Getting Ready And We Are Off! - CentralEurope - CycleBlaze

August 1, 2022

Getting Ready And We Are Off!

First, a thank you.  Although this is our first journal, I have been reading cycling journals and using them to plan shorter cycling trips for over 15 years.  These journals have kept me educated, entertained, and sane (when for 4 years I couldn’t ride and could barely walk because of my ankle).  The first blog I ever read was Anne Wilson’s, the British woman who cycled around the world.  I so admired her (just as I admire Susan Carpenter for her independent solo travel).  Around the same time I found Scott and Rachel Anderson’s journals and found their details super helpful. It took me a couple of years to figure out that Scott and Rachel lived across the street from me in the Pearl District, in Portland!  And I really enjoy the Andersons’ humor in recognizing their vulnerability  as they get older;  for every story Scott tells about being locked out of their hotel or losing a tablet (and then finding it again at the end of the trip in a pannier) Dave and I could match them. It’s reassuring to know we are not the only ones.   Other cycleblazers whose blogs have been really useful are two Canadian couples, the Bartlett’s and the Classen’s out of British Columbia who I always relate to because I grew up in Western Canada.  From New Zealand, my favorite journalists are Tricia and Ken Graham (it was their blog that first gave me the idea of buying and keeping bikes in Europe) and Michael and Ann Hutching. I have also enjoyed reading about Susan Carpenter’s recent adventures. 

To prepare for this trip I looked at Eurovelo and other well-known routes and read journals to string together a two-month trip to begin and end in Munich, where we have stored the bikes. My primary goal was to climb over the Alps, and ride in Slovenia, a country I had loved when touring there in 2009.  I also love Austria and had never cycled there. We both love France but we have visited there a number of times in the last 6 years (both on and off the bike).  I was motivated to select a route that was sufficiently adventurous but mainstream enough so that there would be people/facilities around if we needed help, although I know we will gain confidence as we go. 

I developed our routes using Komoot and this will be the first time we have used this type of navigation. In the past I always did it the old-fashioned way;  map reading , and sign reading and asking people for directions ! Frankly, I am pretty comfortable with that approach but its  silly not to take advantage of the new methods of navigation.   Dave is a tech guy so he embraces the new forms of navigation (but has a habit of studying the screen so that he wizzes right by the relevant signage on the road!) We tried using our Garmin for navigation this last fall in Provence (we went for a quickie 10 day tour on rented e-bikes) but it didn’t work out very well, so we are trying Komoot on our phones and will see how that goes. 

I write this in Munich while sitting at the breakfast table at the Novotel  in Munich City which is turning into our go-to hotel while in Munich as we stayed here twice in March while on our ski trip and doing our bike shopping. (Tidy new functional rooms with a good breakfast that we are currently eating!) Our travels yesterday went pretty smoothly and we arrived in Munich around 2 pm.  Utilizing carry-on luggage only, we alleviated the baggage troubles many travelers are facing this summer.  Of course, we intended to take a shot of us standing at the airport getting ready to go — but then forgot.  Instead, you got this fine shot of me standing at the S-Bahn on our way to the public storage unit to pick up our bikes.

Awaiting the subway to our storage unit.
Heart 5 Comment 0

 (FYI:  for those of you traveling in Germany this summer the 9 euro special monthly train ticket is the ticket - you can use it for all travel throughout the entire month (but it doesn’t include taking bikes). Thanks to our friends Lee and Leslie for giving us a heads up on that. We already got our money’s worth. 

After checking in and cleaning up at the hotel yesterday afternoon we felt sufficiently human to take the S-bahn 3 stops to our storage unit and retrieve the bikes.  

Our maiden voyage after retrieving our bikes.
Heart 6 Comment 1
Scott AndersonI might recognize these faces! Do you still live in the Pearl? If so we might meet up when we’re back in town over the winter. Our car (and its minder, my sister Elizabeth) live in Riverstone so we’re over that way often.

Oh, that’s right. You’re in Central Oregon now. We’ll, something to keep in mind anyway.
Reply to this comment
1 month ago

We celebrated by finding a nice place to ride to to have dinner, which turned out to be more complicated than expected:  the first two places we tried were closed (notwithstanding google maps reporting being open on Sunday). And we fortuitously ended up at a Italian place called Vinaiola which was wonderful and recommended (but expensive).  

 We ate outside so we could keep on eye on our bikes and it was a lovely balmy night so we enjoyed the entire bottle of wine and lingered.   While we really like Germany and Austria (culture, history, cleanliness, beautiful landscapes,  great cycling infrastructure) we don’t rave about their cuisine, so we tend to work at finding better places to eat while in bigger cities, knowing that once we are out of the road in smaller towns  it will be burgers, schnitzel and pizza.  I guess we are foodies — Dave is and an excellent cook - and food is a prime mover in our desire to spend time  in Europe. 

A beautiful summer's evening at Vinaiolo.
Heart 1 Comment 0

Today is chore day, getting the bikes ready to ride, packing our panniers, stopping at our local  bike store to pick up a few items and finding a store to (hopefully) replace Dave’s keyboard and cover that he forgot to bring. Weather is sunny but cool - a great change from Central Oregon where we were in a 105 degree heat wave  as we left. 

Rate this entry's writing Heart 11
Comment on this entry Comment 6
Susan CarpenterHi Jill - Looks like you're in for a great journey - I look forward to following along. And thank you for the nice comments!
Reply to this comment
1 month ago
Tricia GrahamSo delighted to hear you are off again and I will have your journal to amuse me. Can just picture you in Munich picking up the bikes from the storage and feeling relieved everything still working. Have a wonderful trip it sounds a great itinerary. I found navigating with my phone on the handlebars fine but you do need to get a power bank or the charge on your phone won’t last the day
Stay safe
Tricia
Reply to this comment
1 month ago
Jim StMarieOutstanding! Diana and I are very excited for you both and look forward to following your journey.
Reply to this comment
1 month ago
Kathleen ClassenI just discovered your journal so am settling in to read and enjoy for the rest of the evening. It looks like a wonderful route you have planned. I am so happy to be living vicariously through you. How wonderful to have the bikes there and not have to worry they wouldn’t arrive. Thank you for the lovely mention. Off to your next entry right now.
Reply to this comment
1 month ago
Stuart GarrettWOW! Quite the blog. Jill, you should become a travel writer!
Reply to this comment
1 month ago
Jill GelineauTo Susan CarpenterHey Susan, I have been meaning to reach out to you because tomorrow we go on to Slovenia and your recent update on riding in Slovenia was really helpful. I toured there in 2009 but that was awhile ago — I also had a memorable meal at Hiso Franco (back before they were “discovered”). The owner took us down to the cellar after dinner and opened a bottle of wine to share. We wound up riding home at midnight (or course, with no lights) with purchased wine bottles stuffed in our water bottle cages and down our shirts. But it is a very fond memory; we couldn't swing it to eat there again this time because we are in Kobarid for the two days they are closed BUT, I found an equally intriguing place called GRIC outside Ljulanja to try next Friday night! Take care, Jill
Reply to this comment
1 month ago