Danube Part 1 - Donaueschingen to Budapest

Donaueschingen to Riedlingen

For this trip I have invested in a GoPro Hero 6. There are still a few photos thrown in, either from the iPhone or my camera, however, it’s so much easier just to hit record on the GoPro than to stop and snap.

The first day’s riding was tough, as it always is. Mainly due to my horrific lack of training for this tour. It seems to be a pattern; decide on a tour, commit to train hard for it, get the bike out for a couple of spins after the decision, get busy with life and do no further training. I’m getting exceptionally good at repeating this pattern.

I left the hotel in Donaueschingen feeling a little groggy having spent way too long the night before in a local bar which was like a throwback to some of the places I frequented in the early 90’s. All good fun.

One of the things about starting a tour at the source of a river is that you rarely see the river for the first day or so. It was exactly the same with the Rhine. The river at this point, formed into the Danube by the confluence of the Brigach and Breg streams, is so tiny that it barely interrupts road networks and farmland.

Here is the video of a few clips from the ride. You can probably get an idea of the “ride slow, enjoy the journey” attitude to touring – there really is very little need to rush;

Riding with a trailer for the first time was an experience. One that I wasn’t entirely happy with by the end of the first day (although this would later change).

I discovered that it isn’t very comfortable with being badly loaded and badly mounted. My bad habit of throwing the bike side to side while climbing didn’t help the fact that the rear spindle wasn’t anywhere near tight enough and the spindle managed to work its way loose half way up a climb.  Having your rear wheel nearly hanging off isn’t a good thing. So the day was punctuated with frequent stops for adjustments. The best of these stops was not far out of Donaueschingen at a place called Nina’s Ess Art – some kind of workshop and café in the woods, just off the bike path.

For a small consideration they provided me with an Emmental Cheeseburger and a coffee – free use of toilets and a drinking water tap. All very civilised.

I was tempted to wild camp at a playing field just short of the campsite I’d earmarked as it had an outside tap on their changing rooms, however, whimped out and pushed on to the campsite 5 or 6 miles up the road. As it turned out the campsite wasn’t much better provisioned, but did at least have a bottled beer vending machine.

So I pitched the tent and settled down for the night with a chilli con carne MRE and a couple of bottles of German beer.

Further posts will be forthcoming, although maybe slow as my video editing skills are not as good as my beer opening skills and German internet is shocking – plenty more video to edit and compile, so watch this space.

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