Sunday, September 28, 2014

Reuterwanne & Fichtelhütte

Woke up due to Daniels alarm today, again. Really strange for him to be up before noon on a weekend, but work calls. Bright sunshine outside called me out of bed after about an hour. Dad had already gone of race biking, so I packed my mountain bike gear and was of. Biked up the Haslacher Alm first of all and met some people walking up, everybody being in a good mood due to the sun. Past the Alm and further on towards the Obere Reuterwanne. The usual way was closed, so I took a more steep route via the Stubentalalm. Reached that and met some people looking for the way, but being my first time up I couldn't help that much. Carried on towards the Pfeiferberg through mud and branches before meeting the main road around the back. Main road being a forest road. Meet nobody on the back side of the Alpspitze, completely different to the other side of the mountain. Carried on to the Dinserhütte and the first other people I saw was shortly before the Alpe. Up to the Fichtelhütte where there where lots of people and even some horses. On my way down I was let past the horses and carried on past the cross at the top, swarming with people and then down the front of the Alpspitze. My breaks didn't work to well at one point on the way down, so I stopped to let them cool down a bit. Dodged people everywhere once again and reached the bottom not spotting Daniel at work before biking back home to some lunch and a shower.
Track at GPSies and pictures at Picasa, Dads race blog here.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Short Himmelsreich Round

Woke up after a late night with the sun shinning through my curtains and Daniels friend banging on his window. He had his 19th birthday party yesterday evening and wasn't to receptive to sound input.
After having some breakfast and looking at the weather I thought that I could go for a bike ride to get the “Helium” leftovers out of my system. Johanna had a party yesterday and had two bottles of Helium, which proved to be hilarious.
As I had not done the Bärenmoos round this year I thought I would do that. Set of towards Pfronten and was caught in a few drops of rain on the way out as the sky had become a bit overcast since I woke up. In Röfleuten they had the annual “get the cows of the mountain” festival, so I had to navigate through quite a few people.
Shortly after that the uphill part started, not really to challenging, as the training over the year pays of. It was not possible to “legally” bike here a few weeks back, as the lumberjacks where all over the place. They left rather a lot of tracks, too. Met the first other biker at the top, as he raced past me. Then the infamous downhill part started. Coming down from Himmelsreich is a slippery track with a lot of large stones in the way. Managed down with a lot of breaking and biked back to Nesselwang, once again through Röfleuten. Nearly got lost in Kappel and arrived in Nesselwang just as it started raining.
Track at GPSies.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Thursday "Quicky"

Thursday after the big tour(s) and we can still bike, or so we thought.
We started rather early today, 6.00 pm to be precise. Was a bit of a rush with so much to do at work, but I managed in time. Six of us started of towards Pfronten Kappel with the plan to bike up the back side of the Alpspitze and then take the trail down by the Gundhütte. On our way up a few things happened. I managed to make sure Moni, Hopsing and me had to get of, due to me not being able to bike on roots properly. Heidi got a phone call, which she thought was important, and it ended up being her contractor trying to sell a new product. And the highlight was that it started poring down half way up to the top. We stood in the cover of a tree for a short while, getting all our gear on and debating if we should continue up or not. At the flash of a lightening bolt it was said strait away that we would be taking the direct route down and home, also our tree had stopped providing cover, as it was raining that much.
Raced home in pouring rain new disc breaks not working all the time and had a schnapps at the Hoigarte to get warm.
Track at GPSies and pictures at Picasa.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Livigno Day 4

