Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Long may it last , but alas the radio says snow is falling again to the west in Switzerland . More than a week ago I thought that that Friday’s weather that became worse during the weekend was the end of the Indian Summer . Luckily there were opportunities to ride for an hour or two between showers so when the sun broke through on the following Tuesday I had not lost too much condition . Since Tuesday we have had lower temperatures and last Sunday I had to resort to longs for my legs after all week with just a long sleeved shirt to compensate for the lower temperature .

Monday was frosty so leaving the house and getting the chores done led me to go out again after an early lunch and head up the 4 ½ mile climb to the Achensee Lake and though it is a busy road generally drivers behave as they head up the hill . This route runs north from the Zillertal to the German border and thence Munich . Most of the climb I was able to hold 39 on 14 and was feeling quite pleased with my pace .

I could hear a truck behind me ease it’s speed as we approached a right turning bend in the road but was surprised to hear it try to speed up whilst I could not see if the road was clear , obviously the driver was going to chance to luck as he moved over the central line in an area where passing is not allowed , cyclists don’t count , do they ? He was still just behind me when another truck coming down the hill appeared and realising there was danger slammed on the brakes laying down rubber for about ten metres . The brakes were uneven as you could see the rear end waggle and if it had been a semi one wonders if there would have been a more serious problem .

As the following truck passed me , he leaned on his klaxon/horn to display his displeasure about his own bad behaviour which he no doubt felt I had caused . Bau-Beton are a largish Concrete supplier in this area of Austria so I continued through the plateau until I came to the building site . During the time I checked out a few other areas on the lookout for cranes which indicate building sites . When I found the site manager I described what had taken place and gave him the choice , either phone the company or I could call the Polizei to the site since the concrete truck was still awaiting it’s turn to deliver the contents to the “ pour ” that was taking place . The manager phoned the company and reported the incident but who knows what will be done if anything !

Often think that Truck drivers are short sighted or are of the “ I am bigger than you mentality ” but riding back from Worgl after riding towards Kufstein area yesterday I was alone on a newly built “ bypass road ” of Worgl when a “ ” Semi trailer decided to leave private premises and head out on to the road going in the same direction as myself but I did not slow down so as I came up to the rear of the truck I saw that he had closed the road to me thus had to brake from about 35-40kph to about 20ish . So I had to back off from the rhs of the truck then go around the rear and ride up the lhs side as he gradually increased his speed . He was somewhat surprised to hear me banging on his door and wound down the window and complained that I was in his way and “ so what I could have waited “!

Did he see me ? You betcha ! Did he care ? Only for about as long as it took to get over my reminding him that he was a dummy !

Earlier on tuesday as I rode out of Kramsach I came up on Silvio , an inhabitant of Ashau in the Ziller whom I find training regularly over the years . He reported that he did the Otztal Marathon this year in 8 1/2hrs , at a pretty good average speed and that he also did a 24hr at 30 kph ! That he did 720km in 24 hrs means he would have been doing 35 to 40ish in the early part of the event ! Not bad for a guy that stands less than most people’s shoulder in height and races at 40 kilo in weight . Having things to do in Worgl I parted company and when after lunch I was on my way to Mayrhofen I found him once again as he was using up what had remained of the 5hr ride he had decided to allocate for that day .

Time I got on the bike for today now that the temperature has warmed up a little and the frost is off the grass !

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