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.