Last day in Livigno today, unfortunately. The weather has been a lot better than was predicted and expected.
We woke up and had breakfast a bit later than the day before as we had no time problems today. We left at some point and set of down through Livigno. The town is rather long, going from one end of the valley to the other and not really wide, as there are a bunch of high mountains around it. After some discussion about what way to go on a wooden bridge which was actually forbidden for bikes we carried on and turned left up another valley at the end of Livigno and on the shoreline of the Lago di Livigno, the massive artificial lake at the bottom end of the town. Biked uphill and I managed to take a bit of a more comfortable route. I was at the back and found a way around a forest where the rest pushed through, it was only about 200 metres, thought.
We reached the top after crossing the road and found a closed Alpe, so no last coffee there. What we found was a kitten and it got a few strokes from our group. We carried on downhill along a nice trail and did stop at one hut on the way for our coffee. Turned out to be the hut where Group 2 had stopped the day before. After that we carried on downhill along a step and stony path, but we all got down in one piece. My brakes where completely used at that point, so it was metal on metal with my disc breaks.
We reached the hotel after biking back up through Livigno and after cleaning and packing up our bikes, had a shower and then some lunch before the long journey back home came.
Another super weekend spent in the heart of the Alps and loads of fun with the bike group in our end of the year bike tour.
Track at GPSies, pictures from me at Picasa and more information here. Dads blog with Group 2 here.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Livigno Day 3

Long and spectacular tour today. We had redone our existing 2000 metres tour, as it would probably be to much. Instead we would use a train.
We set of early at 8.45 AM, extra time that was sorely needed. Paulina and Hopsing being the fit people set of up the main road towards the Passo del Foscagno were we would met up with them. The rest took the lift up to the top of the mountain above Eira and biked down the bike park. We would probably have been better of with a downhill bike, but it was still fun none the less with our mountain bikes. After reaching and intersection of the road with the bike park we biked up toEira and the through the rest of Trepalle towards the pass where we would met the other two. We had to pass through customs and nearly all of us didn't have our passports, but we managed to get through without a hitch. Heidi overshot our meeting point a bit and had to bike back up the main road to get back to us. After we had all met up again we proceeded down a super trail, fun and still bikeable. There was a ridge at one point where I wasn't to sure if it could carry my weight, but I got over without causing it to collapse. After biking down the trail for a fair amount of time, we arrived at a forest road which we followed for a rather long time. Nice and flat so we burnt away a few kilometres. Hans had been here before, so we had an on hand tour guide with us. He showed us the glacier on the other side of the valley and lots of other stuff, still promising there would be more to come. A long uphill part after that, reaching the highest point of the day I think. Had some lunch and didn't spend to much time, before we set of back downhill. The next stretch that was planned would take us downhill for 1600 metres, so a long way down. We passed through what Hans dubbed “Paradise”, a typical Swiss postcard picture. Snow capped mountains high up, a lake underneath it surrounded by tress. And to top it of we had a brilliant run all the way down to the train station. Heidi had a flat tyre on the way down, but we managed it in a rather short time, thanks to Hopsings
expertise. We lost Hans and Hopsing a bit before the train station of the Bernina Express, the well known Swiss panorama train, but found them without to much difficulties and got on to the train.
That train can climb up cliffs. Seeing the first section of the line I thought it must be near to
impossible, but they manage. A lot on the train where in camera mode (tourists), including us, and we had fun getting rid of metres without doing anything. Had some proseco and beer, sponsored by Hans and saw a few spectacular glaciers. If only Switzerland wasn't that expensive. We got of at a train station at 2200 metres above sea level and biked downhill with a lot of wind against us. We had to bike downhill, but we left the road fairly quickly and proceeded up the last valley of the day. Took some time getting up that, but we reached the Alpe in good time. Didn't stop for a drink and carried strait on. Biked along the high mountains of the Alp, but to the end the ground greeted me again, as I had a crash, but nothing to serious. We reached the end of the valley and pushed down to the pass at the top end of Livigno. Rather dangerous situation as we had to walk over some gravely areas with steep drops to our left and not everybody is not bothered by the vertigo. We reached the bottom without incident thankfully and then had a nice long downhill run to the hotel in Livigno with a shower and something to eat.
Nicest tour out of three till now, but with lots of kilometres. You do have to count away the kilometres for the lift and the train and it ends up somewhere by 80 kilometres and 1600 metres in altitude.
Track at GPSies, pictures from me at Picasa and more information here. Dads blog with Group 2 here.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Livigno Day 2

