Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Day 28: Wald to Rattenberg

 
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We awoke once again to sunny weather, with dry roads and no trace of the rain from the night before. The climb from Grubl immediately begins a 17% grade to the next plateau, but after that the road poses no real challenge for cyclists. After all, the climb was only to 1531m, and Grubl was already at almost 900m. The sights were beautiful, and there was relatively little traffic. In fact, we hardly knew that wee were near the summit when we suddenly came across a giant ski resort (Almdorf) and then hit the intersection with the main road where the new pass intersected with the old pass.
From Tour of the German Speaking Alps 2010

After all the previous descent, the Gerlos pass descent was definitely relaxed. We first got to a flat section with beautiful views over the Speicher Durlassboden. After that, there's a short descent that had no braking to Gerlos (1471m). From there on, the descent was so gentle that we had to pedal until the series of switch backs just above Zell Am Ziller where the road finally lost all of its elevation down to 600m in just 5km. With that kind of grade, the tandem easily kept up with auto traffic and we only exited the main road to Zell am Ziller in order to find a super market for lunch.
From Tour of the German Speaking Alps 2010

At the supermarket, I heard some campers ask the checkout clerk for insect repellent, and the checkout clerk said, no, they were all sold out. That clearly meant that we were not staying at Zell Am Ziller, and after a quick lunch we moved on down towards the Inn Valley.
From Tour of the German Speaking Alps 2010

As we got lower and lower the weather got warmer and warmer. The bike path did not follow the Ziller at all, which meant that we got as warm as the surrounding towns, which were unshaded. Near Schitters, the bike path intersected with a lake with ice cream, and we stopped for some ice cream but it did not cool us down at all! We found the Inn river bike path just 10 minutes later, but somehow got turned around and headed up the river instead. When I realized my mistake and turned around, I found out the reason why. The intersection was so complicated that the city of Strass had put up a signpost explain how to navigate it:
From Tour of the German Speaking Alps 2010

It was clearly not a sign to be read at cycling speed.

The Inn River bike path, unlike the Ziller bike path was shaded, and it was very pleasant to be riding in the cool shade next to the river. We stopped at Brixlegg and contemplated searching for lodging, but two cyclists came by from the other direction and said, "We just came from Rattenberg. You definitely should check it out. It's the smallest city in Austria." That sounded too cute to pass up, so we headed down river and came into Rattenberg, which was indeed a very small and cute city of about 400 people.
From Tour of the German Speaking Alps 2010

It took far too long to find the tourist information center, but when we did find it, the lady there was extremely helpful. She pointed us at a bicycle friendly B&B called Haus Sonnblick, which was run by the most pleasant person imaginable. She was friendly and very helpful, giving us pointer after pointer as to where to go.
From Tour of the German Speaking Alps 2010

The town proper was very touristy, but it had a grocery store where we could buy fruits, a bike club that met at 6:00pm for a ride, many restaurants, and a castle from wwhich we could see in both directions, towards Innsbruck and towards Kufstein.
From Tour of the German Speaking Alps 2010

It was still so warm that when we finished dinner and came back to the house, we each had to take another shower to cool down, so it was just as well that we had had a short day.

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