My first day of biking along the Donau river. The morning is very cold, there is even frost.
The river meanders is in a deep valley and it’s mostly flat or downhill. But the wind is coming up the river, so I have to pedal all the time, even downhill.
As the day gets warmer I see lots of e-bikes swooshing by, it looks so easy. As I am getting further away from France and Switzerland my phone stops roaming and I get fewer SMS with offers from my providers.
It’s very nice along the Donau river, at one point the bike road goes through a farm, as they have a cafe there I stop for lunch. I have some homemade sausages and bread. After lunch I have a chat with the goats.
I feel like I have a cold or pollen allergy, drained of energy and running nose. I decide to make it a short day and stop in Beuron. It is a small village, no 3G coverage, no shops, no Internet, feels like a third world country compared to Spain.
I have an apfelstrudel mit vanillesaus and practice saying Grüß Gott.
Gray and cold morning with rain.
I suite up in my GoreTex winter clothes and just pedal down the river, the landscape is beautiful, sunshine would of course have been better.
After 20 km or the rain almost stops. I find a bakery and sit inside for a while enjoying some energy-rich pastry and hot beverages.
The rest of the day is a mix of rain and wind, at very few times little rain and tailwind. I start to look for a bed but every place is full for the last 20-25 km of the day, so it became longer than I planned. 81 km along the river and 50km as the crow flies, following rivers is not a very effective way of traveling.
At the place I am staying the have the special bike maps for the Donau radweg that I have been looking for, they wont sell me one but they say that the bookstore in the next town for sure has them.
Dark, rain, cold, just as usual.
I bike the 8 km to the next town and find the bookstore and they indeed have the maps. I buy part 1 (Germany) and part 2 (Austria), I would have bought the part 3 as well but it is 5 years old and I am not sure I will go any further than Wien.
I keep on biking, try to use my new map, it’s a challenge to have to keep track were I am instead of just looking at the GPS every 5 minutes or so. But practice makes perfect.
I stop at a bike store and ask if they have shoes in big sizes, they do not but they say that there is a shop in Ulm that might have. I have had my shoes for the whole trip and they are falling a part and stink, so I need new ones.
Outside Ulm I spot a clever info board where the bike shop is listed.
I navigate through Ulm (by GPS) and find the store, and they have one single pair of shoes in my size, thankfully they were not pink so I bought them. So some happy days ahead while my feet defeats the new shoes.
Also I noticed that I had 3G coverage in Ulm (population 120000) and could actually use my smart phone and apps and stuff, wow! It’s just like in Spain.
It seems like all accommodation along the Donau is very expensive, it’s also very good, but 50-65 Euro per night is more than I hoped for. I blame the Swiss and hope that prices will get lower the further east I go.
Dark, rain, cold, just as usual.
The weather gets a bit better in the afternoon. I have tailwind all day, sometimes even a strong tailwind.
I plan to go to München and vote in the EU Elections and meet an old friend, as München is off my route I plan to take a day trip by train there from Ingolstadt. So I have a schedule with appointments, this is not fun.
The weather sucks and I am tired, if I didn’t have to be in Ingolstadt and go to München by train I would have found a cheap place and taken some days off from biking, this feels just like transport.
In Donauwörth I find yet another bunch of expensive hotels, but when I ask why the hotel is so expensive they take 5 Euro off the price. Maybe that will be my new strategy.
I find a bike shop and invest in some new and bigger mudflaps, judging from the weather forecast for the next 2 weeks it will be a good investment.
I start to look in to accommodation in Ingolstadt and for some reason it seems like all hotels there are made of gold.
The sun is shining and it is warm. Something must be wrong.
As I have made reservations for Ingolstadt I take it easy and bike slowly. There are some nasty uphills along the route.
My sunglasses has broken and I have fixed them with some duct tape, I have found that there is a reseller in Neuburg a/d Donau. After rebooting my phone I manage to get an Internet connection and navigate there. They say that they might be able to repair the glasses but they need to have them for at least one day to drill out the broken 1.5 mm thick screw that snapped off. I decide to buy new glasses and just move my lenses over to the new pair of sunglasses.
I have lunch at a supermarket bakery and ride on towards Ingolstadt.
As I get closer to Ingolstadt there are more and more people out and about in the sunshine, lots of people on their bikes.
I rush off to the supermarket and buy food and snacks for tomorrow as everything will be closed then.
Riding along the Donau is mostly away from the river, in the countryside or through small villages/towns. I was expecting more contact with the river. The river is starting to get really wide now. From the maps it looks like that there will be more river contact ahead.