Tauern … I’m betting it’s German for ‘many bugs’.
and all my favourite straw animals …
But then came the bugs …
I’m sure I should pretend they weren’t there and instead write about the beautiful views and wonderful riding, but then what would happen if you followed me and all you did was get bugs in your eyes, your hair and your mouth for kilometre after kilomtere?
You wouldn’t thank me then would you?
So I want you to know that there were bugs, many bugs. There were millions of bugs and sometimes it just felt like someone was throwing handfuls of pebbles at me there were so many bugs.
If I had one tip for cycling the Tauernradweg, it would be this …. bring sunglasses.
But now that we’ve cleared up that omission from pretty much all other travel literature that I have read about the Tauern Ragweg, I will also say it’s a pretty nice ride.
I don’t know if it was just the night that I was there, but there were a disproportionate number of middle eastern people there, which I only mention because it was kind of surreal that night sitting in a cafe eating pizza …. I felt like I was in Dubai more than Austria.
Other than one short, but extremely steep, climb for the day, day two was again pretty easy riding and it was nice to just get lost in the warm drizzle and my own thoughts as I tootled down the valley.
In some ways the overcast day had also saved me from a fate worse than bugs.
I had discovered that I was cycling right past the Grossglockner road (of Top Gear fame) and I had been tempted to dump my panniers and spend a day hauling my unfit butt to the top of the pass just so I could say I had done so …
However with the view up the pass looking like this …
The final day was meant to be just a short hop, skip and jump (45kms) into Salzburg, and as I could only check in at my hotel after 5pm, I left late and took it pretty easy, just stopping and enjoying the incredible views that had opened up as the clouds parted.
It was hard to capture on camera, but they had connected a long rope, like a water skier would use, to some rocks jutting out into a rapid. They’d then grab hold of this rope and let the current pull them out into this big set of standing waves just below the rapid, then when they got into the main waves, they’d stand up, drop the rope and start surfing on the spot.
Personally, I’d prefer the beach, but for anyone in a landlocked country, or who is afraid of sharks, it is a pretty cool idea.
Then, one minute I was cycling along a tree lined path …
It was only as I hopped into the shower later that afternoon that I realised the most amazing thing … I had cycled a whole day and barely eaten a single bug!
And that’s my story of the Tauernradweg.