Monday, August 26, 2019

Vilser Alm

Got off work today. Wolfgang is having a holiday, so this week is a bit more relaxed. Still have to work later, but not today. Nico had said he would be free on Monday after working the whole weekend and I should be prepared to be shown up by him biking up the Breitenberg. Couldn't let that happen, so I asked him if we should bike up to the Vilser Alm instead.
Set off at just past half past nine with the sun up and blue sky. A few people here and there on our way to Pfronten, but as it was Monday and most states in Germany have finished their holidays, not to much is going on. Nico had a quick call out to a cat in Rebichel, but the cats there don't seem to like him much (was completely ignored again). Further on we tried going around a building site to get to the Vils, but that way was blocked. We ended up biking around the back way of the local supermarket and were back on our track towards the river. Along the river there is a really nice trail to follow, but obviously it is currently down for repairs. Hrmpf, carried on a few hundred metres and then took another bridge back over to the side we wanted to get on.
No signs here and the track following the Vils was brilliant and scenic as always. Reached Vils after crossing the new not-any-more-hanging bridge and started our uphill climb. Nico left me in the dust pretty much immediately (probably the extra 30kg I'm carrying around with me) but waited at a spot. In my memory the first uphill bit was really steep, but I seem to have it in my head wrong. Yes, it's steeper than the rest, but not that bad. Had a sudden call from two meters behind me and before I could do anything, two e-bikers zoomed past left and right of me. Not used to that yet, as even a fit, normal biker would have been heard panting a few metres behind. Passed a clear, tiny lake before we pretty much got to the top and ordered a shandy and bacon sandwich.
After lunch back on to the bikes and down we went. Stopped at the small lake for Nico to freeze his toes off, but it's supposed to be healthy. A husky came up and had a dip, but decided it was to cold, too. Back in the saddle and we zoomed downhill, overtaking people everywhere. Reached the bottom and took the main road pathway back towards Pfronten. Once there we had to pass by DMG (largest firm in the area) to get back on track and then it was a quick run through Rebichel again to Nesselwang.
Track at AllTrails and pictures at GooglePhotos.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Vilstal Sunny Saturday

When Nico and me biked last, the original plan had been to bike along the Vils in to Austria, behind the Alpspitze and Buron and come back to Nesselwang via Wertach. As that idea had failed due to us not being early enough and the days getting shorter rapidly, we took a different route (as mentioned in the last blog). But I had downloaded the track in preparation and was actually really looking forwards to it. So today I decided to do it (alone, as Nico is working). Had the track, as I need them now. Four years away has sort of made me forget a lot of the back-way paths, but going in to my biking history on GPSies, I have them all documented.
Set of after buying a spare tube from Jon (just in case) and headed for Kappel. A nice, sunny, warm day, so there were a lot of other people out and about, too. After Kappel on to Röfleuten and then up a mini steep hill there. Overtook some e-bikers just before and joked with them that they would come past me going uphill anyway. Didn't happen in the end, actually, as they had two “normal” MTBs with them. Up the Vils valley I ended up overtaking two more e-bikes (woho), but they didn't look like serious bikers.
Turned off the main road going up the valley after a while and stuck to a trail on the other side of the river. Way more fun, even if it does take longer. Back on to the main route near the Kalbelehof (where I got a really mystical looking picture a few years ago) and towards Rehbach. Now, to get to Rehbach you have to take a rather steep uphill route, as the valley seems to peter out near there. Going up I was in Zone 5 on my heart rate watch the entire time and once I reached the top I was rather winded and had to take a short break. Still a bit more uphill, but not as steep. The sun was out in full blast though and I was sweating buckets at that point. 
Back on the main road to Jungholz and towards the Sorgalm. AllgäuDSL has a mast standing there which I hadn't seen yet and a few things about the hut itself have changed. They now have a petting zoo with goats and a lot more kids toys about. Hans has grown a beard since I last saw him, too, and now looks like a picture book Alm owner. Had a water and biked on to Wertach. Once in Wertach I still felt rather fit so biked up the Elleg and surprised the Smiths during their lunch. All of them were there now, as Jessica has just come back from a few months backpacking in Australia. Swapped a few stories and hid away in the house from the flies and some rain which came with the evening thunderstorms. Once I said goodbye it was still dry, so I biked to the top of the Elleg and then down in to Faistenoy and Haslach where it dripped a bit. On to Nesselwang, a shower, some shopping and dinner.
Track at AllTracks and some pictures at GooglePhotos.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Mishmash Backwards Seven Lakes Adventure

