Day 5: From Engelhartzell to Ybbs
Or a sunny day on the austrian bicycle super highway. I had this kind of road quality in mind when I originally planned the trip :)
I won't even talk about the morning, suffice to say I was already pedaling at 10 :)
Apparently on the right side the cycling road goes together with the cars, so at the first possibility I crossed the river, and then was speeding (26km/h feels so when you have so much extra weight) downriver. It was sunny, but not yet warm, on wonderful flat, asphalted roads. Soon I had to ferry across (oh, and met a light touring couple) which - especially in the Donaschlingen - is definitely fun, it's probably one of the best views on the Danube (we actually camped here 4 years ago).
I sped on, only taking a break before Aschach: the little bridges over the creeks joining the Danube were cleaned, so there were no obstacles underneath. And the appropriate tool for it is a lorry carrying an excavator beak (?). Using that, it takes a water from the Danube, and simply drops it upbridge into the creek, creating such a strong current it cleans out everything from under the bridge. And I had to stop since the big lorry blocked the entire bridge :)
Aschach (which didn't yet have all the cruising ships with tourists, so getting through the town was easy now), then to Linz.
Of course, there was another ferry, but I am getting used to zigzagging between the two banks by now.
The last seven kilometers before Linz must be the least attractive section of the trip: just going on the cycling road next to a high traffic road, and some warehouses/industrial buildings to the right, and houses on the left (and thus so many crossings you can't ride at a decent speed).
The park the road leads out from Linz is still beautiful, pedestrians and riders separated meaningfully that fits both needs and allows peaceful coexistence. There is a bit more work that could be done to increase cooperation between road and touring cyclist (you really think it's OK to yell at me to stop with my bags on an incline just so the two of you can cruise by side by side instead of one of you falling behind the other to give me space?!).
What follows from here is the road biker's dream: superb asphalt, no traffic, flat, next to the Danube. Granted, if one does a normal touring speed, it might be rather boring, but leaning into the aerobars and just speeding it was fun!
And as usually happens, I enjoyed going fast so much that I stopped thinking, and when the road led me up on the powerplant to the other side I had a nagging idea that this might not be the best idea, and it'll mean I'll have to take another ferry (tax on my stupidity?), but shrugged it off and kept going.
A guy on a mountainbike took me over (I never understood why someone would cycle road on these tires), but I was surprised that just in 8 kms I had to pass him. Hope he understands it isn't about showing off, but I just always go at the speed that feels comfortable and that by the next day I'll have to be in Vienna...
When I got to the ferry it turned out it doesn't go until May, so instead of waiting, I took off across the haven, following the main road, and at some point I found a cycling road crossing that main road (R7, and the crossing has a brown house to the left), which I followed. After not taking the forget-which-tal radweg but going up and across the bridge, I saw the sign "#6 - zum Donauradweg sign", so I was relieved. Going across now the industrial zone made the section before Linz look beautiful, but there was a petrol station where I could refill my waterbottle, so all is well.
And I did eventually get to the Donauradweg/#6, and got to Ybbs on the right side. The last 12kms the road is bumpy, but has little traffic.
While my map claimed a camping here, according to the information table the nearest one is in Granz, 9 km away, and I felt that the 165km was rnough for today, so Gasthof it is for today.
The restaurant reminded me of Hungary. There is Cordon Blue on the menu, the liver dumpling soup is a bit too fatty for my taste - just like in many Hungarian restaurants :)
And here the heating was functioning correctly, and the owner actually took one of my backpacks up to my room :)
Tomorrow: to Vienna!