The Danube bike path is a wonderful and luxurious experience but sometimes it does feel like you’re in a fairyland, journeying the same route as all the other tourers, pausing only for cakes and beer and repainted baroque buildings. It feels sometimes like you’re stuck in the slow lane of a Scalextric toy slot car race, albeit with a beautiful backdrop. You get the sense that somewhere beyond the real Germany is happening, perhaps not as pretty, but more true.
So hypnotised we were in danger of slackening our pace until overtaken (just past Ulm) by a group of older German ladies wearing red tops, part of a local touring club. They seemed to move in formation like the British jet fighter display team The Red Arrows. Not to be outdone we took up their pace and are now speeding up, using the Danube trail as a slingshot towards Eastern Europe.
Jet has written a short ode to the pacemakers that goes thus:
Stuck in the Slow Lane of a Scalectrix Set Till The Red Arrows Came and Saved Me
A bunch of older ladies in red tops come save us from the cake stops
Be our pacemakers from Ulm to old Passau
I´ve been slumming too long in the Beer Gardens and stacking up the plums
Oh Red Arrows come save me from the Danube slow lane doldrums.