Day 9 Sat, July 21st (161km) Happy ClusterF&^K Day
Trip Start Jul 13, 2012
35Trip End Aug 16, 2012
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I was glad to get to the store in the morning and load up on calories after the debacle of eating the day before. The weather was fairly nice around 20 and cloudy with little wind. I was scheduled to bike 135km and made it to the Austrian border in great time and was averaging almost 27km hour, which surprised me considering how sore I was. Day was half over. Or so I thought.
As I reached the border the GPS, as in Germany, was not really on my map as it was not part of my Eastern Europe and Turkey data. I thought this would be no problem coming into Austria and I would just follow the course line as I did before and I would get to the hostel in 3 or 4 hours
First problem the road I was to take was not for bikes. Shit where do I go? Maybe one of the side roads would follow the interstate most of the way? Not a chance! Eventually I had to back track into Czech Republic and buy a road map of Austria. Then I had to find an alternate route. This alone added an extra 30 km to my trip. The rain started and the wind picked up. Yay! At least it is not 30 degrees plus (I guess :o(). Eventually my new route met up with the old GPS route and bikes were allowed on at this point. I knew where I was going again in the shortest path.
I started to make good time again after the wind dies down. When I reached Kronenburg just outside Vienna I noticed a squeak on my bike it seemed to be coming from the back tire. Most of the day the brakes were making a squeaking sound, which I thought was due to dirt on the rim.
After a little while longer the squeak was louder so I had to get off the bike and check. There was a slight warp in the back wheel. Nothing big but something I would have to look at when I finish in about 20 min. As I get to outskirts of Vienna I stop and take a closer look. a few of my spokes are loose
Upon closer inspection one of the spokes has come away from the rim. These rims are not like normal rims and are very finely tuned. Verdict - I can no longer ride my bike today!!!
It is only 8 km away and its is 7:30pm. I expected to arrive around 3:30 after half way. I figure this will take me about 1 1/2 hours and I would get in as it was getting dark. As light as my bike is it was becoming difficult to carry it with all the other gear. After a few kilometers I came across a minivan taxi and got a ride to the hostel.
The guys at the hostel were only semi-helpful. Everything is closed in Vienna on Sunday so it looked liked I was trapped for an extra night while waiting for a bike shop. Speaking of closed Vienna is pretty much dead, even on a Saturday night. There was a mini-mart in the huge train station so I could stock up on recovery food.
All was not quite a loss. When I arrived at the hostel another fellow traveler who seemed as tired as myself was crashed on her bed. Rebecca and I chatted for hours. It as great to have human company again. It was a bonus that Rebecca was so friendly, witty, a good conversationalist and good looking :o)
There was a guy from Chile there for awhile who was nice and also a neurotic older woman who was extremely angry for the few hours she was there, except for a 15 minute grace period when she was completely friendly and sharing. There were also 2 girls from Denmark in the room but they did not get in until 5:20 am.
I stayed up most of the night searching for every bike related place I could find on-line on my phone and wrote them an email explaining my situation and that I would pay extra to have them fix my bike on a Sunday. I only took a couple pics the whole day - there is some video coming later
After a physically and mentally stressful day where I realized my choice to bring my Terry Dolan road bike was not the brightest idea at least Rebecca was a shining spot to keep my spirits up. .