Woke up a lot fitter today, perhaps because I got beaten up by Dad in my half awake state. No problem as he got a few fists back. Opening the curtains I was greeted with what the weather forecast had foretold. Snow capped mountains and something ridiculous like 4°C.
Went down and had a huge breakfast, stuffing my self completely. Due to the weather we decided to do a shorter tour today, the one Group 2 did yesterday. Group 2 meanwhile where biking the tour we did yesterday. Still haven't heard from half of them how it was, whilst writing the blog. Set of down in to the Livigno valley first of all and then up the other side. Followed the advise of Group 2 at one point and took the main road instead of cutting across a field. I forgot/was to tired to fix my tire casing in the morning/last evening. We carried on along a trail, the rest of the group turning wrong at one point and having to push up to get back on the track. Minor problems like that are the norm with the GPS. We carried on along the trail, going uphill with snow covered mountains everywhere. The temperatures where far beneath ten degrees Celsius. We met some Italians which proved to be rather chatty. Problem being that only Hans speaks Italian, so he had to speak for the rest of us. We carried on along the trail and at one of the only curves we meet a rather large group of downhill bikers coming the other way. Seems to be paradise here for them, as they get so much offered.
Carried on along the trail, Hopsing and Paulina long lost. The rest of us stopped at a so called Schutzhütte, a hut which has everything in it. From food to water, tea, etc. in case you get stuck up here in a storm. We had a long rest whilst eating a lot and carried on after some time. Along the trail , down and up some super steep bits once again. Our jaws dropped when we saw some bikers bike up what some of us had not biked down. We reached the top and then whizzed down the track, my maximum being at 60 km/h, which is not that much really. Heidi, Hopsing, Hans and Paulina took a different route than the rest and biked through the bike park with its curves and jumps. They had to bike back uphill for a short way, but they said it was well worth it. We carried on along exactly the same track as the day before, only difference this time was that I raced up ahead because I was looking for a photo opportunity. I reached the field I had remembered from yesterday, before anybody else arrived, even Paulina and Hopsing. Got my pictures and we carried on, once again following the tour from yesterday. Moni had a flat tire on the way, but it was fixed relatively fast. Paulina managed to come up some bloody steep path, which Hopsig had managed last time we had bee here.
Instead of carrying on uphill we turned downhill, into the valley proper and along the river. Brilliant way downhill and lots of fun along the way. At the bottom we met the Group 2.2, consisting of Jon, Karin and Gabi which had taken the way home before Group 2.1. We stooped at a restaurant and had something to eat and drink. On he way back we stopped I Livigno for some shopping. Me for a spare tire casing and the rest for some other things before I biked back and had a shower.
Track at GPSies, pictures from me at Picasa and more information here. Dads blog with Group 2 here.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Livigno Day 1

