Sunday, June 22, 2008

Disaster Strikes

Day 21, June 21, Emmersdorf to Vienna, 122km

Disaster! Third Biker Down

We camped in a small town right on the Danube River, so are watching lots of river traffic. We woke up to another damp morning with showers around us. Since it was a relatively long day, we got up before 6:00 and were on the road before 7:00. The scenery was postcard through the river valley and thousand year old terraced vineyards. For some 30 km we rode through small cobble stone villages every 5 km with quaint restaurants and wine tasting. Since we were in a hurry, we didn’t stop.

Before we got 30 km down the road my front tire was flat. I pumped it up and we rode on into town. While the group had coffee I fixed my tire. As I am inflating the tire the tube blew with about 30 psig in it. So I put the my second tube in it and away we go. Then about 30 k further down the road my rear tire goes flat. I must be cursed. Luckily Jim found the hole in the tube and we managed to patch it.

At about 80 km Jim, Don, and I decided to swing into a McDonalds for a quick snack. While turning onto a bike path from a bridge, Don didn’t see a section of pipe sticking up six inches above the ground and managed to hook it with his peddle. He took a hard crash to the ground and lay stunned for several minutes. Jim and I got him up and we walked to a service station where Jim asked the attendant for help. This Austrian gentleman let Jim use his cell phone to contact Shanty, our tour leader, and then called for an ambulance. In several minutes we had the police and ambulance there. They were great. So helpful! After we gave them a report they took Don off to the hospital. Shanty had Jim lock up Don’s bike and it was picked up by the van several hours later.

Don got right into the hospital and was told that he had a broken collar bone. They put him in a collar and told him there would be no biking for a month. Don rejoined us at the hotel and is making arrangements to fly back to Calgary. He was the life of the party and will be missed. I feel really badly as I got Don into this party in the first place.

This makes three bikers down and three broken bones. The Tour d’Afrique staff said this is unprecedented. Although the path has no cars it is full of hidden dangers. You just can’t be careful enough.

Jim and I took Don out for a fair well supper, at this little Gasthouse just around the corner from our hotel. It was excellent.

I go to put my new tires on back at the hotel and when I get one out of the package I see that it is not the correct size indicated on the package. So I am short a tire. ARGH!
Thank you for visiting my blog and thank you for the comments.

Tomorrow a rest day.



Dr Mobil said...

winetasting huh?..and you didn´t stop? wish i had that kind of resistance ..i would probably had a stop in every wineyard for a taste..yum yum..Bsafe..

Kurt said...

Skipping out on wine tasting? shame, shame. You guys really need to start looking VERY carefully at where youre going cause clearly you guys are losing focus, probably distracted by all the amazing scenery
Keep your stick on the ice