The last time that I bicycled the Donauradweg [bike route of the Danube], the best known and most popular bike route in Europe, was during the summer of 2004. At that time the trip wasn’t particularly fortuitous due to bad weather. Drizzly weather and heavy rain showers to some degree accompanied every leg of the trip.
During 2011, towards the end of the Bodensee trip, I managed to travel a few miles along the Danube in order to reach Ulm; but that wasn’t a true return to the Danube either!
This year, 2013, realizing again the difficulties of trying to reach more northern cities such as Hamburg or Berlin using a train + bike combination, I decided that the time was right to revisit the Danube, combining it with the section of the Innradweg [bike route of the Inn] that I had missed before, the section from Rosenheim to Passau.
To start the trip, therefore, I went to Munich from Venice by way of the night train (CityNightLine) on which I managed to find, rather fortuitously, both a sleeping compartment and space for the bicycle. [August in Europe is when everybody goes on vacation simultaneously. RB]
From Munich an initial short segment allowed me to reach the village of Pfaffing, barely larger than its Pfaffinger Hof Hotel, about 10 km/6 miles from Wasserburg am Inn, where I had been unable to find a vacancy. It started as a gray day which then became rainy; shortly after reaching the Pfaffinger Hof Hotel it began to rain persistently and lasting for several hours.
The next day I had better weather, from Pfaffing I was able to reach Wasserburg, where the bike route of the Inn begins heading towards Passau, with overnight stops at Mühldorf and then Simbach; the last segment before Passau proved more difficult than I had expected due to steep up and down grades and rough pavement conditions, so that often I had to get off my bike and continue on foot. Conversely, once I crossed to the east side, arriving in Austrian territory, I found a paved path that followed along the train tracks and without any appreciable grade.
The weather forecast for August 13 was for bad weather, appropriately enough for the day of the longest segment from Passau to Linz (about 95 km/60 miles); in fact during the night showers and thunderstorms thoroughly drenched Passau and at 8 in the morning it was still raining, although more lightly; but then it finished at 9:30. My departure at 10:00 am was dry and with a favorable wind from the west. The most dreaded leg of the trip, based on the weather forecast, turned out to be the fastest, in part because the bike path was in good condition, in part because of the favorable winds. I arrived in Linz with plenty of daylight remaining and ahead of schedule.
During the following three days the weather became increasingly calmer and warmer; during the final two days the wind was no longer favorable and was blowing mostly from the east.
My arrival in Vienna took place on a true summer day, and during the following days the temperature reached more than 30° C/86° F. By comparison to the trip of 2004, the weather of this year’s trip was decidely more favorable.
|1||2013-08-09||M-W München - Pfaffing||47||29|
|2||2013-08-10||M-W Pfaffing - Wasserburg||11||7|