Saalbach-Hinterglemm: My first day in a bike park

After my three-in-one peaks tour I decided to try something I haven’t done before and go to a bike park. Visiting a typical mountain in the summer is exactly the same as in the winter, minus the snow: loads of people walking down the streets with the same restaurants and bars. Instead of carrying skis on their shoulders they are cruising on their bikes. And it is much hotter: 30C

The first time on a gondola with a bike wasn’t that much different than with skis, but instead of going down the slopes the Mountainbike the trails lead you through the woods, over north shore elements (wooden obstacles) and steep serpentines. And unlike in the winter, on the bike trails slow people hinder the fast ones from riding their own speed.

I was one of the slow ones.

At least for the first runs. Just like on flat ground I have a problem with left turns, but somehow it is easier to corner them when you’re going down a mountain. Eventually I realized that’s easier the faster you ride. So run after run I got better. I wasn’t the slowest one on the trails anymore.

But what about crashes you may ask? Well, I only had one. On a north shore. My front wheel decided to go off the wooden bridge (yes, it was a left turn) and dropped down while the rest of my bike stayed on top. I landed next to the track, but thanks to the knee protectors and gloves I got away with only a few scratches and bruises on my chins.

The next run I hesitated a bit, but eventually I gained confidence again. Day one was a success and even though I only rode two trails a dozen times I had tons of fun. If only I knew that you can have sore muscles in your hands that make it almost impossible to hold on to your handlebar I wouldn’t have looked forward to the next day that much….

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