Wednesday, September 06, 2006


Trip dist: 72 kms. Trip time: 4 hrs, 7 min. Tot dist: 5,719 kms.

Today's was a very flat, rather boring ride over gravel roads. The ride was boring because even though the radweg was perfect: on an elevated road between fields, it was flanked on both sides by trees so you could see nothing of the river or the scenery except for the next short-distance, 60 year-old German cyclist in front of you, and you know how short-distance cyclists are(;P).

On the plus side, there was one rather....corpulent woman short-distance cycling only about 1 or 2 kms/hr faster than I was when she passed me, which was of course the perfect condition for me to tail her and allow her to cut the wind for me.

She didn't seem to like it, though, for she kept glancing behind her when she heard me, and then sporadically hitting the brakes, which made my tailing her a bit....difficult, if not annoying (requiring more concentration and attention than should've otherwise been necessary, which is the whole point of tailing someone--saving effort and taking it easy, not increasing your effort, even if only mental), until she finally after some very short time decided to head off with her husband to take a break to the many fast-food/Biergarten type establishments thoughtfully scattered every km or two along the bike route, thus spoiling my very leisurely 25 km/hr coasting I had just been enjoying (minus the times I had to brake hard because the woman had just to tried to shake me off). Honestly! Like tailing people were an unusual or impolite thing to do!

Anyway, not too long afterwards I passed and then got caught up with again by a rather nice German couple from Hannover (are all the German cyclists from Hannover?!?) who rode with me pretty much all the way from there to Bratislava, and with whom I had a very lovely chat in my traditionally horrible German about anything and everything. They were nice company, and the husband was terrific about finding the twists and turns of the radweg, even without a map, when the road was badly signposted.

I arrived in Bratislava in the early afternoon, having parted ways with the Germans about 20 kms before to stop to buy something to drink, so after finding my Youth Hostel I strolled over to city center and finally settled for a good dinner in one of the downtown restaurants. Well, what is my surprise that soon after finishing my soup the German couple spotted me at the outside tables from their streetside strolling and asked if they could join me.

Naturally, I said yes (dinner is always so much nicer with good company), so we had an enjoyable evening doing some more chit-chatting about anything and everything (like making fun of Austrians, wondering aloud whether Turkey should or should not join the EU, and variegated topics like that). Turns out, they own a pony farm back near Hannover, with 47 horses, and when I said that every little girl wants a pony, the wife, with characteristic, good-natured German humor replied: "Yes, that's true. But only until they turn 16 or so, at which point they decide they want a boyfriend instead, and the pony is forgotten!". Ha ha.

I rather liked this couple. It was refreshing and entertaining, talking to them.


No comments: