A cycling marathon always has something to do with racing? That’s not the case with „In Velo Veritas“, a bike tour that runs through the picturesque valley of the Weinviertel in Lower Austria, where pleasure comes first.
Launched in 2013, the tour primarily aims at lovers of classic historic racing bikes. Once a year, the event takes place on a summer weekend in the Austrian Weinviertel, always starting from a different venue. In addition to the different pathways, the itinerary includes beautiful aspects such as a welcome dinner or a flea market for historic bikes and classic jerseys. The various long-distance routes are called the Epic (210 km), the Demanding (140 km) and the Enjoyable (70 km) – it the end, all of the routes are there to spend some time with the bike in the beautiful nature.
We talked with one of the founders, Horst Watzl, about the idea behind the tour and the fascination for classic racing bikes:
What’s the concept behind „In Velo Veritas“ and what distinguishes it from other bike tours?
“In Velo Veritas” is not a time trial nor is it a cycling race. It’s rather a pleasant bike ride on road bikes. Every year, we come up with new routes throughout the Austrian region of the Weinviertel and with more than 210km, we offer the longest distance for classic racing bikes in Europe.
You only allow people to take part with road bikes built before 1987/88 and equipped with pedal straps and downtube shifters. Why is that?
It’s about the communication about and the meeting on the bike, a certain “something”. The racing machines of the past century are works of art. They symbolize the skills of each frame builder. Then there is the great respect for the sheer inhuman performance of racing cyclists, some of whom cycled more than 400 kilometers every day with high ratios and sometimes heavy wheels. At the same time, the road bikers are connected through the joy of shared experience. Finally, the selected distance has to be handled well.
As with every bicycle race, there are start numbers. But in your case, you measure no time. What’s this all about?
The start numbers are used to identify the rider in case of an accident. Also, they show us, which distance people are riding because of the different colors. Additionally, the names of the respective participants are printed on them.
What fascinates you about traveling by bike?
This is a very subjective question that everyone will probably answer differently; But for all of us, being out and about in nature and experiencing the landscape are the key elements. Certainly, it is also about the preparation that goes into and the challenge of mastering the route.