TGIF! TDI2019 starts is today! I’ve been looking forward to this trip very much. Unlike other TWIKE adventures, this time, I will be travelling alone.
Today will be a full day at the office before I dash across Switzerland and part of Austria towards Linz.
In theory, nowadays with my huge battery pack, I could make the trip to Linz in one day but not when departing from Zurich at 4 PM. A charge somewhere in Innsbruck and one in Salzburg would be required if I want to do the full trip on the motorway – when hypermiling, I’d only need one charge!
Being on my own in the TWIKE makes packing very easy – loads of space is still available behind the driver’s seat. This is one of the most-asked questions: How much space does a TWIKE have for luggage? It turns out that it’s loads! I’ve already written about it here.
My wife takes the traditional farewell picture and off I go…to my office 🙂
As I want to start my Trip from Zurich to Austria with the battery charged as much as possible, I connect my TWIKE to one of the plugs in our meeting room on the second floor and charge it at 2A – doing so will allow the battery to accept a few Wh more than when it’s charged at a higher throughput.
Bemused co-workers help me set up the extension cable that needs to go up two floors and connect it.
This is how the cable looked like from our meeting room…
At 4 PM sharp, I bid my farewell and off I go! The first few hours on any TWIKE tour are filled with excitement and anticipation even though all the roads I’m driving on are super-familiar.
There isn’t too much to write about regarding the trip to Austria and the climb towards the Arlberg tunnel as it was 100% on the motorway and the sun set around 6 just when I had climbed the valley and entered the tunnel.
The tunnel, however, was a first for TW560. Normally, I prefer taking the pass, as it is really nice and offers some stunning views. Crossing a pass end of March in the dark isn’t really fun, probably very cold and potentially dangerous with water freezing on the road. I engage cruise control and zoom through the tunnel.
One of the interesting things when driving through a long alpine tunnel is the temperature difference between outside and inside – which can be very easily felt when driving a TWIKE.
Whilst the temperature difference is the biggest in the Gotthard tunnel, where you might have -10°C outside, and consistent ~+29°C inside the tunnel the Arlberg tunnel offers also very respectable temperatures around 20°C – very nice for my rather cold TWIKE pilot hands!
My goal for today is a town called Telfs. I’ve reserved a room in an old and quaint Gasthaus stating that I needed a plug for my recumbent bike. The owners were already waiting for me when I arrived and had cleared out their garage to allow me to park my TWIKE there…but not before I had driven the owner’s son around a little – we’ve got to cultivate future pilots, right? 😉
Tired but happy, I go to bed early as tomorrow will be a very long day – driving 350km, meeting with my family and partying with my cousin until very late. Good night!