Had a relatively short day at work today, but for some reason it felt like it had dragged on. I was back at home early at three in the afternoon and just as I had sat down, Nico texted if I wanted to go for a bike ride. At first I declined, as I still had some stuff to do in Kempten, but after receiving a sad smile face I relented (more or less thought “screw it, biking will help today”).
So after Kempten and pre-cooking dinner Nico showed up just after six. The weather was a bit weird, with clouds hanging around the whole day, looking like it was going to pour down any moment. But it had held the whole day, so I didn't have the rain gear on immediately. The next problem we faced was where to go. Originally Nico suggested up the Vilstal to Jungholz and back through Wertach. But considering the weather and the time of day it was, we judged that we would be back in the dark again, so we ended up doing a mish-mash, backwards seven lakes tour. Passed through Rebichel first of, where Nico tried to pet an (uncooperative) cat. Next, I really wanted to see the Schlossweiher but after that Nico pretty much had the say on where to go. Tried nudging him along somewhere else a few times, but he won out in the end (only cause I lost at a game of rock, papers, scissors whilst we were on the road).
Biked past the Schwaltenweiher and I pet a few calf's, before a donkey eaad so loud somewhere that Nico nearly fell off the bike.
Back to Nesselwang via the Atlesee and in to a hot shower.

Track at AllTracks and pictures at Google Pictures.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Falkenstein Mates Biking

After nearly five years, Nico and me managed a good old evening bike tour together. Last time I reckon we had biked to Venice. Nothing as long today, as we started relatively late and the days are getting shorter. After getting ready and the heart-watch up and running I waited a while for Nico to show up. He took a bit longer this time, as his bike hadn't been used in a while and needed the tires inflated once again (and a few other things). The original plan had been to bike to the Alatsee (and maybe swim) but as the sun was already starting to go down and we hadn't even left yet we decided on the Falkenstein instead.
Of to Pfronten some how, as in the past years I have forgotten all the back tracks. Was noticeable, as we took a weird way through Pfronten. I knew that there was a way to get from down town Pfronten up to the Falkenstein past the swimming pool somewhere. I had biked it with the group at some point (yea, yea, was probably six years ago or something like that). Managed to get up via a staircase next to the swimming pool and then followed the road up to the old castle and hotel near to it. Took a while getting up, but it was at a nice pace and the both of us could have a bit of a chat.
Reached the top and got our warm things on nearly instantly. The sun had gone down and it was cooling down rapidly. After a picture and some food, back down in the dusk. Reached the bottom and with Nico's bike armed with a light we navigated through Pfronten to Rebichel and the fog covered fields back to Nesselwang, where a warm shower was waiting. Nico still had the steep hill up to Maria Rain to look forwards to, though.

Track at GPSies.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Five Year Alpspitze Interlude

So today I tackled a worrying aspect that has been bugging me for a while. In the last four years I haven't biked uphill for any prolonged time, so I'm a bit terrified that I can't really do any more “proper” mountain biking. So to see how things are I planned to ride up the Alpspitze. The day was perfect for it. Blue skies and a slight breeze now and then.
After having breakfast with Mum, Daniel and Annalena I went back home and got changed. On the bike and up along the stream that comes down past Maria Trost. As I'm still using the Polar Computer to measure my pulse I was a bit downtrodden to see it shoot straight up to zone four, but I didn't feel to different to what I remember how it felt like biking up the Alpspitze. So I just carried on and tried to keep the heart rate as low as I could. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that I wasn't running out of steam immediately at the bottom, but I still stopped for a drink just as the forest finished. Back in the saddle and then came the section that, in the biker group, used to be refereed to as heart-brake hill. Still deserves that name, as I shot up to zone five (which you shouldn't really do outside marathons) but as the hill isn't to long I was only in that zone for 30 seconds. Felt it in my legs and the rest of the body, though. Then along the nice straight bit halfway up the mountain.
As the day was such a nice one and it was the weekend, I wasn't surprised to see a lot of other people out and about. Mostly walkers, but a few bikers, too. Wasn't overtaken by any, so my ego wasn't damaged. Met a few coming down and most of them had e-bikes. Only two others that whole day were on “old” bikes. 
After the forest came the more open area. Last time I had been there was in winter taking my best group of ski students down. Happy I can bike up it now, but there is still some snow on the side of the paths. Biking uphill was accompanied by the odd shriek in the distant, as the zip-line from the top is running at capacity (I think). Reached the Kappler Alm turn of which I wanted to continue down along, but decided that the short bit up to Sportheim Böck could still be managed. Reached it shortly after and had a small chat with some tourists who thought it was madness that I had biked up the Alpspitze (just the Alpspitze! Imagine if they'd seen what I biked a few years ago ^^).
Then the more fun part, going downhill. The Kappler Alm track is still as dodgy as ever, but no flat tires or flips this time. Then down, down, down past the Hündelskopfhütte and in to Kappel. The tree climbing spot was flooded with people (as was Sportheim Böck before) but the Kappler Alm seemed rather relaxed on people. In Kappel I decided I still didn't have enough and was ecstatic that the Alpspitze hadn't beat me and I could still do it, so I headed out to Pfronten Roffleuten. Turned off wrong in a field and slogged through half a meter of grass after which I checked if there were any ticks on my legs. None there so on past the Kögelweiher crossing and back past the deer farm to Nesselwang.
Really happy that I can still call myself a mountain biker and just have to get a bit of stamina back again.
Track at GPSies and some pictures at Google.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Cloudy Hängesteeg

