Montag, 7. September 2015

Eurobike Trip 2015

Like every year I headed to the Eurobike exhibition, this time together with Martin and Mihi.
To shorten the long journey we did some biking before and after the fair.
We headed to the Ötztal, a valley surrounded by some of the highest mountains in Austria.
Weather was great, the whole days we just had sunshine, even above 3000 m it was quite hot.

The first uphill to a hut was easy, on a not to steep gravel road. After a rest we left for another
500 m of uphill. Most of the singletrack was ridable for us. The scenery is quite amazing,
high mountains with glacier everywhere.
I didn´t sleep very well in the camp, also my back was aching. So much that I wasn´t sure
if I could make it to the planned summit this day. I walked and carried my bike very carefully,
not to make any wrong movement, but in the end it got better, after 1000 m with the bikes
on our shoulders we stood on the summit. I´ve never been that high - 3455m!
The downhill had it all: steep sections with high steps, tight turns, loose gravel, easy parts
with higher speeds, but also a non rideable section with car sized rocks to cross.
(Maybe Danny Macaskill would have fun there!)
Martin had his heavy DSLR camera with him, so we did a lot of photos.
Exhausted but happy we were back at the hut, grabbed the rest of our gear and headed down
for the rest of the dowhill.
The last 2 days of our trip we spent in Sölden riding the bikepark there.
Despite having no uphills, it was more exhausting than the 2 days before!

Thanks to Martin and Mihi for your company! :-)

Donnerstag, 20. November 2014

Paaast Video

After a long time I have done a new video.
No epic time lapse, no slow motion scenes and no "Sail" from Awolnation ... ;-)
It´s a low effort vid, put together with a simple programm.
Just me riding up and down on one of my favorite trails.
I was there several times this year, I especially like the mix between difficult lines
on the upper part and flowy trails at the end.
There is no real summit, therefor no great views from above - nevertheless it´s
a great scenery. Also the trail is not marked, so there is a good chance you won´t
meet hikers.
Thanks to Jürgen who did all the filming!

Montag, 13. Oktober 2014

Hohe Tauern

My latest trip led me to the region of the highest mountain in Austria - the "Hohe Tauern".
Glacier covered mountains, difficult trails and rocks that offer lots of grip.
Compared to the trails I did in the Dolomites, these here are steeper and more demanding.
One of them I did quite often over the last years. It´s not that hard to get up, thanks to a road
they build up to a man made lake. Depending on how much descent you wanna do,
you can either start at the lake or hike up to a glacier. The second version offers 
about 1100 meters of descent - and most of them are a hard work down.
Lots of sections are tricky: either they are steep or have tight switchbacks or high steeps -
often a combination of all.
One is very special to me: till 2010 we didn´t even consider riding this section.
It´s like a stairway made of rocks, very steep and - the tricky part - a "S"-bend curve.
So you can´t just open your brakes, you have to do it really slow.
In 2011 I had an incredibly good day and for the first time I could ride it flawlessly.
One year later I was too scared of the steepness and failed.
This year - with my new bike - I had enough confidence to master it again.
Due the high level of difficulty and therefore slow speed it takes a long time to get back
to the starting point. Only the last meters are a simple, fast singletrack - pure enjoyment
after all the exhausting riding.
The pictures below on the slick rocks - polished from the glacier long time ago -are "selfies".
What can't be seen on the pictures is the cold and strong wind, making it a very
uncomfortably place to be. With stones I build a small tower for my camera to put it
in a higher position, setting it to the 10 sec selftimer function, pushed the trigger and
hurried to my bike - hoping that I´m at the right place at the right time ...
Greetings from Austria,

Sonntag, 5. Oktober 2014

Dolomites ... again!

Like every year I make a trip to the Dolomites.
It´s not only the landscape that´s outstanding, there is also a dense trail and road network.
Some of them were build in the first World War at the Austrian Italien frontier.
One of the trails I rode twice this year is a real highlight:
it summens up everything that a bikeride in the Dolomites is all about!
You have an amazing scenery the whole tour, steep uphills and a good mix of singletrails.
First the uphill starts slowly on a small gravel road, gradually getting steeper - finally you have
a 20 to 30 % incline with lots of loose gravel ... After 600 m ascent you can either make a rest in a nearby hut or directly turn into a singletrail with another 200 meters of uphill.
The trail then goes up and down for quite a while beneath a 3000 m summit.
Finally you are at the highest point where a long descent starts. There a some tight switchbacks and steeper sections mixing up with faster, narrow singletrails.
What´s consistent is a amazing view!

Donnerstag, 7. November 2013

Dolomites 2013

A four day trip with Martin in the Dolomites.
He did a blog entry with lots of photos!
Season Finale ...?

Mittwoch, 23. Oktober 2013

High again

On our way back home from the Eurobikeshow we (Martin and me) made a stop in Easttyrol
for a 2 day trip. Together with 2 friends - Mihi & Herwig - we were riding and walking up to the
hut which is 2650 m a.s.l. Half of the way up is rideable, the other half we had to carry our bikes.
As always I reduced my gear to a minimum, to keep the weight of my backpack down.
No problem as the first day was very warm and sunny, but the next morning when we headed for
the summit, it was freezing cold and a strong wind made it even more chilly ...
I went up in a fast pace to keep my body warm, only my fingers got a bit cold.

Because of fog and the cold wind we didn´t walk up to the main summit (beside there is a 50 m
long, difficult section with ropes where you need 2 people to get one bike up and down).
So we were resting at the lower summit, hiding from the wind and prepared ourselves for the descent.
The downhill isn´t that difficult, there are some long slopes with fine gravel which are fun to ride.
Altogether we had 2200 m of downhill on this day. From a 3192 m peak with glaciers and snow
to the green and warm valley.

Thanks to Martin, Herwig and Mihi for their company!
(Photos by Martin, Herwig and Mihi)

Mittwoch, 31. Juli 2013

Night Flight

For two years, this project was on my list.
A two day trip with a difficult downhill and a overnight stay on the summit.
Roli and I are starting in the late afternoon, unfortunately too late to see the sunset
from the summit. Half of our delay is because of a large
Road diversion, the other half is due to the heat (in the valley it has 35 ° C!) and the heavy backpacks.
Along with our bikes we are carrying almost 25 kg on our shoulders!
In dim light we get on top of the summit plateau, we are searching for a good place to put our sleeping bags. 
The night was not sooo uncomfortable, only the wind was a bit annoying.

The first dawn appeared shortly after 4: 00, after 5 o'clock, we're out of our sleeping bags
and we can see a really beautiful sunrise!
After a small breakfast we head for the downhill.
To keep the backpack as light as possible for the downhill, we even reduce our trinking water
to a minimum, something we regret soon as it got very warm later ...
The trail was difficult, the large and heavy backpack didn´t make it easier!

This trip taught me 3 things: schedule enough time to be in time for the sunset above,
severe downhills and heavy backpacks are not a good match and a campingmat is a worthy investment!