reading

Three Rivers Tour – The Brown Danube

First days ride on Danube. It’s not blue it is brown!
Left Donau hotel late due to massive breakfast where Ma stole more jams etc. Hoped to leave at nine but huge thunderstorm left us sitting on couch in lobby for an hour. Left in drizzle and had fan ride along Donau and through small villages. Came to a full stop in one with a two thousand year old Roman temple ruin. You were allowed to walk all over and even hug the old columns. Wonderful and totally unexpected.

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Three Rivers Tour – Back down the hill

Humongous day in the Alps. Took a wrong turn and had to push an extra mountain pass. Very tired after yesterday’s peak ride.
We both battled but wonderful scenery wins in the end. Did 72 ks in 6 hours and that included a total descent of 600m!
On our way back via Chur, Buchs and Bregenz. Then to Ulm and start of the Danube. Looking forward to it, be glad to get out of monstrous Swiss prices.
We keep meeting lovely people. Tonight a school group of teachers and twelve year olds doing 80 km per day! Hope they sleep

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Push, push, push. Leaving camp.

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Three Rivers Tour – Source of the Rhine!

We made it, and got the Qhub to the source of the Rhine. Rode 900 m uphill over 25km, the final dog legs just like Sani. Easier though as lower and all on tar.
Got hitched up with three riders with full gear including mountain climbing stuff, v heavy. One guy on a recumbant who really struggled up the pass. I got to the top without one push, Ma was magnificent and only did one walkie of 100m or so.
Had sleepless night about descending, Ma hates it, but we rolled down and only had to pedal 500m of the 25ks.
Now celebrating with wine and Mars bar!

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Wooden bridge at the start of the climb.

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Three Rivers Tour – Alps and Lichtenstein

We are nicely camped at Buchs. Only three days from our summit and the start of the Rhine.
Day started cold and wet but we demolished the buffet breakfast at Gastehouse Lamm and stole a bit for lunch.
The day got better and better with rain easing and finally stopping. Then got quite warm in 3 layers and SKY jacket. Super smooth cycle paths and only got lost once in Switzerland. A record.
After about 30 ks the Rhine suddenly started to shrink as less side rivers filled it. Now it is just a big river with a few sand bars and much shallower. No longer navigable by boats.
The Alps are looming on all sides but we progress up the valley, now about 600 m above sea level. Tomorrow promises good weather and not too steep ride. The final two days are going to be testing for the Qhubeka and for Ma. She does not like the look of the inclines and is thinking of moving on to the small chainring.
Meeting lots of fab people. Today one guy who lived in Namibia for a year and another who’s son and girlfriend had just ridden to Singapore.
Got to get out of Switzerland asap. We have been running at about Six to seven hundred Rand per day. Switzerland is costing Over a thousand. Two beers and two bots wine in supermarket was 400 Rand.
Off to Chur tomorrow, about 50/60 ks again. Ma clocking these distances off without a chirp. Getting superfit.
By the way, today was the first day of riding for me where I have not had to face any excruciating pain in my right knee. Been riding on aspirin to date. I think it was caused by sitting long periods cross legged in mini tent. What do you think Doc? [Taking Disprin at your age for pain is a terrible idea: Dr Binx]
Anyway we soldier on and will be at the top soon. Still not seen one person doing the Rhine uphill. Continue reading

Three Rivers Tour – Strasbourg and other bits

Fabulous day of riding. Cross wind but sometimes behind on super flat tar cycle path along the river.
First 20ks through winelands and winding through cute villages. Mistook Ma for a rubbish bin. Sounds bad but there were a lot of twisty bits through villages and lost my follower . I look back all the time, but cos bike wobbles a lot I just look for huge yellow bag on back of her bike. Unfortunately the rubbish collection was that day and all bins for general rubbish are yellow. Thought one was Ma. Oops.
Ma getting very strong and had the cheek to pass me a few times.
We have been riding 14 or 15 kph but today was 17 kph. 75 k total to Mannheim.
Along the route today we passed a young couple of our age. She was on an e bike and he on high spec MTB. After 1km they put on electric turbocharger and passed us again. Did not want to be second to an Engelsman apparently.
Arrived in  big city Mannheim. Imagine riding from Meyersdal to Randburg. Rode through big city ( I enjoy ) and suddenly ride single track through forest. Ma ran low on sugar and said we will never find a campsite here. But we did and are  camped on Rhine.
Camp is run by another Commandant. She took us to our plek and said we must put tent to left of tree. My logic said we rest bikes to right of tree so we have space for rent erection. WRONG! Do not put bikes there, put to left of tree. OK my Commandant.
Hung washing on fence in retaliation .

Onwards to the source. Continue reading

Three Rivers Tour – Germany

After great time in Bennekom with Tineke and family, went back on the road in some decent weather at long last. Still nippy but no rain and a bit of a tail wind. Stopped for lunch in a glass bus shelter for cheese ( thanks Tineke ) sandwiches. Ma said “Why is that Street sign in German?”
Apparently we had crossed the border without noticing.
Stopped short at campsite run by a German Officer. After putting up the tent I went looking for a tap for water. None to be found. The GO said it should be 10cents for 10 liters. I held out my little tiny pan and said I wanted enough for a cup of tea.
With withering looks and as stern countenance he filled my miniscule pan from the kitchen and gave me a strong signal not to break the rules again.
Apparently I did just that when I moved the few pieces of garden furniture around in the putt putt course. He told Ma off, so we had to put it back again in the morning. I turned one chair round for good luck. We also won in 1966. Continue reading

Three Rivers Tour – The Netherlands

Rain and snow has been horrendous. Everything is wet. But we have been having some fabulous rides in Holland. It must be the best cycling country in the world. Tremendous respect from drivers and pic two shows Ma on the Rhine dyk road. Two lanes for bikes and one for cars!!! If two cars meet head on and there are also cyclists in both directions then the rule is the cars stop and let bikes through, only then do the cars pass each other. Magic.
Also had ferry crossing over Rhine and then met up with a large group of fellow travellers on a one week trip. They were amazed that I use one gear.
Due to heavy head wind got to Gouda after the shops were shut, therefore no cheese. Boo Hoo!
Camped in farm yard.
Next day Ma rode a new record 93 km. Brilliant.
Arrived at Bennekom and stayed at Tinekes house in comfy bed and dried all our gear. Had a day off so went cycling at the Van Gogh Museum just up the road.

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