Thursday, August 29, 2013

Last Thursday Tour

Lot's of sunshine today, but rather chilly. That was the weather today, but as we start biking at quarter to seven there was not much sun left.
Set of not really having any concept of where we were going and heeded towards Wertach via the dam. Before Wertach up towards the Buronhütte, and it is very steep going up there. Had to lean far forwards to not fall of backwards. Reached the hut and had a short rest enjoying the rays of the setting sun.
After that downhill towards the Haslacher Alm. Stopping at one of the fences to climb over with our bikes we discussed about going along a way Group 2 went last week. They said it was rather good and Sepp confirmed this, as he had been up yesterday. So up we went once more and after another fence it was downhill, getting stuck in some mud and bombarding people with it.
Back to the Bistro after biking through Bayerstetten and as last event accidentally cut of a car on the main road.
Track at GPSies and a picture at Picasa.

Time in saddle: 1 hour 40 min.
Distance: 21.84 km
Average speed: 13.1 km/h
Altitude meters: 564 m

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Timmelsjoch Day 3: Timmelsjoch Pass

Woke up with aching everything in the morning today, once again by two alarm clocks. Had breakfast as the only guest there, as we were the only guests. After some semmel, cheese and jam we got changed to set of.
After getting everything prepared we were back on the saddles, me with an aching knee, but nothing to serious. Had to find our way back to the track at first, as we had taken as short cut to Längenfeld yesterday. Stopped at a SPAR once again, but being the holy day of Sunday (especially in Austria), it was closed. After Nico refilled his bottles at a well we set of for real and somehow got back onto the track. Meet the Ötztaler Ache again and continued on along it until we reached Huben. Shortly after Huben it went up a long steep tarmac road, something we would never have managed at the end of the day before. We were aiming for Sölden after all. After that along the river and mountainside until we reached Sölden. Sölden being a tourist town was bustling with life and tourism. I pointed out the huge ski resort to Nico on the way. Stopped at a petrol station and I had a look at the climb we were about to scale on the GPS. I was rather dishearten as we were at 1400m and had to go all the way up to 2500m. Carried on thought as an aim had been set; reach the top of Timmelsjoch. Had a few stops here and there, me being in front for a change. Reached Zwieselstein after a while and looked for a place to fill up our water supplies, as I though there was a long stretch of no inhabited land coming up. Found no well, so we rang at the last house and got some nice cool tap water. After that up and up and up, me being behind Nico nearly all the time as we kept getting some headwind and then none at other times. Stopped in front of a tunnel to put our lights on and the continued on. We where being overtaken by race biker rather a lot but no other mountain bikers so far.
Reached a suburb of Obergurgl and had a quick snack to keep up our energy, a “Alm Toast” (bred with cheese, ham and egg; yummy). After that a lot of curves uphill, Nico carrying on and me trying to do a stop at every 100m altitude again. Failed at that as I was trying a bit to keep up and stopped after about 200m for the first time. Reached Hochgurgl and Nico later on, him taking pictures of the spectacular view over the Ötztal. Was really windy, so we got on some long clothes before going through the toll gate, not paying anything due to being bikers. A short stretch downhill, picking up speed and after a sharp turn it was goodbye Ötztal, hello more mountains. Came around the curve and saw a long road go strait uphill. Continued along that for a while, biking through the barren lands of the Alps, having passed the tree line a while ago. Stopped for a short while and had our sandwiches at an info point about the smuggle routes from Italy to Austria and vice versa. After a lot of curves, less traffic and more cows on the road we reached the top of Timmelsjoch.
About six hours of nearly constantly biking, a lot of aching bum and muscles we reached the top and the goal of our journey. Taking some top pictures and ringing up dad to ask if he could pick us up we decided that we hadn’t spent all our energy for nothing coming up here. Back on the bikes, long clothes on and downhill we went. A lot longer than the day before, so that makes that downhill part the my longest to date. Through dark tunnels, past Alpine scenery and overtaking moped and cars alike we spent 1 hour and about 27 km getting downhill. I suggested we let some cars past at one point, but we just caught up to them again. Had a stop to change our SD cards, as Nicos 16 GB were full with GoPro videos. We noticed we were in Italy rather soon, as the heat swelled up a lot compared to the top. Reached St. Leonhard in Passeier one hour after leaving the top and had the finishing ice cream. Wrote to dad were exactly we were and Nico got some Internet on his cold handy. He had put it in his bag at the top where it was windy and cold and it had stayed like that all the way down. After dad came and I bribed hi with some ice it was back home over the very pass we had biked. Rained on the way back, but no bother to us as we were in the car. 3 Days of biking finished with a super time in the Alps.
Track at GPSies and pictures at Picasa.

Time in saddle: 6 hours
Distance: 74.6 km
Average speed: 12.5 km/h
Altitude meters: 1573 m

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Timmelsjoch Day 2: The Difficult Day

