The Early Eighties
1981 - Munich to Vienna following the Danube
The next trip I have on record was in September of the same year. I talked a couple of friends, Uta and Ulf, into riding with me to Vienna. The set-up was still basically the same. I mentioned in my diary that I wouldn't need to buy any new gear since I was well equipped after my trip to Italy in the spring.
It was probably uneventful as I don't remember many details. I do recall having a flat in the pouring rain with no shelter far and wide. Funny how those things stick. We had fun and it whet my appetite for more.
1982 - Provence with Daniel
We put our bikes on a rack on top of the car and were off. The first day we got as far as Zurich. The next day we were in Bollène near Orange where we left the car. Our cycle took us to Orange, Avignon, Pont du Gard, St. Gilles, Aigues Mortes. Le-Grau-du-Roi, and finally the Mediterranean. After a couple of days at the beach we continued on to Arles, Les Baux, St. Remy, Cavaillon. When it started to rain, we got the train back to Bollène. The car was still there!
This trip didn't have the same sparkle as our first one. Maybe our route wasn't as interesting, it was August and hot and humid, there were more tourists about. Although I like France well enough, I am partial to Italy. Perhaps it was the Italian ambiente that I missed.
1984 - Mutlangen and the Peace Movement
This time I organized and biked with a group of twelve to protest the Nato Double-Track Decision of 1979. The slogan in those days was "Fight for Peace" which we coined as "Bike for Peace". Mutlangen is about 200 km northwest of Munich and we saw it fitting to make our appearance and sentiments known.
Here is the background:
The Mutlanger Heide became nationally known as a missile base on which nuclear medium-range nuclear missiles of the Pershing II type of the US Army were stationed from 1983 to 1990 due to the NATO Double-Ttrack Decision of 1979. When NATO's intentions became known it triggered violent protests by the peace movement. The opponents of an escalation in the arms race protested across Germany and formed so-called "peace chains". In Mutlangen, demonstrators repeatedly blocked the access to the US camp.
In my diary I wrote about meeting friendly and hospitable people from the Peace Movement along the way, but I can remember none of it! We went swimming in the Danube. Really? I also wrote "Ich liebe das Radeln und diese Landschaft." "I love cycling and this countryside." I had the bicycle bug, it seems the rest was secondary.