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Tour 2008,  25 - 29 June

stagedistance (km)climbing (m)
Wien - Klammhöhe - Klostertaler Gscheid - Semmering1762740
Semmering - Pfaffensattel - Strassegg - Eisenpass - Gai1482900
Gai - Hohentauern - Hochegg - Sölkpass - St. Nikolai1412510
St. Nikolai - Radlingpass - Pass Gschütt - Elsbethen1571290
Elsbethen - Salzburg110
total6339440

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Stage 1 (25 June 2008): Wien - Klammhöhe - Klostertaler Gscheid - Semmering

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I took advantage of a meeting in Vienna to start my tour 2008 from there, having taken the bicycle along when going there by train. I started early in the morning after the end of the meeting. I did not have to cross the whole city, but to ride out of Vienna was not easy and i had to ask several times how to get to Kalksburg. From there, it was much easier. I rode to Breitenfurt-West, then over Kleiner Semmering to the Vienna River. For a short distance, i went along this valley, where there was quite some traffic, but then it was quiet for the rest of the day. The next three small passes led me through the Wienerwald: first the Hengstl, then Forsthof and Klammhöhe.
The sky had been partly cloudy, but now it was clearing up as i was reaching Hainfeld. It was warm but not too much. Riding through Ramsau was not easy because the road was being rebuilt and the sidewalks were at places very narrow. Nevertheless, i could continue towards Dürrholzer Kreuz, then down to Hölle (no, in spite of the name it was not hell). A very gentle climb led me south to Kalte Kuchl, where i joined my 2005 route for a short stretch. This time, however, i did not ride over the Rohrer Sattel but over a parallel pass, Haselrast. It was a very nice little road and an easy climb from the west side (the other way would be markedly harder). This, however, was leading me eastwards, which was not really my main direction. Thus, in Gutenstein, i turned right to the Klostertal valley and to the Klostertaler Gscheid. The next descent, into the Höllental, had again nothing to do with hell. There were many curves in this narrow valley. As it was opening to a plain near Reichenau, i went right to Prein, and then left on a small road towards Semmering. My counter was already showing close to 170 km, but i did not mind to ride up one more time. I just did not yet know that it would be up (to Orthof) and down and up and down and up till i would reach the Semmering pass, where i could find an hotel.

 distance (km)altitude (m)climbing (m)
Hietzing (Wien)0190 
Mauer8320130
Kalksburg9250 
Kleiner Semmering19460210
Untertullnerbach25280 
Hengstl35520240
Klausen-Leopoldsdorf42370 
Forsthof51560190
Laaben54350 
Klammhöhe61620270
Hainfeld69420 
Dürrholz83710290
Hölle89490 
Kalte Kuchl99730240
Gegend102650 
Haselrast113780130
Gutenstein121480 
Klostertaler Gscheid133770290
Hirschwang155500 
Orthof165920420
Adlitzgraben (Breitenstein)169720 
Semmering-Kurort173980260
Semmering174910 
Semmeringpass17698070
total176 2740

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Stage 2 (26 June 2008): Semmering - Pfaffensattel - Strassegg - Eisenpass - Gai

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From Semmering, i went only a few kilometres down to the valley before turning left to Pfaffensattel. This climb was first very gentle, but then steep. The road was in bad state. Fortunately, the other side was better and i could ride fast down to Rettenegg and Ratten. From there, i went up to Auf der Halt and followed the mountain crest down to Reisenegger. I remained along this crest to the Toter Mann pass, but this was only an unpaved forest road. Still along the same crest, i came down to Kreuzwirt and, on a good raod again, to Schlofferegg. The descent to Birkfeld was very nice. I climbed in the town of Birkfeld to the other side of the valley and took the road to Strassegg. Up to Gasen, it was an easy climb, but later it became steeper. There was little traffic and the temperature just above 20° allowed me to enjoy this climb. The descent to Breitenau was easy and quite fast. Near Pernegg, i had to ride on the main road and the traffic was just a continuous line of cars and trucks.
Fortunately, this was only for a short time. On my map, there was the Eisenpass waiting for me. Not clear from the map, however, was the state of the road, first narrow but perfect, then unpaved but easy, and finally very steep (more than 15%). If i had known, i would probably have chosen to ride over Bruck, in spite of the traffic; but i was already on the way and did not want to go back. Then i even took the wrong way at a crossing without signs, but this was already close to the pass and i finally found it, with its small chapel. The descent was also unpaved and i could not pay too much attention to the nice landscape. Reaching Oberaich (and good roads again), i was lucky enough to find tail winds to Leoben and further to St. Peter-Freienstein. This allowed my average speed to recover a bit. On a shortcut road between St. Peter and Kammer, i found a room for the night at Gai. Later, for the third evening in a row, there were thunderstorms.

 distance (km)altitude (m)climbing (m)
Semmeringpass0980 
Jauern5810 
Pfaffensattel171370560
Ratten32720 
Steinhöf361020300
Schacherbauerkreuz38980 
Auf der Halt40106080
Wetterkreuz411030 
Schneeberghimmel43110070
Toter Mann441060 
Wildwiesen461170110
Kreuzwirt481040 
Schlofferegg50940 
Gschaid59560 
Birkfeld61700140
Jägerleiten63610 
Gasen73830220
Strassegg781160330
Hattenbacher (Breitenau)84710 
Zlatten103470 
Forstgut Eisenpass1101020550
Zehnerhalt1121190170
Forstgut Eisenpass1141020 
Eisenpass1151180160
Oberaich126490 
St. Peter-Freienstein144600110
Edlinghöhe146700100
Edling (Gai)148660 
total148 2900

