When should I go?
Anytime from May to October is perfect for cycling. Be prepared for hot days during the months of July and August.
How do I go about planning a bike trip to Austria?
The first choice you have to make is the most essential one: whether to take an organized bike tour and leave the planning up to the pros, or whether you feel comfortable enough to freewheel on your own. An organized tour offers some advantages: you will be supplied with a bike, all of your overnight reservations will be taken care of, and most of the time a "sag wagon" will carry your luggage and tools while offering a cushy passenger seat for when you need a rest. Most organized bike trips are run on a more leisurely pace, with plenty of time for sightseeing and exploring. Many experienced cyclists, however, take matters into their own hands; they pack a few t-shirts, bike shorts, and a tool kit, and travel wherever their wheels will take them. When travelling independently, you have complete freedom to make your touring as leisurely or challenging as you like. With a little bit of research and a good touring map, you're off to a wonderful trip. A rudimentary understanding of German will certainly be an advantage since you will most likely travel through some rural areas.
Should I rent a bike or bring my own?
For day trips and shorter tours, bikes can be hired in practically every village. You will find them in many hotels, as well as 170 train stations throughout Austria. As you can imagine, the quality of the bicycles available varies greatly. If you are serious about your cycling and are not joining an organized, pre-arranged bike tour, you may want to bring your own bike with you to Austria. Most airlines are prepared to handle your bicycle, and any bike store will be helpful in partially disassembling and packaging the bike for the flight. If you've never re-assembled your bike before, we recommend a dry run and some practice. After all, we don't want you spending your first day on the trip adjusting your breaks and seat.
Mountain bikes or touring bikes are the most suitable for a bike trip in Austria, since most scenic bike trails are not fully paved.
How can I transport my bike while in Austria?
The OeBB - Austrian Federal Railways - offer substantial services for cyclists. Practically all local trains will carry your bikes in the baggage car. For long-distance trains (IC or EC trains) carefully check the timetable for a bicycle symbol next to the train number. You will need to purchase a ticket for your bike and personally bring it to the baggage car for loading. This will make sure that your bike will be on the same train with you.
Where do I stay along the way?
Along most major bike routes, many hotels and inns have adapted to cyclists and will welcome you with open arms. Many of them offer basic bike services such as lockable bike racks, tools etc. Be aware that most pensions and inns along the major bike routes tend to be of the no-frills variety, but are very charming and intimate.
What do I need to watch out for?
Austrian law sets specific requirements for bicycle equipment: at least two independently operating brakes, a clear headlight and a red taillight, yellow reflectors on the pedals, at least one white or yellow reflector in the spokes of each wheel, and a clear sounding bell as a warning signal.
There is no helmet law for bicycles, but we highly recommend the use of a helmet, especially if you travel on roads shared by other vehicles.
Looking for biking software?
Whether you're a newbie cyclist or have thousands of miles under your belt, cycling software can take your rides to the next level. With apps and software programs, indoor training becomes more challenging and engaging. You can also use software to track your rides outdoors, measuring how far you've travelled and how fast. www.bikemunk.com