Tour05 Day 26

My bike, at my lunch stop south of Zirc

It was an easy 80 km ride to Gyor today, according to the clerk at the Hotel Uni. Hungary is flat, and easy riding he said. It was hard 100 km ride, according to me. Hungary is quite hilly between Lake Balaton and about 40 km south of Gyor. Hungary was also quite windy. I did about 50 km riding uphill in a strong wind! I started out in bad shape- last night was the worse night I have ever spent at a hotel or motel.

My room did not cool off, so it was way to hot to sleep, plus it was incredibly noisy. Even with earplugs, the wedding party downstairs, The machinery below my window, and the dogs barking constantly were clearly audible. If the temperature had been lower, I probably would have been OK with the noise, but the combination was bad news. I slept fitfully, had nightmares, and was woken up by sunrise at 5:30 AM. My windows faced east and had no light blocking mechanism. I will not be going back to the Hotel Uni!

When those signs have three parts, the third one is a bicycle

The one thing I did not do today, was ride where bicycles are not allowed to ride. Interestingly, the actual riding conditions were much more dangerous than when I have ridden on roads where bicycles are forbidden. From Balayonfured to Zirc, the lanes were narrow, there were no shoulders, and there was often heavy traffic. The only redeeming factor was that that was all cars. Big trucks wouldn't have been able to pass each other on that narrow road!

Uphill into the wind with traffic

It didn't help that I was usually riding uphill into a head/cross wind coming across the road. It also didn't help that the combination of wind and grade meant I was often only doing five or six mph while trying to keep within inches of the, sometimes irregular, road edge. Cars here pass into oncoming traffic, even if they have to use a little of the other lane to get by a bicycle. These lanes were so narrow than cars were passing too close to me for comfort, especially given the wind and the low speed I was able to do. When a car passed into me with just inches of clearance, I took a break from riding. I also raise my middle finger at him - a first for this tour - and yelled a lot of dirty words. If I had had brick handy ...

Lunch was good, but a bit traumatic as, in my fatigue, I knocked over my beer class and spilled half of my beer. It was waste of good beer, but I was probably better off having less beer before riding on. I really was tired at that point, and angry about the riding conditions. I was not having a good day riding uphill into the wind.

A castle ruin visible from the middle of the long downhill

Things got better after Zirc. The traffic was less, the hills were not as steep - I'd been riding in my 17" gear on some of those hills! - and, about 10 km later, I finally encountered a downhill! It had been so long - at least three hours - since | had used my big ring, it seemed like a novel experience. That downhill went on for almost ten miles...

Heading toward Gyor after the long downhill

Apparently there is a big hump - really several ranges of hills each building on the last - north of Lake Balaton. Once I got past them, the land was rolling hills for a while, then the Great Hungarian Plain for the 20 km south of Gyor. I know, because I've ridden it, that that plain extends for more than 100 km north of Gyor.

Good looking fields south of Gyor

I reached Gyor about 3 PM, having left Balatofured at about 8:30 AM. Counting time for lunch and several other short stops to drink Pepsi, it took me about six hours to cover a bit over 10 km. The first half took about four hours, for an average speed not much over 10 km per hour. I worked hard for that!

A monastery south of Gyor

In Gyor, I found the hotel I had stayed at three years ago and made arrangements to try to get a dentist appointment tomorrow - Monday. Hopefully I'll be able to get some needed dental work done here at about 1/4 what it would cost me in the US. My hotel is as expensive as the ones in Split and Rejeka, but smaller and nicer. It is expensive staying in Gyor, but if the dental work works out, the savings, relative to having it done in the states, may pay for about half the cost of the tour!

Since I anticipate having to wait for some crowns, I plan to ride in Slovakia while I wait. That will be a lot cheaper and a lot more interesting than waiting here.

Right now I'm sitting in the courtyard of my hotel, drinking a 2 Euro half liter of Plilsner Urquell. In Slovakia, I can buy the same great beer for 1 Euro ;-). Besides, Slovakia has a lot of simply beautiful country. After I get my teeth done, I plan head back through Slovakia to Krakow, Poland.

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