Once again, I am biking. This time it is with the group in Lvigno, Italy. We got all our bikes fixed up and ready to go on Wednesday, so the only thing we would have to do on Thursday was jump into the cars and drive of. Whilst loading the bikes in to the trailer we also heard the unfortunate news that Sepp wasn't coming, as he had a problem with his spine.
Thursday morning came and saw Dad and me saying goodbye to mum, as she had to go to work in the morning. Left the house at about 5.15 AM and met everyone at the gym, as we took four cars and some people where taking lifts with other ones. Jon and Betina with Dad and me in the car. Stopped at the usual places and had some scrambled egg & bacon in a motorway stop. Passed through some interesting tunnels and had to pay road toll atop a massive dam.
We reached Livigno punctually and as the weather forecast has foretold better weather for today, Group 1 was planning a rather large tour, considering we had lost a fair amount of the day driving here. Funnily Group 2 set of before Group 1, but we got started at about 10.30 AM. Biked a very short way downhill and then it went up already. And not just any uphill but super steep uphill. Most of us where pushing, don't know if Hopsing and Paulina did as they where so far in front already. We reached the top after a lot of uphill, passing through a bike park, mainly for downhill bikers.
After that racing alongside the main road on a trail, with a bit of uphill and a fair amount of downhill. We where putting our long clothes on and off a lot of times, as the weather wasn't that warm at 1800 metres above sea level. After that along and then up another valley, with the weather not looking that bad. We had to pass up some really steep bits, but once again most of us pushed. I thought the Dolomites where known for being steep, but they are not the only ones for holding that title now. Reached the top and saw a lake in the distance, which is were we where heading for. Downhill and then along the lake. We came to a crossing at one point but as we where planning the long route, went strait on. Had a short stop and ate all our food, before heading down along the valley towards our next uphill bit. We passed along another lake, the one which was created due to the dam we drove over before and strangely enough the water was flowing away from the dam, not towards it. Inge had a crash which thankfully proved to not be dangerous, as there was a drop towards the lake on the left side of us. We reached a zigzag course uphill and split up in to groups unknowingly. I had started developing a headache which was destroying my concentration a bit, but carried on. I went up
pushing and biking a bit and was joined by Hans and Heidi. Heidi and me tried to photograph a marmot, but it was hiding behind a stone. Have to see if it can be seen on the pictures. We reached the top and had a super view of the surrounding mountains, all bare due to us being above the tree line.
After that a downhill run, passing a closed Alpe, to the dismay of Hans. Karin lost her bottle at one point, but retrieved it. Once we reached the bottom we where back in the valley from before, three of four mountains managed. I wasn't in a good condition at that point, having a headache from who knows what and not being able to concentrate on the stony road. To add to the problems I got a weird puncture in the valley. Some stone had ripped a gash in to the side of the tire. We managed to repair it with a repair kit, but only provisionally. The next stretch uphill I pushed. Nearly all of the 400 metres uphill. Heidi, Inge and Paulina noticed my deteriorating state and drugged me up with anti headache medicine, energy bars and rucksack help. I reached the top eventually and we set of on the last downhill stretch after getting dressed up in all our long clothes. A last bike along the lake, Heidi staying by my side all the time as she had on the way uphill and then back to the hotel for something to eat. After dinner I wanted to transfer the GPS information from Dad and my GPSies, but fell asleep whilst the computer was starting up. Was woken up at quarter past eleven and just managed to get ready for bed before dropping over in to bed again. This time I really did fall asleep before my head hit the pillow.
Track at GPSies, pictures from me at Picasa and more information here. Dads blog with Group 2 here.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Forgensee Sailing

I passed my sailing license the week prior to this one. There was a mix up with my nationality, so it got sent back before I received my “correct” one today. So, using the free time we had today, Dad, Daniel and me went sailing on the Forgensee, where I had trained for the license at the local sailing school.
Arrived and set out on one of the rental boats, the Mandarin, in nearly no wind. We where moving, but ridiculously slow, somewhere around 1 km/h if the GPS can be believed at those speeds. After a while and further out in the lake we got rather decent wind, managing speeds of up to 10.2 km/h. Also did rather a lot of manoeuvres and freshened up Dads sailing skills.
After we had sailed for about fours hours we returned and just in time, as when we reached land the wind died down.
Super day in front of the Alps on one of the largest laces in the are. Dads pictures are here.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Gundhütte and Kappler Alm

Last Thursday biking before the Season Tour with the bike group. This year to Livigno in Italy.
We set of with a surprising amount of sunshine and warmth, considering that for the past week we had cold weather, rain and even some snow on the top of the mountains.
Was racing up ahead with Hopsing through Wank, then Kappel (where I still get lost) and towards Röfleuten where we turned up towards the Gundhütte. That was where I lost my touch to Hopsing, so Paulina took over. No chance for me to keep up with those two uphill. Fell back to the rest of the group and was rather surprised that we where only seven people, when last time I biked with the group we where 13.
On the way up we had some brilliant views of the sun setting, highlighting the Alps which had some wispy clouds hovering around them. Reached the Kappler Alm once again and tried to get up the last steep bit, again (tried two times actually, both failed). Heti managed to get up somehow and Paulina got up this week. Hopsing had disappeared of towards the top of the mountain and after a while we set of down towards the Hoigart, where we had a drink and talked about stuff.
Pictures at Picasa.