Greenways cycle – Praha to Wien
It has been one of the most challenging, toughest and endurance testing weeks of my life, but also one of the most rewarding. Many obstacles was thrown into my way with strong headwinds, continuous rain, cold temperatures, mid-day whiteouts and on the other side, some nice sunny days. The cycling routes have been the biggest challenge with lots of snow-, ice-, wet- , thick mud-, rocks-, rough paths-, farm- and tar some roads.
Some of my climb walks went so slowly that my speedometer did not pick up my speed (which is 2km/h)! One hill of about 1km took me over 30 minutes to get to the top. Other climb walks was so slippery that I moved back and not forward… With no grip at all. And with all the climbs means there are downhills… Well… Most of the times I could not go faster than 15km/h. On the brakes the whole time and concentrating like never before with the ice on the road. One time I slipped and both my wheels were in front of me, and Im hopping at the back trying to get grip to get to a standstill, with success after about 100m. One of the funniest moments on the route.
I was yet again challenged in winter rain conditions, which this time really pissed me off as I was soaked from head to toe. My thermal shirt underneath my waterproof jacket and poncho was as wet as can be. The rainy day ended at 14h when I managed only 55km for the day. Being wet is one thing, being cold is another and a headwind is always a challenge…. But being cold and wet with a nice strong headwind making your body loose its heat even faster is something totally different!
Every day had new and different challenges and on the 6th day since I left Prague I hit some farm mud roads. I could not turn around and this might be the toughest part of the week. The mud jammed everything! My brakes, chain and both wheels. The mud build up so much that my front mudflat broke off! Halfway through I was dragging my bicycle meter by meter because both wheels was jammed with thick mud. I could not walk left or right of the road as it was fields with more mud. At the end I managed to find a branch of the vineyard where I was able to scrape off some of the mud… and be able to move about 30m – 50m. This went on for about an hour!
In the end, through all the challenges the route took me to some of the most beautiful scenery I’ve seen in Europe. I personally love the nature and would rather cycle extra kilometers to be in the forests, between rivers, frozen lakes and the country side. These environments makes any trip worthwhile. Times when it’s only you and the nature, with nobody in sight, is the ones that I remember after any trip.
The route is mostly well marked so its quite easy to navigate from town to town.
This magnificent route was a huge challenge, but was left breathless on so many occasions.
Like I said in the beginning, I would rather do it in the summer when you have access to all the other things that the route has to offer. This is one amazing route!!
Cheers for now…
^ De Bruyn ^