Trip Prep and Countdown - Cycling the Austrian Alps on a recumbent - CycleBlaze

Trip Prep and Countdown

It's officially 2 weeks to departure which means it's time to get serious about preparing for the annual bike trip to Europe. This will be my fourth such trip and will involve returning to some of the territory from my first trip, specifically the Tauern Radweg running from Krimml to Golling, and portions of the Salzkammergut Radweg such as the section along the Traunsee along with the portions I didn't have time to visit. New this year will be the Enns Radweg which runs east of that area from Flachau all the way to Enns an der Donau (Danube.) You can find the journals for my three prior trips at Crazyguyonabike. 

Last year I rode along the Main, Rhein, and Mosel rivers. They were flat and honestly a bit boring for me to ride. Riding hills on a recumbent is a challenge given that gravity isn't a favorable force you can use on a recumbent. Mountain vistas always inevitably come with hills, even when the path is following a river, but I've decided I can deal with the few hills in exchange for incredible mountain scenery and gorgeous lakes. 

Along the Traunsee
Heart 1 Comment 0
Zeller See near Zell am See
Heart 1 Comment 0

To prepare for my trip I've been riding all the local hills once or twice a week. The hills here are steep enough, but generally last at most a half mile which means riding up and down them many times in a row. To make that process easier, I made some alterations to my bike which I'll write about in the entry specifically about the bike. 

My route will start in Krimml, Austria at the waterfall which is the highest in europe. I've been here before, but with low quality cameras. This year I'll be prepared with much better photography equipment so I can fill up a few more blank spots on the walls in my house. From there I'll retrace my route from four years ago along the Salzach River through Zell am See, this time actually riding the nasty hill before Schwarzach and the stretch along the Bundesstraße that I bypassed on the train (the scenery in that stretch is amazing) as far as Golling. From Golling I'll catch the train to Radstadt and either take the bus or bike to Flachau where the Enns Radweg starts. 

The Enns will take me past Schladming where I'll visit the Dachstein Mountain, Admont with it's famous monastery, the extensive section through Gesäuse Nationalpark (most of which has no space for a separate bike path), and then through the foothills of the Austria Alps around Steyr and eventually Enns where the river meets the Donau. The hilliest and likely longest days will be through the Gesäuse and into Enns. If I decide I need a rest day, I will take the train to Gmunden and continue my trip from there through the Salzkammergut. Some of that will depend on weather as well. 

The stretch along the Traunsee heading south from Gmunden is definitely the best stretch of riding for the trip and I wish to do it in good weather so I will be trying to plan my trip through the Salzkammergut based around that. The route is really just a giant circle and that will afford me a lot of flexibility. I'll be hitting the Traunsee, Halstättersee, Grundlsee, Altaussee, Mondsee, Wolfgangsee, Attersee, Obertrumersee, Irrsee, and a couple other small lakes that I've forgotten the names of. I'll take the Seilbahn (cable car) to the tops of a couple mountains, weather permitting. I'll also consider riding back to the Halstatt area despite the sections of annoying trail and then heading into the more remote area around the Grundlsee and Altaussee through Blaa Alm and back to Bad Ischl. It's a beautiful area and not at all meant for a touring recumbent. I will no doubt hate riding it, but the vistas will have to make up for that (and they should!)

Overall mileage will be less than last trip where I did 500 miles in about 11 days. I want to give myself time to do some short hikes on the mountains, visit some waterfalls and canyons, and generally soak in all of the scenery. It's a vacation after all!

Rate this entry's writing Heart 4
Comment on this entry Comment 0