In just one month, 13 amateur cyclists and two support drivers from Spain, Germany, and England will be meeting up in Munich on Monday, 8th July to commence the 560km (348 miles) ride to Vienna. All riders are self-funding their rides and are aiming to raise funds in support of World Spine Care Europe!
This year’s spine ride is possibly going to be the most beautiful of any that we have done so far!
On 8th July we fly into Munich and get our European friends who will be joining us just a short way from the airport. The bikes will have been transported overland by our trusty driver, Ben, this time on an anniversary trip with his wife!!? As we land at 4.30 pm the first leg of our journey is short. We travel 42km to Landshut and will stay overnight in a hotel.
The following morning, we ride north to the pretty UNESCO medieval Bavarian city of Regensburg famed for its well preserved medieval centre. This will just be a short lunch stop (and probably ice-cream, a common theme on our rides) before we pick up the Danube and wind our way along its banks to our hotel at Worth an der Donau, total ride of 100km.
Maintaining our course along the Danube, Wednesday takes us towards our destination of Passau, 110km of riding. Here we pass magnificent monasteries, stunning scenery and the town of Straubing, where, for those so inclined, is held the alternative to the Munich Oktoberfest, GÄUBODENVOLKSFEST. Eventually, the Jugendherberge Passau will be our host for the night. We have found hostels in Germany often outdo their hotel counterparts for comfort and cuisine.
The next day sees us cross the border into Austria. A shorter 90km ride will give us ample opportunity to soak up the splendid landscapes as we amble our way along the cycle paths that double back on themselves to avoid superb granite obstacles. The beauty of this region has made it one of the busiest cycle routes in Europe. Linz, the European city of Culture 2009, receives us for our nights rest.
Staying in the heart of this wonderful town gives us ample opportunity to explore the delights of Austrian cafes and cakes (possibly an ice-cream or two as well).
Our penultimate day of cycling sees us pedaling for 105km. The terrain is, once again, flat, so the cycling is not difficult but requires an almost constant turn of the pedals. Small, beautiful riverside villages and towns once again mark our route with mountains in the background to inspire us. Sitting high above the town of Melk is the vast 11th-century Abbey, a guardian for its inhabitants and visitors.
Finally, after a night’s rest in what we are sure will be a sumptuous Austrian hotel we will make our way to Vienna. The longest ride of all at 115km the Danube winds north and then south before we reach our destination. Another day to sizzle our senses, and then completely blow them away in this UNESCO world heritage site, the city famed for its music, culture, science and beauty.
Sunday, a real day of rest, frees us from the saddle and with late evening flights home, allows us to immerse ourselves in culture and, you’ve guessed it, probably ice-cream.
This ride requires great commitment from the team. Every participant is responsible for their own insurance and getting themselves to the start point (wherever they may decide that should be). This is not an official ‘tour’ group, just a bunch of pals that get together to ride for a week and take in the beauty of the continent on which we live. I expect that again this year, we will have a great time. Stay tuned for photos and updates along the way!
The team’s goal is to raise $15,000.00 and all funds raised will support World Spine Care clinics and research programs. To make a donation click here.
Adam Wilkey, WSC Europe Board President
If anyone would like to join the WSC Europe Spine Ride, contact Adam Wilkey.