When I first arrived in Germany, a few of the girls I work with encouraged me to buy a bike. I knew I wanted a bike anyway, but while most people buy bikes that will solely get them from where we live into the center of town, I wanted a bike that would take me on mountain roads as well. Initially when I purchased my bike, I felt a bit of anxiety for spending more than I wanted (I wanted to spend no more than $300), but quickly realized I made the right choice.
My bike is by no means expensive, especially compared to what a lot of Germans spend on their bikes if the bike is their main mode of transport. I spent about $400 after using a VAT form and that included a kickstand and a bike lock, but it was more than I would have thought to spend on a bike I’d only need for a year and a half.
I can’t imagine not having this bike, and it has allowed me to go on any adventure without thinking twice.
One of the bike rides I knew I wanted to embark on before the winter months hit was to a lake in Austria called Plansee. I jokingly posted a photo of Plansee on my Instagram with the caption: “My dad rode his bike from Seattle to Portland…twice. A worthy feat from one state to another, but how often can an American say: “I rode my bike from one country to another.” Just a casual (1033 ft climb) bike ride into Austria.”
I say jokingly because in all reality I live in the south of Germany, and this bike ride only took about an hour and 40 minutes. If I were driving I could arrive at the lake within 20 minutes. Although Austria isn’t far from where I live in Germany, it was still fun to say I biked from Germany to Austria. The bike path to Plansee is amazing, and has a slight continual incline for most of the path.
Until the last push which is straight up, and it was intense.
My only goal was to not walk my bike up the hill, so I clicked her into low gear and slowly but surely climbed pedal after pedal. A few people passed me on e-bikes, and I just muddled under my breath, “CHEATERS!” In all reality I would love to take an e-bike up some of these mountain paths! Once I arrived at the lake I felt a strong sense of accomplishment.
There is a small camp ground surrounding the lake, and a hotel/restaurant. I sat at the lake eating a snack for about 30 minutes before riding back to Garmisch. I’m trying to work on savoring the moments instead of reaching a destination and quickly turning around to leave. Another lovely Bavarian bike ride, and another bike path to add to my bag of tricks. I later returned to this path with a friend, showing her the way to Plansee.
I love friends that are up for a good bike ride.
The Seattle to Portland bike ride is still on my bucket list, and one day I will accomplish it, but for now I’ll just keep riding between European countries. 🙂
Q: What’s the furthest you’ve ridden on a bike? I’ve ridden further rides than this, but all within one country.