Today saw a bit of a convoluted sort of plan. About one and a half weeks ago I started my new job for the summer (more or less a glorified lawnmower, but pay is good) and have been rather knackered after every day. I had told myself over and over again the last few weeks that I have to get back in to biking and looking at a few of the old blog entries, I was hyping up my motivation (and depression) about how much I had biked five years ago. So yesterday I agreed to bike to Brian for a cuppa with mum later in the day. Waking up in the morning the sky was overcast and I wasn't to sure if it would hold until the evening. And as biking up the Elleg usually isn't to much off a workout I decided to go biking in the morning and then in the afternoon to Brian's with mum.
So, got the bike and me ready and then it was off to the Hängesteeg. Haven't been there in years (duh!) and remember it being a rather nice bike with lots of different views (and I don't think I'll manage the Alpspitze yet). About a kilometre down the road I stopped and put on my warm jumper as the wind was proving rather chilly and it was only going to get colder in Wertachtal. Along the Wertach jumping over puddles and splashing through mud and towards the Bischhofstein. The actual path along the Wertach at the Stich turn-off had been “closed” (one, not official looking sign) to the public because of a landslide, but I carried on anyway. Further along I found out that the landslide had been cleared.
At the Bischhofstein I then turned up towards Wildberg and was in for the longest climb. Didn't turn out to bad as I still was fresh and zoomed up before biking through the hills around Wildberg to the Hängesteeg. Getting down to the Hängesteeg was interesting, though, as the metal ramps were extremely slippery. Managed with only a small slide here and there and carried on up to the main road towards Rückholz, getting cheered on by a family walking along the same track.
Once at the main road I followed a short detour to Rückholz that usually takes you on the Sieben Seen tour and after that through Hirschbühl around the back of the Rückholzer Steig and over the motorway. Back in to Nesselwang through Schneidbach and happy to be home as the last five kilometres had my legs and stamina slowly going down.
In the evening the weather still didn't look to much better and I had come down with a slight cough, so I asked mum if we could drive instead of biking.
Track at GPSies and some pictures at Google.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

First Time Biking after Four Years

So after a Winter of ski instructing, spring has shown up again (sort of, snow is predicted for later tonight again). This means the bikes can come out again and this year I have another piece of technology I want to test out. It is by no means new, but I've never used one before. I'm talking about a heart rate monitor that you can wear whilst doing sport. Rather a lot of people around tend to use them and mum had one lying around she hasn't used in years. Not for lack of sport on her part though, it's just the watch is a technological difficult thing to use it would seem (took me a few hours to get it sorted out) and it does to much of which she doesn't need.
Anyway, bike out and ready. Long things on straight from the start. The warm weather from the sun over the past few days has passed and the condition has swung around to being overcast and three degrees. Originally I had wanted to bike around the Grüntensee, but a short run on an open flat section changed my plan to biking along the wind protected Wertachtal. Heart rate monitor working fine, not uncomfortable or anything and it is really interesting to see what your heart is doing. According to all the graphs and tests I'd done before, I'm a rather healthy individual, although I don't feel like it. Once up and out of the valley the temperature dropped due to the wind blowing occasional. In Stich I turned of to Maria Rain and planned to go back down in to Wertachtal, but that way is closed due to logging as I found out at the church. Carried on along the main road over open field with every part of me getting colder. Crossed the Wertachtal bridge with not to much traffic going on and returned home to get all the data out of the computer to see how I did.
Track at GPSies.