A two day adventure in the Austrian Alps
Monday was the first day visiting Austrian Alps in the picturesque village of Solden nestled in the Tyrol region.
This scenic village is an adventurous paradise with skiing in the winter and mountain biking and hiking in the Summer.
The Solden tourist board (Bike Republic Solden) is creating great infrastructure for biking and I was keen to try it out. So along with fellow mountain biker’s Dave, Martin and Peter we headed out on the first adventure of our trip.
Our first day in Solden was spent testing e-bikes. I had a Hai AllMtn with 150mm travel weighing in at a hefty 25 kilos I was glad I wouldn’t be needing to ‘hike a bike’ anywhere!
We hired our Hai e-bikes from intersport in the village and set off to the pump track with our guide Alex, from Bike School Ride On. As a coach I was very impressed that instead of heading straight to the trails he talked about bike techniques and we used the pump track for him to give us feedback on our riding technique.
We then headed up the mountain towards our first trail, Monday was trying the ‘silent side’ of the mountain where there are no lifts so under our own steam, with the help from the e-bikes we headed swiftly onwards and upwards.
Having never ridden an e-bike before I was pleasantly surprised, the motor works when you’re pedalling and has four settings eco +, eco, standards and high depending on how much assistance you need depends on which setting.
The e-bike made easy work of the Alpine climbs, I used the standard and eco settings mainly, rolling up the gravel paths at an easy 16km the climb to the top took no time at all which was great I can really see the benefit of an e-bike for long days climbing in the alps for those who don’t have the needed fitness levels for such demanding climbs.
The first trail of the day was a black run called Jagers Notweg, Bike Park Solden have introduced a passport system where riders can collect stamps of each trail they have ridden in return for goodies, neat huh!
This was a natural trail with sharp, steep corners which I found a little too technical for my liking. I had to walk sections with the bike and this was really hard work the e-bike weighs almost half of me so lugging it around the trail was cumbersome.
The natural trails were brilliant, if not a little testing, with steep sections, rock shoots, lots of tree routes and the odd hiker to contend with. All natural trails are shared rights of way so you need to be alert and respect other trail users.
We then headed back up towards our lunch spot at Kleble Alm, a typical Austrian chalet serving delicious Goulash Soup. Batteries re-charged we headed down the Kaiser trail and back towards the village.
Overall I would say e-bikes have a great place within mountain biking to help those who don’t have the fitness level to have access to the outdoors and go on adventures.
Tomorrow is Enduro day using the uplift to get to the top and enjoying the flow trails on the way down.
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