The first day is nearly over. Everything worked quite well although we had a few minor teething problems. First we hadn’t quite understood how the start procedure was supposed to work and being the very first starter, we had nobody we could copy. The moderator shoved the microphone into my face so I had to improvise a few words about the TWIKE being the only real sports car in the field of starters, so I might have missed the exact starting time by a few seconds. I think I was waiting for some kind of flag or so. Hm…. hope we got away without penalty points. At the same time Angela was fighting with the satnav which kept trying to send us back to the hotel, so we already got lost after only 200 metres! But we got this sorted out quickly and were on our way.. We kept pedalling all the time and after a short while it felt completely normal to move the legs as soon as the TWIKE was moving. The regular question “Could you stop pedalling a second? I want to shift gears.” was quickly abbreviated to “SHIFT!” and gear changes became routine.
We had a short stopover in an industrial estate in Vienna, where the moderator announced me as “Dr. Schröder from Switzerland”! After that we carried on to Baden, where we stopped for a light lunch and a visit to the Casino. The management of the Casino was invited to rate the design of our vehicles as the first competition of the WAVE. The results were announced during our tour of the Casino and the winner was the “Lone Viking” Robort, although the moderator thought his name was “Corbin Sparrow”! We came third and are well pleased with this. When we left, the moderator told the audience that “Captain Sparrow” was now leaving in the TWIKE. MODERATORS!!! YARR, WHY IS THE RUM GONE?
We are now parked under a huge wind mill within an enormous wind park, the only sounds you can hear are the birds and the wind in the rye fields. The modern mills are nearly noiseless. When we drive, Angela is in charge of the satnav and I am slowly getting used to her instructions. They usually go along the lines: “In 800m the road will go in a kind of weavy what-have-you-not sort of way…”
We will spend the night in Eisenstadt, about 40km away, where we are invited to the local wine festival. So I think we better get going now.