After the week is over, time to get a coffee and cake at the legendary Cafe Landtmann.
And what a cake. Chocolate coated wafer filled with strawberry mouse, cream, sponge and fresh fruit.
The holiday starts here.
Almost time to finish, but all the delegates seem to agree that they saw a new Vienna this week. Bike culture on the streets, but even the historic urban architecture was looking particularly spruce.
It was for me! Last time I was here we were swaddled up against late spring cold, now we saw an outdoor city, a lively city, stunning weather after the rain of the early week.
She captured hundreds of shots which will take some sorting, but suffice to say we had a ball. Over 1000 delegates were joined by nearly 4000 local riders for a great evening out, part festival, part bike ride.
Hard to believe it is almost over for another year, but there will be a rich repository of blog material for the next few weeks! (And lots, lots more on Twitter, follow me on @maynekevin and #VC13 for the Velo-city coverage)
The case is proven when you lose your credit card at a metro station, but one of the next users is also a conference delegate, sees the word “cyclists” on the card and hands it to the organisers who promptly got it back to me.
How cool is that?
Like many parents I spent this weekend collecting my son from university.
No stress despite lots more kilometres to travel since we moved to Belgium, and the first experience of driving a left-hand drive car on British roads. No stress at all from discovering the stolen bike or the state of the student room. (ugh).
Because my son goes to university in Aberystwyth, right on the far west coast of Wales, overlooking Cardigan Bay.
I am almost afraid to blog about it because you might go there and spoil it, one of my favourite places in the world. Just through Abergavenny and the Brecon Beacons National Park rises up around the road and I spent two hours passing through the stunning scenery. The motorway driving becomes a distant memory.
I stopped at Nant y Arian forest park in the late afternoon to have a coffee, take a seat and just soak up the view before I dropped down to Aber. Red kites flying overhead and sunlight running across the hills. I was really jealous of the mountain bikers using the outstanding trails at Nant that I knew from another trip and I really would like to have had a few hours for some cycle touring, but that is another time.
Down at Aberystwyth I was just able to soak up evening light, a sunset over the bay and in the morning a sharp, crisp sunlight over the coast. I hadn’t taken my camera so the fact that it even looks good on a mobile phone is a testament to how great it was.
I am sure he appreciates that he has chosen one of the best university locations in the world, at least in the UK, but I know his Dad sure does.
Next time cycle touring or mountain biking too.
A few weeks ago I amused some of you with my post “Duel at Dawn” in which I told the tale of the old sporty cyclist faced by another cyclist on the morning road.
The tale took a new twist this morning.
I was thrashing my way through the hills of the Foret de Soignes at my usual lumbering pace when I suddenly heard the swish of a bike tyre beside me and a cyclist zoomed past up the hill.
Without even looking I knew that I was being passed by some flying roadie in lycra and I was going to have little chance of slipstreaming the passing rider even if I put on a burst.
I was being passed by a woman on an upright bike in day clothes.
It took quite a few revolutions before the penny dropped.
The battery pack was the give away which I discovered when I got over the hill not too far behind her and then caught up freewheeling down the other side.
Amazing experience – we followed each other for about 3 km – me pulling ahead on descents and at any busy junctions but she absolutely flew up the climbs effortlessly and on the last one I just expired like a burst balloon and watched the green spot vanish.
It was the first E-bike I have seen in Brussels and you don’t see many of them on the commute in many countries because people are worried about storage at the other end. But we know from Germany and the Netherlands that the E-bike revolution is letting more people ride further, more often, in sensible normal clothes. Great to see it in Belgium.
Just not good for the ego of 50-something roadies. Time to move on.