Hlohovec Slovakia to Gyor Hungary

Looking back from the hill just south of Hlohovec

This morning I was the only person having breakfast at my hotel. They were nice enough to get up on Sunday morning so I could buy breakfast before I left. It was good that I had a good breakfast because, after a brief diversion into the city (I missed a turn), I was climbing a 100 meter hill on 507. It was nice hill, and a good climb with great views, but I hadn't expected it first thing in the morning! After that initial climb, 507 settled down as a hilly road running through hilltop villages. In the villages, as in Hlohovec, many people of all ages were all dressed up and heading to church. There were groups of kids, families, and couples, as well as single men and women. There were also some non church goers, like me, who were just hanging out, or riding by, watching the church goers.

Old lady in traditional dress and younger couple in modern dress

The road was hilly and pretty between villages. I measured a total climb of about 500 feet in the first ten miles. That is about half the climbing of an average section of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Then 507 came down out of the hills and onto the plain that covers the bottom part of western Slovakia. There were only a few hundred feet of climbing in the rest of the day.

Apartments in Sered where 507 crosses the river

Pretty flat riding after Sered!

The flat riding was a nice change from the early hilly riding. It meant that I could add several miles an hour to my average speed and that I rode in a constant energy output mode. On the other hand, riding in the hills requires a high energy mode while climbing followed by a resting mode while descending. Both are good, so it has been nice to have the mix for the last two days. Today was also nice in that it didn't rain! It was hot climbing, and cool descending, in those hills but then it just settled down into a comfortable day for bicycling.

Although I did have to stop a few time to pull out my computer in order to figure out which way to go and although I missed two turns - one for 507 at the start and the other for 506 near the Danube, the only real problem I had related to currency. I spent almost all of my Solvakian currency on last nights lodging and today's breakfast. I had less than 100 crowns left which wasn't enough for a good meal, so I figured I'd make do with my supplies. When the restaraut started putting out great smells about ten thirty, I stopped between towns and had bread and marmalade. It was good, but by 12:30 my body was demanding a hot meal. I stopped at a Bankomat at a supermarket coming into Dunajska Streda and got another 100 crowns, and then stopped at at a pizza restaurant for pizza and expresso. It cost 140 crowns and lasted me the rest of the day. Ahh...

While I was there I worked on my rear fender which had started to rub on the tire. I had noticed this morning that one fender stay was disconnected from the fender and the piece that had connected it was gone. I don't know when I lost that piece. It could have been yesterday when the bike fell over or it could have been a few days ago. I hadn't been paying much attention to the bike - the rear tire was down to about 30 lbs of air pressure! - as a result of never getting to take it in the room with me. Except for my first day in Erding, my bike has always been locked up in a 'garage' when I arrive and I don't see it again until I'm ready to leave. This morning I noticed that the rear tire was soft when I got it out of the garage and then noticed the missing part. I tried to glue the stay to the fender with Goop, but there wasn't enough time for the Goop to harden while I ate lunch, so my repair failed.

After lunch there was brief section of expressway 507, but it only lasted for a few miles. While it lasted I was cruising at 15 to 16 mph, feeling that new fuel kicking in. Then it was back to 13 to 14mph for the rest of the trip. At Gabcivkovo, I missed the turn from 507 to 506 because a bus was passing me as I reached the turn. My trusty compass alerted me that somethig was wrong when the road I was on started heading west instead of south. It took a bit of riding to find the missed turn, but I got to see some nice middle class Slovenian homes while I was looking.

Bike path along the Solvenian side of the Danube

At Palkovicovo the road reaches the Danube. I could see the road ending at the path along the berm by the river, but I chose to ride the five km to the bridge at Medved'ov on the road rather than on the path. I crossed the path just before crossing the river. It is a nice path, quite similar to the best parts of the Danau Radweg.

The border between Solvenia and Hungary

At the border, things were fine until I headed down 14 towards Gyor. I saw a sign that said bikes pointing to a side road, but ignored it until I discovered that 14 was literally littered with no bikes (or ag vehicle) signs. Being a good citizen I rode back and took the path. It led to the bike path on the Hungarian side of the Danube! It was a gravel path and hard for me to ride, moreover, it headed down the Danube rather than to Gyor. Shortly, I came to a side path heading in the direction of Gyor. There was no sign indicating where it went, but I took it since it headed in the right direction. That became a mosquito infected mud puddle road that was impossible for me to ride. I took a side road that was marginally better and it led me back to 14. I remembered someone telling me to ignore the no bicycling signs in Hungary; "the locals do!" I did, and I saw several locals riding 14 on my way to Gyor. Looking at my mapping software, it looks like I could have ridden about 5 or 6 km down that bad path to Nagybajcs and then ridden a small road into Gyor.

The "bike path" on the Hungarian side

A local bicyclist on 14

When I got into Gyor, there were no bicycling signs almost everywhere. If I hadn't ignored the signs on 14, I couldn't have gotten to Gyor and if I didn't ignore the signs in Gyor, I couldn't get around town. I'm not impressed with the way Hungarian deal with bicycles! It is much inferior to Germany, Austria, Czeckia, and Slovakia. I bet I'll be riding on lots of roads I'm not supposed to ride on. I bet I won't have any other choice.

I found a nice hotel just a block from the, huge, bus station and two blocks from the train station. It is four blocks to the centrum area and there is a bike shop on this side of that area. Somewhere in the centrum area is at least one internet cafe. Tomorrow I'll visit the bike shop and the internet cafe. I may, or may not take a bus or a train to Budapest. I figure it is less than two hours away by either method. If I don't go into Budapest, I'll probably ride west towards Slovenia tomorrow afternoon.

Added in the morning: It is raining and I broke a tooth while eating a hard roll for beakfast. My plans are now indeterminate... Added in the afternoon (Monday) : it is still raining and I'm in the process of getting my broken tooth crowned. I won't be riding towards Slovenia till Friday. I think I'll spend a couple of days in Budapest. .

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