Summer & sanity maintenance

Lack of racing means I need new ways to get an adrenaline fix and feeling of adventure. The solution is to explore as much as possible, ride in interesting places and on challenging trails. I’ve developed hawk eyes for spotting singletracks in the woods and a tendancy for taking risks.

A few weeks ago I had an early season freeride adventure risking the presence of snow remaining in the Alps. I remember passing the near vertical mountain above Wallenstadt on the train when I was Liechtenstein and wondering how on earth there could be houses up there, so after finding out there was also a mountain bike trail there it had to be investigated!

Walensee - the start

A nice flat intro along the edge of the Walensee with a view of where we would end up.

climbing up

Gaining altitude rapidly, 1500m up a very steep hill in scorching heat.

first obstacle


Several snow obstacles and hike-a-bike sections.

steep cliffs


Alpine singletrack!


the top (ish!)


Seemed to be the top, it should be easy from here right?

scheisse Schnee!

Awkwardly placed snow patches on vertical sections of mountain with 100s of metres to fall to the lake. Possible to hike but when carrying a bike at the same time it would have been a bit stupid! = ride failure, turn back the way we came.

spring colours


Ragley you are one spoilt bike

Back down via some super walking trails – the illegal ones are always the best!

Wallenstadt


A quick (ie cold!) swim to cool off in the lake to cool off before hopping on the train home.

Wallensee

The arrival of summer makes Zurich a much nicer place to be. There is suddenly life in the streets and people come crawling out of their houses for bbqs and summer parties. Switzerland is a country of extremes, when the sun is out it gets super hot so jumping in the lake or super fast flowing river through the city are essential for cooling off. When it’s not sunny it can drop 15°C in an hour and rain torrentially with sky exploding bursts of thunder and giant hail stones. It’s all quite exciting as long as you’re not out on a bike!

post ride river chilling


hailstones

evening road exploration

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