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Where cars have no place on the road

Where cars have no place on the road
Starting signal for the 27th car-free cycling day at Attersee

A large starting arch, a red ribbon waiting for the scissors to cut it, and a crowd of cyclists with one foot on the pedal. Could be a race. If it wasn’t already busy around the Attersee for 30 minutes. Hardly anyone here waits for the official starting signal at 9.30 a.m. It’s too great to not have to hope today that everyone will stick to the one and a half meter safety distance when overtaking. Not a car anywhere. Not in front of the silhouette of the Höllengebirge and not in front of the bars where the beer sets relax the more or less tired muscles in the early morning.

Today the streets belong exclusively to cyclists. “Not true,” would say the girl whizzing by on roller skates. “Not true,” would also say the group that moved the cross-country skiing to early summer and uses the asphalt for the training lap on roller skis. So: a lot of things, just no cars. The route around Lake Attersee has been closed to motorized traffic since 9 a.m.

Record and adventure day

Thousands of people pedal between Zell (not the one in Salzburg) and Seefeld (not the one in Tyrol). Visually, the athlete’s grapes can easily be confused with a stage of the Tour de France. It’s just that the speed isn’t right.
Mom and dad show the kids the area in the bike trailer, the older little ones pedal themselves. At least a few kilometers, because the entry and exit points are freely selectable. Those who want to improve their best time around the lake on their racing bike will have to be patient. After all, today is an experience day and not a record day. However, a record may have fallen: the police counted 65,000 people by late Sunday afternoon – another 5,000 more than last year.

Festival atmosphere around the lake

There is a festival atmosphere around the lake, and in Unterach there is such a large selection of cakes that the break is forced to be longer – and the calories can only be burned off again with a second round of the lake.
A few kilometers further on, spectators in a celebratory mood have put up a sign: “You ring the bell, we drink” – but hopefully only water. In addition to State Transport Councilor Günther Steinkellner (FP), the mayors of Vöcklabruck, Peter Schobesberger (SP), and Seewalchen, Gerald Egger (VP), also slipped into the cycling jersey. The Attersee Music Association guarantees that the music doesn’t just come from the speakers, and also invites you to a pit stop with food and drinks.
The weather also adhered to the organizers’ specifications until the end of the event at 4:30 p.m.: a calm, beautiful day without any significant headwinds.

And even though there are so many people from all over Upper Austria on the route, there are no serious accidents.
The only downside: Now we have to wait another year until the cars have no place on the road. Or as a little girl puts it during a break: “Dad, we’ll do it again tomorrow.”

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