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Stage 3 (27 June 2008): Gai - Hohentauern - Hochegg - Sölkpass - St. Nikolai

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The sky was cloudy and the forecasts were for some rain showers as i left Gai. I was first riding towards the Liesing valley. Because of the parallel highway, there was only little traffic. The road was barely climbing but, nevertheless, it brought me to a pass: Schoberpass. In the descent, i followed the valley only down to Trieben. There, after buying a drink, i took the road to Hohentauern. It was first very steep, then more or less flat (but a new road was being built with a more constant slope). Later, the road was steep but not excessively. In the cool morning air, the climb did not pose any problem, nor did the long descent to St. Oswald. Then i turned right towards Hochegg, a pass easy to climb, but a bit higher than the previous one. Dark clouds were gathering and, even if it was noon, there was barely enough light to take a picture of the Gellsee. As i was turning right towards Oberwölz, it began to rain. I hurried to the next farm and protected myself under a roof.
Fortunately, the rain lasted only a quarter of an hour and then i could continue towards Oberwölz. The road was going several times up and down. I stopped again in Schöder to drink something before attacking the Sölkpass. In the first half, the slope was very irregular. The second half was more constant: just steep. In the last few kilometres, i experienced strong and cool headwind. Arriving at the pass, i knew that my wind jacket would not be useless. I did not yet know that it would soon serve also as rain jacket. I could at least start the descent on a steep but dry road, but i came into a thunderstorm before reaching St. Nikolai. The ride became wet and cold, everything but enjoyable. I preferred to stop as soon as possible. After the cold rain, the warm shower in the guesthouse was a great comfort.

 distance (km)altitude (m)climbing (m)
Edling (Gai)0660 
Glasdorf472060
Seiz7640 
Schoberpass29850210
Trieben45700 
Kalvarienberg48940240
Brodjäger51103090
Hohentauern531280250
Draxler571230 
Seiser58126030
Timmerer (Möderbrugg)75900 
Hochegg891330430
Oberwölz100830 
Vogelbichl1081090260
St. Peter am Kammersberg111850 
Schöder11790050
Gröbler1221150250
Grabnerhütte1261250100
Sölkpass1321790540
St. Nikolai1411130 
total141 2510

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Stage 4 (28 June 2008): St. Nikolai - Radlingpass - Pass Gschütt - Elsbethen

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The sky had largely cleared up during the night and i could look forward to a dry stage. Humidity, however, had probably found a way into the axis of my rear wheel: after a few kilometres of descent, it began to make an ominous noise. Obviously something for the next service. Presently, i just had to endure this noise... which receded and disappeared later the same day. Except for this technical problem, the ride down to the Enns valley was easy. At Trautenfels, i came again across the route of my 2005 tour. The ride over the Hinterberg and Bad Mitterndorf was more enjoyable than three years earlier: the weather was nice and i followed more closely the signs for cycling paths, which cost me some detours but kept me out of the traffic. Near Pichl, i took the small road to the right, leading me out of the main valley and to the Radlingpass. From there, the descent brought me to Bad Aussee, where i just crossed the town, riding to the west along the Koppentraun River. The road did not follow exactly the river, going steep up, then almost flat and finally very steep down to Obertraun. At the highest point, there was a sign indicating "Koppen Pass 690 m", but it is not a real pass in the geographical sense of a crossing between crest and valley lines.
Arriving in Obertraun, i followed the road to Halstatt around the Halstatt Lake. There is a tunnel to drive around this town, but the bicycles are led along the small streets close to the shore. There were many tourists around. After Halstatt, i continued first along the lake, then turned left (and up) to Gosau. From there, there was a short but steep climb, and i reached Pass Gschütt. After the descent, i did not follow the main road climbing to the other side of the valley. Instead, i followed the stream (Lammer). Further, at another place named Pichl, i took the small and nice road up to St. Koloman, with Wegscheid as the last pass of this tour. After the last pass came obviously the last descent, which led me to the town of Hallein. Then i followed the bicycle path along the Salzach River. At Elsbethen, near Salzburg, i stopped at a hostelry directly at the bike path and at the river.

 distance (km)altitude (m)climbing (m)
St. Nikolai01130 
Fleiss8920 
Freibacher15850 
Stein an der Enns19670 
Trautenfels36640 
Klachau43830190
Graben49810 
Lukas5084030
Neuhofen52790 
Obersdorf5885060
Äussere Kainisch61780 
Radlingpass6385070
Bad Aussee68650 
Unterkainisch70630 
Planerwald7368050
Koppenpass7769010
Koppenrast79530 
Hallstatt87510 
Gosauzwang9152010
Pass Gschütt104960440
Voglau120560 
Aschengut129860300
Grubach131780 
Wegscheid134910130
Vigaun142470 
Elsbethen157430 
total157 1290

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Stage 5 (29 June 2008): Elsbethen - Salzburg

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For the last day, there were only few kilometres left to reach Salzburg. I simply took the bicycle path along the Salzach River, with only a small detour on the left shore. From Salzburg i had a reservation for me and one for the bicycle in the train to Zurich.
This tour had not been very long, but it had brought me through nice landscapes and on roads mostly with little traffic.

 distance (km)altitude (m)climbing (m)
Elsbethen0430 
Glasenbach3430 
Nonntal (Salzburg)8420 
Salzburg11420 
total11 0


PS / 12.7.2008