Distance: 3.5 miles Difficulty: Hard work
If you want a tough climb but want a stunning view then get up early for this one.
This ride is from one of my favourite countries for all outdoor sports. Winter is for skiing, summer is for hiking and of course getting that mountain bike out. This charming village has it all.
I actually did this ride myself, and after 3 years of looking at this zig zag road, I bit the bullet and got out of bed one morning at 6am to tackle it.
We start this ride from outside the Boglerhof Hotel, next to the church.
Head down to the village and Hotel Post and a gentle ride awaits before you start climbling. You will need some strong legs for this as over 1800ft (600m) of vertical climbing awaits you. The road after 1 mile turns to off road material, loose gravel, but at 2 miles turns to rocks. So what yeah??!! All good things do not come easy, and believe me the day I chose I was not going to miss this opprtunity.
I had to stop soon after though, as a milk farmer was rounding his cows up into the shed at about 1300m above sea level. It was a welcome stop though, and the stop gave me the chance to have some fresh milk and bread with him. I spoke in my worst German, and he spoke in his best English. We muddled through a conversation as his cows wandered into the cow shed for milking.
I was actually unsure if I should be up there, but he made it clear I was welcome as long as I did not upset his cows. He warned me to be careful of the deer further up, or did he mean bears?? His impression of a deer was not that convincing, I never knew deer had gritted teeth.
I continued up, and it was tough. The ground was loose, the rocks were now small boulders, but each time I stopped and looked back the views were more and more stunning. The sun was really starting to rise now and the air was so clean, crisp and smelt like new. Eventually I made it to the top of the ridge and even saw some baby deer.
The view is just breath taking. I was all alone, content, amazed and even out of breath. I sat there for over 20 minutes just looking around taking it in, appreciating how stunning this part of the world is and thinking that these mountains once upon a time were not here. I sat under the cross shown in the picture and looked back on the hotel my family were still fast asleep in. A truly amazing bike ride, and one that is certainly in my top 3 if not number 1.
The church bells sounded and that meant I had to get back, so the fun ride down started. Lots of hairpins to slide around, rocks to jump over and then a fast road descent for the last mile back into Alpbach.
TIPS - If you do not fancy the tough climb, you can rent e-bikes from the hotels nearby. I did it one day the traditional way, the next day with E-bike power. Either way the views are still as stunning.