This years highlight for me and probably Michael was a trip across the Alps with our bike. Starting point was in Oberstdorf, Germany and destination Torbole, Italy on the shores of Lake Garda.
Stats for the tour are; 464,1 km and 10705 meters of climbing.
My bike for the adventure was a Niner One 9, equipped with a Rohloff Speed Hub, SLX brakes with 180mm rotors front and rear. Rock Shox Reba 100mm fork. I also had a Supernova Infinity Dyno hub up front powering a Supernova E-3 Tripple light. I had normal Alp-X gear except for my camping gear; Six Moons Designs one man tent, Big Agnes Pitch Pine 40 sleeping bag, Big Agnes Clear View pad. Vargo Ti stove and Alpkit Ti mug.
This was also a rigorous test for our new Pactimo kits, I had our new shorts, Jersey, Arm warmers, Vest and hat. Except for a little grease stain on the shorts, there are no visible signs of wear and tear!
Michael’s kit was almost the same except that he had his new Edel Bikes 29+ He received a lot of attention with that orange beauty! He was also running a Supernova Plug to keep all of his electronic gadgets charged.
We deviated from the original route due to bad weather, took paved alternatives instead of braving the muddy trails and dirt/gravel roads. In the end it was hard enough going up the steep asphalt passes of Italy.
we choose to do it bike packing style, meaning we had camping gear along to sleep out under the stars and cook our own meals. This turned out to be very challenging right off the bat. Shortly after starting in Oberstdorf we had to climb up and over the Schrofen Pass, it’s not long or terribly steep but really narrow and there are a couple spots where you have to carry your bike. When all of your gear is on the bike this can be really hard. At one point Michael’s bike almost went over the edge. I couldn’t do anything but watch. Luckily he was able to wrestle it back on the trail and we could continue.
Another hard section was the hike-a-bike above the Silbertal, according to the description in a Alpencross book it says it’s an hour of HAB. Haha!! It was more like two and a half! That’s when I realised that whats good for one route doesn’t always means it good for another. It’s great to have most or all of your gear on the bike but for serious HAB’s where you have to pick up the bike and carry it over big rocks or ledges it can make things rough.
On the third day we met a guy named Marcus from the Allgäu region of southern Germany. He was doing a trip alone. So our duo turned into a trio! Marcus really knows the Alps well and he told us about the different places and passes that we were riding through.
We only camped out one night due to the crappy weather. One place I would have loved to camp was in Val Mora, right on the border to Switzerland and Italy. Maybe next time.
We met some great people along the way like Marcus. Had great food, if only the weather would have cooperated.
Here are some pictures of our trip.