Woke up a bit before the alarm in the morning, so I was ready when Nicos and my alarm went of simultaneously. Had a short lye in and then went down to a breakfast buffet, where we met the rest of the guest. Nico and me were probably the youngest if you count out one child. After a filling breakfast and some chatting we got prepared to leave. Received some much needed sun lotion as a gift from the owners whilst paying and after some painful applying of the lotion we were of. Well, not completely, as we had a short stop at the SPAR to buy some Apple juice for Nico.
After that it was along a river in the valley past some marshes and other bikers. Reaching Biberwier it got hillier as we were getting nearer to the Fernpass. Before reaching that however we turned sharp left, towards a mountain. Reaching the bottom of said mountain we were overtaken by a few ambitious bikers, whilst we had a short break. A sign displayed on the side of the road showed a ascent of 750m and 6.5km distance and a bike indicator hard. Nico at first said how lucky we are that we are not doing that, me agreeing. After looking at the GPS I saw that we were indeed doing exactly that route. So it was on to the bikes with a nice climb/distance relation through alpine forests. It got steeper and steeper the more we proceeded and we even saw some biker taking the lift up (cheaters). Coming from the top there was a nearly constant stream of “fun vehicles”, something akin to a city roller and a tricycle but with bigger rubber wheels. I had a stop at about every 100m gained altitude for a drink and some rest for the bum. Nico was in front mostly, as he is a lot fitter at going uphill than me. Reached the end of the lifts at one point and unsurprisingly there were suddenly less people on the track.
A really steep part came after the lift, I had to get of whilst Nico biked rather a lot, but even he had to stop and walk the last bit. Saw a mountain biker coming up behind us and he biked everything. Had a short stop at the top, the mountain called Marienbergjoch, for a muesli bar and to get long clothes on. Downhill for a bit with a short drink brake in the Marienbergalm. After that one of the longest downhill bikes up to date, about 16 km downhill until Mötz. Along some super forest trails at the foot of the mountain, the one being behind the other one catching rather a lot of dust. Reached Mötz after going along a main road and had lunch, Wiener Schnitzel again. After putting on some more sun lotion we carried on, nearly parallel to the motorway. Criss-crossed it a few times and eventually went across the river and through some forest on the other side of the valley. Reached a type of outdoor fun park called “Area 47”, Nico apparently had a look into a gym with loots of nearly naked people, and I only realised what it was after being screamed at from directly above, somebody jumping down from a bridge (with a safety harness of course). Continued on along a trail which ended up being a few meters above the road, and a dead end. Nico turned round and went back a bit whilst I went directly down to the road.
After that it was up Ötztal along the Ötztaler Ache, a raging mountain river. Had a short stop on a hill, as both our bums were hurting. Carried on along the river, me being so exhausted that I pushed my bike at some points. Had a break on a bridge over the river, watching some kayak people decide if they really want to go into the river (I would definitely not have in that). Pushed a bit uphill, Nico now also succumbing to exhaustion and pushing a bit to. Reached a top before Längenfelder Tal and got some warm clothes on as the wind was getting harsh and cold. Shot down and had to wait for Nico at the bottom for a while. I was wondering were he was and had already turned back a bit when he came trundling out of the forest, with a back flat tyre. Us being to experts on fixing flat tyres it was done rather fast, just loosing a few things in the back of my biking top.
Continued along the valley after fixing it and finally reached Längenfeld at about half past six. Found a comfortable and cheap place to stay relatively fast and had a super evening meal with internet after a shower. As we just wanted to leave the restaurant it started to pour down, so we went back in for an ice. After the ice it had stopped an we went back to sleep. I slept soundly but apparently I talk in my sleep so Nico woke up a few times.
Track at GPSies and pictures at Picasa.

Time in saddle: 6 hours 40 min.
Distance: 72.7 km
Average speed: 10.9 km/h
Altitude meters: 1503 m

Friday, August 16, 2013

Timmelsjoch Day 1: Familiar Territory

Sunny summer morning today, and just back from Ireland. Nico and me had planned something akin to an Alp crossing, but not the full distance. 
We planned to leave at 9.00 o'clock but due to problems with the GPS Track and a visit at Jons + bank we where 1 hour late. 
Set of for Kappel at 10.00 o'clock (had to wait for a train on the way) and then carried on along Achtal. Whilst biking towards Grän we saw holidaymakers stop to take pictures of brown cows, so everything in Allgäu has stayed the same. Before Grän we turned of towards a mountain called the Adlerhorst and had our first climb of the day. Overtook some other bikers and families and couldn't see my GPS that well to discern the right way (sun was shinning in the wrong angle). Along the mountain with some interesting forest paths and dried up river beds we reached Nesselwänge (always have wanted to see that). Had a foot bath in a Kneip (a cold water cistern) before having lunch at a restaurant. Nico had a Speckbrot and me a Wiener Schnitzel. Found out on my England trip that that is one of the best thing to eat.
After lunch, down a path along a pass into the Lechtal. Through the Lechtal and after that up the longest way today. Biking in 30℃ with white stones under you isn't very comfortable, you get fried from all directions. Got a headache after a while but pressed on. Also due to all the sun Nico got a rather bad sunburn and me a minor one. Of course both of us had not packed any sun lotion to counter it, so we were getting rather red. Reached a reservoir at the middle and had a short break at the dam, looking at the engineering. Continued along the lake and then a long stretch uphill. Had a short rest at one point in the shade with a spider clambering over Nicos leg. Onwards uphill were we split up for a short bit, Nico carrying on uphill and me taking a flatter route to Berwang. Met up at the church and continued on towards Lermoos. Nice tracks through the valley going towards the Zugspitze and a super single trail at the end. There were somewhat meaningless piles of earth on the tracks, just to give the bikers an extra kick.
Arrived at the bottom all hyped up and followed another biker to a much to expensive hotel. After finding out it cost 80€ per person we searched for something else, which took some time as everything was booked already. Found a comfortable and relative cheap stay in the end and after a shower we went to have some dinner. Wanted to buy some sun lotion in a SPAR but it had already closed. After dinner it was back to the hotel for a good night rest.
Track at GPSies and pictures at Picasa.

Time in saddle: 5 hours 45 min.
Distance: 64.4 km
Average speed: 11.2 km/h
Altitude meters: 1455 m