Steyr to Linz - Cycling the Austrian Alps on a recumbent - CycleBlaze

August 27, 2018

Steyr to Linz

Great weather, terrible day

The subtitle pretty much gives it away, but today did not go at all as planned, or at least half of it didn't. 

After the nightmare that was yesterday and the generally bad experience with the Ennstal Radweg, I decided last night that it was time to get out of there. When I hate riding my bike, you know something is terribly wrong and needs altering. The breakfast at the little Privatzimmer was way better than I expected. The building was really old and really cool. As in lots of old stuff, used to be a brewery until it was converted to a Privatzimmer, and it was warm and very affordable. All my favorite things. 

Seriously. Old. Very cool.
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My first stop was the train station. Remember I said it was time to get out of here?  Well, I got out of there and headed straight for Steyr. On the way I saw a few bikers. Even the ones with E-Bikes didn't look like they were having that much fun. It was downright chilly in the morning, but not on the train!  The train even had a giant mural of the mountains in the bathroom. Interesting. 

Yes, I took a picture in the bathroom
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Steyr was neat. Very old, very old Austrian. The Steyr and Enns rivers meet here. It was apparently once an important place. Now tourists come here and spend money, or in my case take pictures and ride off. 

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Kathy ParkeOhhhhh ... very, very nice!!!
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5 years ago

The ride from Steyr to Enns was ok. Finding a bathroom was a challenge. I finally located some ritzy restaurant along the way that had nice bathrooms. I would have settled for not nice bathrooms too. 

Enns was not as exciting as I expected. In fact, steyr seemed a more significant place.  Enns had a nice little overpriced ice cream place where I ate 2 scoops of Italian ice cream. By afternoon it was getting pretty toasty. I biked over to the castle which is situated in such a way that it's hard to get a good photo. While there I phone gmunden tourist info about a room for the night. And that is where all hell broke loose. 

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If you're real life friends with me on Facebook you already know what's coming next. For the rest of you, here's what happened. There was one room left in the vici6of gmunden in Traunsee. For €119. By Austrian standards that's very pricey.  By my standards that's out of the question. At that point I panicked and started considering my options. The most logical seemed to be to bike along the Donau to Linz and head to Gmunden in the morning and find a hotel at the end of my day of riding in the area of Hallstatt. So without bothering to look ahead to the next days accomodations, I headed off down the Donau. 

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And it was flat. And it was boring. And there was nothing different to see, besides some ugly industry. And I was reminded of all the reasons I've never biked the famous Donau Radweg and reminded of why I don't intend to ever ride it again. So bored in fact that I had nothing better to do than think. And think I did. Of why I was doing this. Of whether this really was a vacation or just 3 days of pleasure followed by a lot of annoya ce, frustration, and disappointment. Of how much I'd rather be home with my 2 psychotic kittens cozy in my own bed where I never had to worry about figuring out where I'd stay for the night or where I would eat and could make whatever I was hungry for whenever I was hungry for it. And how I had 2 clean bathrooms at my disposal at all times. And suddenly the life of adventure didn't seem so grand. Home sounded incredibly appealing. I started having thoughts of maybe never doing this again. 2 weeks of trying to find a hotel every night. Smelling the smell of cigarette smoke because Europeans don't have rules about that like we do in the US. Wondering if Europeans have ever heard of using bleach cleaner on the grout in their showers (seriously, black mold, people.) But I wasn't home. And I have a week of vacation left here and I had to figure something out. 

Once I reached my hotel in Linz, I spent a lot of time researching and debating my options. I was debating riding out to Hallstatt, but my hotel research was turning up hefty prices (thank you, Asian tourists for making Hallstatt THE destination.) That option was out. Looking around the rest of the Salzkammergut was turning up big prices as well. I was getting more and more upset. I'd never run into this problem while cycle touring. Normally I wander into a town, find a Zimmer frei flag, and inquire. It's worked for 3 years. This year it has not been so successful. I very nearly didn't have a room last night either and you'll recall the problems I had in Piesendorf and Schladming. 

I went to supper and wandered a bit through Linz discovering the town square which was actually quite nice. Most of Linz is ugly,but at least the Altstadt looks good. While eating supper I kept trying to figure out what to do. No solution was coming. 

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I wandered back to my room trying to avoid the conundrum at hand swearing more and more by the second that I really didn't think I wanted to do another trip. 

I finally acknowledged around 10:30 that I had to make a decision before all the rooms were booked for tomorrow. There are no other Radwegs nearby that I want to ride right now. The ones cued up for future trips are far enough away that it would take up too much time to get there and the train fare wouldn't be cheap. In the end I decided to book a very cheap hostel room in a 4 person mixed room in Bad Ischl. It's against all of my policies to do that having experienced it once and having a dreadful night and promising myself never to do it again. However, it is a step up from sleeping in the woods without a tent or sleeping back. Not a big step, but a step nonetheless. From there I have a room booked in Seekirchen am Wallersee, and another in Mondsee the following day. That gets me through the Salzkammergut, though it means no trip back to Hallstatt. Pity. I have a good zoom lens on my camera now. What I do on Friday and Saturday nights is yet to be determined. Weather will play a role. Or I may find a random cheap room and hide for 2 days with a stash of chocolate and pastries. Or not. 

And now you are as up to date as I am. I have a 10:30am train trip to Gmunden and at some point I need to find out why my bank card got rejected just a bit ago. I may have a limit to how much frustration I can take in one day, but fate apparently didn't get the memo. 

Oh, I forgot to add that my rear disc brake starting making noises yesterday. It was still making them today. No amount or type of adjustment has gotten it to stay silent. Because hey, why not add just a little more frustration to the trip right?

Today's ride: 35 miles (56 km)
Total: 242 miles (389 km)

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