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The hills are alive!

Updated: Jul 7

Words cannot describe how fantastic it was to have a week of mountain biking in beautiful Austria.


check out my ride to top of Zwolflerkogel - https://www.komoot.com/tour/1653450577

check out my ride through the Glemm Valley - https://www.komoot.com/tour/1651580348

check out my ride touring the region - https://www.komoot.com/tour/1655226695

check out my ride to Reiterkogel - https://www.komoot.com/tour/1659472617

Check out my ride to the Asitzbahn midstation chairlift https://www.komoot.com/tour/1668811166


Saalbach-Hinterglemm (around 2 hours from Salzburg), is Austria’s largest bike region with around 400 kilometres of bike trails with lots of different options and levels of challenge, allowing us to explore the mountainous region and its breathtaking landscapes.


This was the first time we had been to this region so there were loads of new experiences and lessons to be learned.


Glemm Valley - above


We rented a self catering apartment in the small village of Hinterglemm (around 2 miles from neighbouring Saalbach), with a balcony view overlooking the mountains with their cable cars and the Alps in the distance. Our apartment was at the base of Zwoflerkogel. The same mountain we actually ascended on day 2!

 

How amazing, every day, to have our breakfast & evening après-ride glass of wine overlooking this incredible view and taking in the clear crisp mountain air.


Due to the mountainous nature of the region we rented E bikes on this trip. This is the first time I've ever ridden an e-bike. it was very different to what I had experienced in the past but certainly very easy to get addicted to.


Having said that an E bike in this region and for the rides we did, I considered to be pretty much essential. It simply opened up the entire region to us and the rides and climbs which would normally be out of reach were completely attainable. We actually cycled to the summit of 3 different mountains higher in elevation than Ben Nevis!


What made this holiday really special where the chairlift rides. It was certainly a different experience taking a mountain bike in a chair lift gondola. Some of them you were able to wheel your bike in and others we needed a little bit of assistance to lift the bikes in. The gondolas don't stop as they go around - so there's no time to waste! However, riding up the gondola taking in the views with your bike perched up against the ledge was a really fun experience, unlike none other I’ve ever had on any other cycling holiday.


Included in our accommodation was the joker card which allows you take two (free) gondola rides per day. There are around half a dozen chair lifts in the region where we were staying and by the end of the week, we'd ridden them all at least once, some of them twice.

The views from the top – well, you felt like you were on top of the world, and you just about were!


This enabled us to ascend to the top of the mountain and then explore the region. They were also very popular with the very serious mountain bikers (we're talking full face helmets and protective body gear here!) who'd ride to the top of the mountain then descend down the trails at breakneck speeds.


By using the maps of the region and also finding some trails on Komoot we managed to pull  together a fabulous six days of riding. These included cycling through the idyllic Glemm

Valley and cycling to the top of Zwolferkogel - 1984m, Kohlmaiskopf – 1794m & Reiterkogal – 1818m.


On one day, we actually cycled to the snow line!


Sadly, I damaged my Garmin GPS during the holiday, so only have 4 rides of cycling available on my Komoot profile.


Would I go again??? Absolutely yes! I’d definitely hone up on my technical mountain biking skills so I could take on more of the trails which were available - or at least have a little bit more confidence going down these steep trails very fast!


But the trails, the views, the mountains, the gondolas, the strudel!, the warm hospitality of the Austrians, the mountain air and the constant desire to burst into a Julie Andrew’s style “The hills are alive” would bring me back here again and again.



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