biking a mountain

2005-05-03 23:00

on a party in last march a friend of mine (carlo) announced that he wants to bike alp’du hez in the summer. for those of you who are not aware of what that is: its a nice little rock somewhere in the alps, only 1700 meter above ground. so, carlo announced that he wants to bike that to win a bet he made with some old college guys. after some laughing i told him that i would join him on a ride onto a 1000er relativly nearby: the “brocken” (translated to “rock”). just to show im the crazyness of his idea and that none of us normal ones is prepared for such a trip without excellent training.

so, on 1st of may anja, norman, carlo and i headed to “brocken” with our bikes … by joining the train. we met quite a funny character in the train: freddy. freddy told us he flew in from canada to visit … whoever … and that he had been a soccer trainer … and right after or before that he opened up a beer at around 10 o’clock. funny guy. but we were a bit happy to change the train after some time.

when we arrived in “wernigerode”, the little town some kilometers away from the mountain, the sun was shining and we were pretty excited to see how things will work out. we biked towards the mountain and the gradient was only slightly remarkable.

then we left the town and that was the point when it started to become interesting. we drove on the road to “schiercke” and it started to become a bit more difficult: we slowed down. anja decided to not follow us at our speed but to continue at her own. we climbed up to “schiercke” as all the untrained do: pretty slow. we took some breaks and quite old guys passed us pretty fast :) training. its really astonishing to see guys who could be your father bike up a hill MUCH faster than you can do yourself.

we took a “final” break at the start to the way up to the “brocken” and then we started. anja was a bit behind us and took a sunbath in “schiercke” and waited for us on the way back. i started climbing up that mountain with around 12km/h. around 500 m later i looked back and find that two guys were missing :) so i took the next break. same procedure almost every 100 heightmeter :) and again: one old fellow with a yellow jersey passed us two times on the way up… unbelievable. we faced some, at least for us, pretty nice gradients with 10% .. i never used the smallest gear of my bike before that day and even then we had a pretty hard time :)

the last 100 heightmeters norman and i walked, only carlo was rave enough to use the bike. but after reaching the top he said that this whole bet idea is completly stupid and that he would cancel alp’duhez. we bought some drinks and a little bit to eat and started driving down.

wohoooo. speedy. thats all i can say about that. my bike has no suspension and my arms sent greetings to every little hole and every little buckle … hehe. and thank god to my brakes. really.

we met anja in schiercke and started heading back to the rainstation. its amazing to see how fast a bike can be if you just roll down a hill :) my speedometer displayed 60km/h on the normal street down, what a fun. one of my eyes almost hit a bumblebee but the rest of the ride was pure fun. we needed around 10 minutes downhill.

at the trainstation we waited around 30 minutes and used the time to refresh ourselves with ice and beer. i had to cool my sunburned shoulder a bit but after all it was a nice ride :)

^^^