29-Sep-2013 -- This confluence visit is the last out of 3 visits that I made during another cycling week-end in Austria’s Alpine mountains. The story starts from 48°N 14°E.
At 7:00 AM I started cycling from my hotel in the town Kirchberg an der Pielach (42 km west of the confluence). I followed the signposted bicycle path through the Gölsen Valley. After crossing a little hill, I reached the town Altenmarkt an der Triesting, which is located 1.7 km north of the confluence and therefore it is a good starting point for an approach.
Open Street Map showed some forest tracks on the confluence mountain. So I decided to ride up the mountain on such steep tracks. But when I came to a bend of the track where the remaining distance was only 430 m, I spontaneously abandoned my bicycle and started climbing the steep forested hill directly towards the confluence point. Going cross-country through the forest wasn’t easy, but actually not a wrong decision. I could have cycled all the way to the confluence, because there is a good forest track within 190 m and a little track within 40 m to the exact location. I had to climb a bit down on the other side of the hill, but exactly at noon about 20 minutes after leaving the bike, I stood at the confluence point.
The confluence is at a relatively steep grade in a beech forest. GPS accuracy was poor (the best I could get within 5 minutes was 14 m). The treetops full in leaves and the steep grade (shadowing satellites) are probably the main contributors to such a low accuracy.
About 60 m from the confluence, there is a good view into the Triesting Valley.
After the visit I continued cycling to Vienna, reaching Austria’s capital city at 4 PM. I spend most of my time in Vienna with a great dinner before I hopped into the night train to Zurich at 10:40 PM. Oh, I should tell the story what happened on the return trip.
After I had already fallen asleep in my cabin of 6 people, a sudden ear-deafening alarm siren rang out. When it continued a couple minutes, we asked the conductor what the reason for the sound was. He said it is a fire-alarm, but we should not worry. So we tried our best to sleep again. An hour later, a loudspeaker woke me by calling my name “Rainer Mautz, please immediately see the train dispatcher.” I was scared, because normally night-trains never make announcements. When I got off the train (which had stopped a long while ago in a train station), several train conductors approached me, saying that I should unlock my bicycle in the cargo wagon. This wagon was burning and had to be uncoupled. I was the only cyclist who had locked his bike to the wagon. All other bicycles had already been stapled in a normal cabin elsewhere. Based on the official bike-tag they must have found out my name. Well, I unlocked my bike and after I had removed it, the train ride could go on. With one hour delay, we reached Zurich in the next morning.
CP Visit Details:
- Distance to an asphalt road: 1 km
- Distance to a track: 40 m
- Distance of bicycle parking: 190 m
- Time to reach CP from bicycle parking: 20 minutes
- Time at CP: 12:00 noon
- Measured height: 646 m
- Minimal distance according to GPS: 0 m
- Position accuracy: 14 m
- Topography: hilly to mountainous
- Vegetation: beech forest with 30m high trees.
- Weather: overcast, 13° C (felt temperature)
- Means of transport: bicycle
- Given Name: The Burning Bicycle Wagon Confluence
The story finishes here.