What a day this was! We are now in the loveliest Hotel you can imagine, the Romantikhof Kiefer in Eibiswald. It’s the perfect ending for a fantastic day of travel with lots of sun, 270km of pedalling, super-nice people, and lots of questions and explanations about the TWIKE, the WAVE, and electric vehicles in general.
We started off early, around half past seven, because the first stage was around 125km with allocated charging time at Güssing only from 10 to 12am. We arrived there at 10:08, so nearly got the full charge we needed to complete the next stages. Unfortunately we couldn’t charge ourselves though because the only food available was goulasch, no vegetarian option for us. So an apple and a muesli bar had to be enough.
At 12 sharp we left our nice hosts at Güssing and drove to Gleisdorf where today’s competition was held: THE SLALOM! Our starting time was 13:30 exactly(!) and we arrived at the place at 13:20. So I jumped out of the TWIKE and jogged along the parcours with the judges to make sure I get it right, while Angela was unloding the TWIKE to make it as lightweight as possible. No practice rounds were allowed and I was the first one to go. I think I did OK with a time of 57.47 seconds. The second one to go was Team 2 with a Tesla and of course they were about 13 seconds faster, but since they missed one cone they got 20 penalty seconds. But in the end we had no chance against the high powered cars and it was another Tesla that won this competition. On the other hand there were lots of other teams that did worse than I, so I am looking forward to reading the end result on the WAVE website. Also we finally got something to eat: sweet bread rolls with jam inside.
After all teams had done their run, fotos and films had been taken, and I had done a round with the pilot of the model heli-cam, we all drove to Graz in a sort of convoy (that got pulled apart at the long inclines along the road, of course). Graz seems to be a lovely city of which we didn’t see very much. We were way too tired to take part in the city tour after having pedalled all day.
At twenty past five and after another incomplete charge, we left Graz for Deutschlandsberg. We had a very arm welcome there from the local gymnastics club. They had prepared speeches, presents, stage presentations, and a nice dinner (including vegetarian option) which we nearly missed because we had to answer so many questions.
Afterwards we carried on to the village of Aibl where we were greeted by drinks, electricity, and questions again. After a while we managed to sneak away to our nice hotel and finish our last incomplete charge of the day whilst we had our well-deserved showers.