Seekirchen am Wallersee to Mondsee am Mondsee - Cycling the Austrian Alps on a recumbent - CycleBlaze

August 30, 2018

Seekirchen am Wallersee to Mondsee am Mondsee

With no out and back to Attersee

The potential for a return of rain has been projected for today all week, hence my decision Monday to bypass a bunch of the Enns Radweg. The lack of available accomodations around Gmunden threw a partial wrench into my plans and left me riding in the rain along the Donau, wasting perfect weather on a boring stretch of trail. The last 2 days were as perfect as the first 3 days and I'm very glad I opted to put in the extra mileage yesterday. I only regret I didn't thave time to also ride along the Wallersee and Irrsee because I think both areas would have been pleasurable to ride. What little I saw today certainly made me think that. 

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After my panicked experience Monday with accomodations I went on and set up hotel rooms through tonight. Hotel rooms that could not be cancelled. Hotel rooms that meant I was locked into a location whether I wanted to be or not. On the plus side, no sleeping outside. And now for the flip side. For starters, I had to do an out and back to the 3 lakes yesterday which made for a lot of riding and a lot of hills. That may be partly why my back tried to lock up on me as I loaded my bags onto my bike this morning. While not fully locked out, my lower back is definitely not happy today. And then there's the other downside....

It started raining sometime last night. The weather reports I saw all projected rain today and depending on which one you went with, it was either sporadic, or all day. The one that said sporadic was right until lunchtime. The one that said all day was right for the afternoon. 

The rain this morning was off and on. Not fully soaking, but enough to be annoying. The ride along the Wallersee turned out to be on loose rocky trail through a nature reserve. In good weather it would have been a great ride through little forests and along bogs with the big mountains visible off in the distance. Today it was more a matter of staying upright on the bike while avoiding any areas where dirt had been washed away leaving just loose gravel, and of course mid puddles. I tried to mix in some imagining of what the distant mountains would look like on a sunny day just to pacify myself. 

From the north end or so of the Wallersee there is no signed route to the town of Straßwalchen where I could connect again to the official Salzkammergut Radweg so I had to consult Google and my OSM+ App. I didn't like Google's option which had sections on the busy road where there was no separate bike path, but osm+ had a good suggestion on side roads that I opted to go with.  I did go in the opposite direction of what I should have in one spot. With heavy traffic in the rain it was impossible to actually hear the spoken navigation and since my phone mounting pouch thing isn't waterproof it had to stay in my pocket. 

Gravel path around the Wallersee
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The route through Straßwalchen conveniently passed a Billa supermarket. I stopped in there, not so much because I needed food, but mainly because it was dry. From Straßwalchen I was able to follow signed Radweg. I think the section all g the Irrsee would be even nicer than that along the Wallersee. Even with the now steady rain I could see the vague outline of larger mountains in the distance surrounding what I would assume is the Mondsee. By the south end of the Irrsee my rain clothes were pretty well saturated. I had been thinking about riding along the Mondsee to the south end of the Attersee and back, maybe an extra 20 miles at most. By the time I arrived on the outskirts of Mondsee there was no way I was going any further. My rain jacket and pants were fully soaked and my clothes underneath them were definitely damp. My navigation app was acting bizarrely so I more or less tried to memorize the route to the pension and did the best I could to get there. Fortunately the Haus Frau was there and set me up for the rest of the day and night in my room leaving my wet stuff in the garage to dry. Thankfully everything in the dry bags stayed dry. I may have been better off had I squeezed myself into the dry bags instead of my worthless rain coat and rain pants. 

Heading down towards the north end of the Irrsee. In the rain.
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Along the Irrsee, also in the rain
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I don't really know what I'll do the rest of the day. The haus Frau asked if I'd want my bike any more today and I politely laughed and told her absolutely not. My room is nice and appears to have been fully outfitted by Ikea. I have a tiny TV and internet so I may just have to watch movies or something since it looks like it will continue to rain the rest of the day. 

As a bonus addendum, a guy that was out working on cutting some file asked if my bike was a Hase brand bike. He and his wife have a Hase Tandem where the front seat is recumbent and the rear is a regular bike. It's a German company and I've seen a few in pictures but never encountered anyone that had one. Usually people just stare at my bike (even the horses and cows stare - I kid you not) so it was nice to meet someone here that had an appreciation for recumbents. 

Today's ride: 25 miles (40 km)
Total: 354 miles (570 km)

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