Danube Detour: Bratislava to Eisenstadt

DSCN3595Tuesday morning, the 16th of May, I rose early, excited to be on my way again. Crossing to the right bank of the bank of the Danube, I quickly found myself in Austria on a dedicated bicycle path that led south into the fertile floodplain. The wind was out of the southwest. Had it been any stronger, it might have posed a problem from the outset. But the air was warm, and the day was sunny. I revelled in the fresh air and the smooth pavement leading me among the wind farms. Below the turbines, immense fields stretched to the horizon. I recognized corn and rapeseed, but not most of the other crops. This early in the spring, it all looks like a lawn that needs mowing. Continue reading

Breaking Out 2021: the Cumberland Gap

IMG_20210505_164810Natural Tunnel State Park, Thursday the 6th of May. I woke at dawn and dozed until 08:30. The Duty Ranger I had spoken to on the phone showed up while I was breaking camp. Perhaps because they are so happy to be vaccinated and able to talk to people, the rangers were very sociable. He told me that I could pay at the Park Office on the way out, which was more convenient than finding the station in the Lovers’ Leap campground. Continue reading

Breaking Out 2021: Beyond the Blue Ridge

On Monday, the 26th of April, I broke camp at the Indian Heritage RV Park in mid morning. It was sunny and not as cold as the day before. As I started into the hills away from Martinsville, the headwinds from the west were moderate, but steady. I needed my lowest gear twice, an augury of what lay ahead. Continue reading

The Danube: Budapest to Gyo̎r

Monday, the 8th of May, a heavy overcast made sunglasses unnecessary as I hauled my bicycle from the basement and my five bags from the room. By shuffling things around on Sunday evening, I managed to get more weight moved aft on the bike. OsmAnd software led me easily up the left bank of the Danube and over the great river into Buda. The sky cleared as I crossed the bridge.  Continue reading

Breaking Out 2021: Chippokes Plantation State Park

cp-image-01On Monday, 8 March 2021, I wheeled my loaded bicycle into the lift and went down to the street. Glorious, blazing sunshine in a cloudless sky, the temperature in the low teens (°C). The weather forecast was as close to ideal as it could get for the first day on the road since the Pandemic Pedalling of 2020. Although a headwind was forecast for both days of my outing, it proved to be almost a dead calm. Continue reading

Balatonfüred to Budapest

Wednesday the 3rd of May, I awoke to an overcast morning with the threat of more rain. The air smelled fresh as it does in a clean place with the air recently rinsed. I had planned to take the 13:59 train to Budapest, so I rose late and fixed myself a leisurely breakfast. I rode to the station (only 600 m away) with almost an hour to spare, just to be sure that I had not read any signs wrong. The station had walk-on access to the platform from the street. Continue reading

Pandemic Pedalling: first interstate ride

When I posted the first “Pandemic Pedalling” article on Halloween, I promised to interrupt the River Ride whenever I had an update. Last week, I not only tested my winter camping kit, I crossed a state line for the first time in exactly one year. Continue reading

The Lake District: Valbrona to Franciacorta

Holy Saturday brought clouds and afternoon thundershowers. Marieke’s sons, Emauele and Olmo, went out during the day, but basically, we all worked indoors. I read and wrote; my hostess did chores and read. It felt good to rest, and to turn in early. Continue reading

The Adda River: Piacenza to Valbrona

On Tuesday morning, I set out for Pavia, but when I crossed the Po leaving Piacenza, I changed my mind and decided to head for the Adda River and get on with my trip. The knee still hurt, but I studied my leg movement, and determined that the fit on my new pedals was wrong. I stopped just over the river, and adjusted the cleat so that my right foot could point outward more naturally. That seemed to make a big difference, so that I was able to ride back along the left bank of the Po (opposite the side I rode from Cremona) to the confluence of the Adda River. Continue reading