Austria Cycling Trip
October 1 - 19, 2002
Tauern Radweg, Krimml to Passau
Donau Radweg, Passau to Vienna
For 25 years I have wanted to do a cycling trip in Europe. In 2002, at the age of 57, I decided I better
stop procrastinating and do it before it was too late.
I have done a lot of trips where I went to a destination and did a series of day trips, returning to my
starting point each day. I had done two previous trips where I carried my gear and stayed somewhere
new each night. Each was only 3 days. The second was when I was 35 and took my bike to Victoria,
B.C., where my parents were living at the time, and did a lot of day trips to various Gulf Islands. Then I
did a 3-night trip to Seattle and return, cycling 90 miles, 35 miles, and 70 miles each of the days.
I keep myself in pretty good shape through cycling, but in recent years
my daily rides seldom exceeded 50 km. For this trip I set myself a goal
of cycling 50 km per day, six days a week, but I was not sure if that was
reasonable. While a single day of 50 km was not formidable, to do it 6
days in a row was. I was pleasantly surprised that I got stronger as the days progressed and had no trouble with days of 70, 80 and 90 km. Still, I am glad that my goal was set at 50 because I often had to go further to find suitable accommodation, and then I used my bike to see the sights and find a restaurant for dinner.
I researched various locations in Europe, mostly through the internet and
the web site Trento Bike Pages. I considered Britain, France and
Holland before settling on Austria. I do not like having to compete with
cars and trucks, and Austria has a good network of cycle paths. The
German word for cycle path is "radweg". I also do not like climbing, and
the radwegs usually follow the rivers, so there are not a lot of hills. The
Tauern Radweg may be the ultimate because most of it is in the Alps,
with magnificent scenery, but the climbs are manageable (though I
pushed my bike up a lot of them). The Donau (Danube) Radweg has
virtually no hills, and much of it is also very scenic.
In planning for my trip I found it very helpful to
read stories that others had published on the
web. It is only fair that I add my own
experience to aid others. I have kept the text
separate from the photos so people can print
the text and take it along on their trip.
I strongly recommend buying cycling guides. I used the Schubert & Franzke guide for the Tauern and the Bikeline guide for the Danube. Both are available in English. I actually preferred the S&F guide even though the maps are to a lesser scale, partly because you do not have to change the pages so frequently. Also, the text is usually on the opposing page where the Bikeline text was sometimes a couple of turns away.
Read about my trip along the Tauern Radweg
Read about my trip along the Donau Radweg
Watch Maarten Heilbron's video of his trip along the Danube.© 2003, Kenneth R. Brown