I had the good fortune to ‘virtually’ bump into an American recently. Virtually in its cyber-sense that is. Tracy is a friend of Christoph, my only other riding partner here in Austria, and after an online introduction, we quickly agreed to saddle up and ride some trails.
Tracy decided on a hillside that I hadn’t really paid attention to before, for the simple reason that it was just outside my normal pedal-from-Innsbruck range. We got onto discussing our favourite trails in the area, and I was reassured to hear that after six months, I hadn’t missed out on too many of Tracy’s favourites. It turns out my map-scouring might be an effective way to find trails after all. With my normal rides recently bordering on 4 hours and lots of climbs, this was a refreshment in that we had a strict two hour time limit; one ride up, one ride down. The trail in question being a little used and little marked piece of singletrack that cut the zigzags off the road we would use to climb up.
It was a breathe-taking view from the top; I can’t think of anywhere else that could deliver such panoramic beauty for a midweek blast.
Looking up the Geschnitztal, with the ski area and small town of Steinach am Brenner in the foreground. Steinach seems to be one of the many places that are rated locally as fun resorts, but entirely unknown to the outside world. They even have a small bike park in the summer, but by the looks of things I won’t be sampling it without the aid of a DH bike.
The way up took just over an hour, and the way down took a lot less. The path was hardly touched, with a thick coating of pine needles and wintry foliage on the bed of the forest. We passed a group of walkers, who in true European fashion were more interested in cheering us on than complaining about us riding ‘their’ paths. The trail popped right back out where we started, and the mini adventure was done. Til next time.