Remarks and Mini Reviews

We had a wonderful tour this year.

Highlights of the tour, for me:

The scenery in Austria seems to me to have a lot of the same elements that I enjoyed about Swiss scenery. I would like to explore Austria more extensively in the future.

Mini Reviews for Equipment/Logistics

Thanks to help from Piaw and The Bicycle Wheel by Jobst Brandt, I built new wheels for the tour (Velocity AeroHead rims and Shimano 7900-series hubs), saving 380 grams over the wheels that came with my bike. And the Shimano hubs are almost eerily quiet.

Having a rental car was very nice (we were able to shortcut over boring and/or rainy segments), though still not what I would consider essential for a tour.

The Garmin Edge 800 worked well, for the most part. On GNU/Linux it appears like a generic USB mass storage device and you can pull the tracks files (*.fit) right off of the device. As of this writing the Garmin City Navigator {North America, Europe} NT MicroSD map kits (which contain street-level maps for their respective regions) are available for just $50 on (I paid about $90 for the Europe map kit in June.)

Air Berlin transported us and our bikes without problems, and with their Topbonus Service Card (€59) they took our bikes both ways for no additional charge.

We got halbtax (half-price) cards for the Swiss railroads (they also work on some cable cars). We did not break even on the cards, but probably would have if we had been touring unsupported for the whole 5 weeks.

Finally, I stand by my previous recommendations for Continental Gatorskins, Kool Stop Salmon brake pads, and SKS Race Blades.