Although the weather reports had been predicting rain, rain and more rain, for the first five biking days we had been really fortunate. The rain DID come, but it was either at night, or in the early morning, ending before we started riding, until our last biking day. But we were READY. We all donned our foul weather gear, and Diane improvised–using the hotel shower cap to cover her helmet.
My poncho was flapping wildly in the wind. As they whipped past, my co-bikers shouted that I looked like: the Red Baron, ET, the flying nun, Batman, –but the most popular was the witch from the Wizard of Oz. That got a couple of votes. I admired their creativity, but wondered why Karen didn’t get similar comments on HER poncho. Her theory? She didn’t look quite so ridiculous. Unfortunately, with the rain coming down, we weren’t able to get action shots, so you could see for yourself, and offer YOUR opinion.
Our wonderful guides, Hana and Andy, gave us several options that weren’t part of the day’s original plan. Several of us chose the newest option, a SHORT ride –9 miles. Our mother/ daughter team (Beth and Susan) are real troopers (or masochists), riding the full 16 miles to Melk.
One of the bonuses of our VBT trips is the people we meet. We all loved the Midwestern ladies. Beth was especially grateful for Jessie, who made the return trip from Melk with Susan. Marcia, Jessie’s sister, was equally grateful for Susan. Otherwise, Beth and Marcia would have felt compelled to ride back, in the RAIN, with their crazed biker relative.
We’ve declared the Midwestern ladies honorary “Biker Chicks” and hope that they will join us for our ride in 2016. Here’s Jessie, atop St. Michael’s church tower.
Back in the day, churches were multipurpose, serving as fortresses AND places of worship. Why not use good time management and fit in a few prayers while you are shooting your arrows?
The tower has been modernized, with lovely art work, so you have something to gaze upon as you climb to the top.
Also on the ride from our hotel in Weissenkirchen to Melk was a 25,000 year old statue of Venus. But she was high on the hill, it was raining, so I figured I’d just google her. When I did, I learned the one atop the hill is a replica and the real one is here in Vienna! Wise decision on my part, wouldn’t you say?
Melk was yet another over the top example of the wealth of the Catholic Church. Our guide explained that God had to be greater than the emperor, so the churches, and his chosen ones had to have the proper wardrobe. There were capes that Elvis could have worn, Michael Jackson gloves, and Liberace shoes.
Here are a few more shots of Melk which will likely use up my Internet allotment for the day.