#RoadsFromRome Day 7 - Descent Out Of The Alps

Today began with a beautiful sunrise, sat drinking coffee in my wild camp high in the Austrian Alps. It finished with the comfort of family at my sister's home in Villingen. Between the two came mountains, lakes, sunshine, and thunderstorms.

I began by descending down the remainder of Hahntennjoch Pass, onto the valley floor below. Once onto the deep valley below, I immediately transitioned into a long and gradual rise towards the top of Hochtannberg Pass.

This final Alpine climb of the tour was cool and pleasant. I stopped for a quick coffee and a second breakfast just before the summit, but otherwise kept spinning the legs to the summit at 1675 metres.

It was a fast and flowing descent from Hochtannberg, heading westwards alongside the river. There was only one notable climb left before arrival at Bregenz, in the form of the punchy Bodele Losen Pass, which heads up through pastures and farmland, looking back on the wide Alpine valley.

From Bodele to Bregenz. I could smell my brakes on that descent. Before long I was down next to Lake Constance though, eating lunch on the waterside.

The original plan for today was to camp somewhere on the north shore of the lake. Once I started pedaling again though, I was surprised by my fast progress. A full stomach, and the new found flatness of the lake side cycle path made me realise I could hit a new target tonight - my sister's house in Villingen, further north in the Baden Wurttemberg region.

It was going to be a 245 kilometre ride, but it would finish with a proper bed, warm shower, dinner, and the promise of two full days of rest. I pedalled harder.

Stopping only once in the following five hours, to grab a coffee from a petrol station; I really emptied the tank, eager to reach shelter before the thunderstorms that were surrounding me from every angle.

I didn't beat the thunderstorms. The last hour was in darkness, lights ablaze, in torrential rain. I arrived safely though, and enjoyed a warm shower, dinner, and the first friendly family hug since leaving home.

I will spend the next two days recuperating, and getting kit ready for the final push north to The Netherlands. My body, kit, and bike need the attention and rest. It has been a wonderfully diverse and challenging ride so far.

Catch up with the day's photos on Instagram: @tim_wiggins1


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