Saturday, 15 September 2012

Mountain Biking, Austrian style...

After being in Saalfelden for a day, we decided that we needed to ride! It had been two months or more since we had gone on an actual mountain bike ride. So off we went to Leogang, the local "Kona-approved" mountain biking area.

Actually, if you squint, you swear you were in the Whistler bike park, but then it hits you; most guys (and girls) are lighting up a smoke after each descent!

We rented two very nice full suspension bikes and decided to do a recommended ride from a guidebook we picked up the day before. Coolest guidebook ever! Each ride is printed on a single page with map, elevation and description. Plus the pages are perforated, so we just pulled out the one page and took it with us!

We took the gondola to the top of the bike park to start our ride; I just want to say that the ride wasn't just downhill as we actually had close to 800 meters of climbing to go with the 1700 meters of downhill over the 32 km distance.

Here's a nice view from the gondola

It's worth noting that we were perhaps a little worried about the length of the ride. We had once gone to ride Comfortably Numb, a trail of a similar distance, in Whistler with Darren and Kiri and decided to take the shortcut out at the halfway point, but then found ourselves on a seemingly endless power line road back to the hotel. By the time we returned, the four of us were exhausted, and more than a little cranky.

However, as the photo below shows, all of the riding was double track and fairly easy, but it was fun and challenging nonetheless!

The guide wasn't always perfect as sometimes we took a wrong turn (usually up an extra hill or two) but one of our mistakes introduced us to a couple of Czech guys who claimed we Canadians were their heroes for riding such steep uphills without clip in pedals. It turns out that even over here in the Alps, these guys dream of riding Whistler and the North Shore of Vancouver!

The highlight of the ride, and here is what makes riding in the Alps sooo different from at home, is the fact that even on what seems at times to be the most remote trails you are never far from some sort of civilization. We came across other bikers, hikers and whole families out for a mountain walk... And restaurants... Up in the mountains... With BEER! So after 20 or so kms, we stopped for lunch.

Cassie with her radler (beer and 7up):

And here was our view, and me with my beer:

And thus we ate our lunch, drank our beers and rode down the final 10 km back to the resort... which point we had one last hill to ride.

1 comment:

  1. Good thing you finally went for a bike ride. With all the photos of food and beer, I suspect your stretching out the spandex a bit!