You are one of those avid outdoor extremists who consider mountain biking the most rewarding and invigorating sports around? You like to spend as much time out on the trail as possible? How many of these ‘must-do’s’ have you done? Make sure you check this bucket-list experiences off your list this season! ;-)
1. Fix a Flat Tire on Your Mountain Bike
An epic mountain bike trail, a perfect corner, a jump, and suddenly… you hit a stone and have a small hole where air leaks, putting a damper on your ride as quickly as an unexpected thunderstorm. If you’re unprepared, your ride gets a lot longer because you have to hike your bike out for ten kilometers. If you’re lucky your buddy brought a spare tube. And hey, you know the basic steps to fixing a flat, don’t you?
2. Help Building a New Trail
You love plowing into some gravity fuelled good times? So why not join a local trail building team digging out and building features? Move onto the singletrack lines with a shovel and spend some time crafting and adding to the remarkable trails. You know what they say: The road to hell is paved with good intentions.
(Photo Credit: Arzler Alm Trail, Innsbruck)
3. Bike & Hike!
You ride up, and the only way is up, there’s no time to soak up the gorgeous scenery and the amazing views around you. You stop at a fork and look up to a summit, which is only accessible on foot. You leave your bike and embark on an impromptu nab of the peak. And as it turns out 30 minutes later, it’s the perfect little quick getaway with some amazing views and the incredible feeling of having the world at your feet. A powerfully moving experience. You walk down to your bike again and ride it down to the valley and you are ‘all Zen’. Life can be that simple!
Yeah…that part of the trail that just can’t be ridden. That part of the trail that requires you to get out of the saddle and push. Why? There’s that epic downhill trail on the other side of the hill. Some even say that it’s not a ride unless there’s at least one “hike-a-bike.”
5. Learn from the Experts
Learn how best to tackle difficult downhills or unique terrain from the experts. No matter what your ability, the pros will help refine what you already know and teach you the how-to’s for the ride you are on. The method of video analysis might help as well:
6. Join a Race
Get out on two wheels and compete against yourself and others at a Tirol mountain bike race — you’ll get fresh mountain air and a loud cheer at the finish line. Join the Single Trail Scavenger Hunt in Ötztal Valley or cross the Austria-Italy border at the 3-Countries-Enduro Race in Nauders. If your only way is up, test your limits at the Hill Climb in Brixen or at the legendary MTB Marathon across Hahnenkamm Mountain, the undisputed highlight of the annual KitzAlpBike Festival. You want to push harder? Consider the Zillertal Bike Challenge up to Hintertux Glacier and the Ischgl Iron Bike Festival, with the gruelling Iron Bike, Europe’s toughest mountain bike marathon challenge.
7. Be a Role Model: Raise a Future Mountain Biker
If you have kids, turn them into a biker ASAP… Make riding a natural part of family life, provide a decent, well-fitting bike, encourage skills acquisition, and make rides comfortable and fun, and you will likely find yourself with one or more lifelong riding buddies to join you on your MTB rides or in the bike park. Strongly recommended: The MTB Festival in Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis, Europe’s one and only MTB Youth Festival, is a weeklong celebration you—and your family—won’t want to miss!
8. Dare to Cross the Alps
One of the best ways to experience a mountain range is to ride a bike across it: Summertime sees many mountain bikers get in the saddle and attempt to cross the Alps. Being on the road with your bike for several days is a once in a lifetime experience. On your journey over the Alps, from Austria to Italy, you will stop in beautiful mountain villages and cross countless Alpine passes.
9. Try Downhill Bike Park Riding
Looking for less pedalling, more downhill fun? Tirol’s Bike Parks are a mecca for gravity-fed rippers. The lift-accessed downhill bike parks are great places to improve your riding – practicing on the same trail will help you to experience flow and gain a quick understanding of how to read a trail. First-time riders should definitely take advantage of the knowledge-angels at Technique Training Camps because they will give you tutelage that will keep you rubber side down and with a grin on your face.
10. Explore New Trails!
Pump up your tires and grab some water – let’s do this. Tirol has great technical singletrack trails to explore. A dense network of trails weaves through the forests in Nauders am Reschenpass for example. The sheer abundance of trails all across Tirol is an endless web of flowing bliss, but sometimes it can feel like a complex, albeit intriguing, maze. Trained guides will help guide you to the best trails for your ability and show you what makes this country such a wonderful mountain biking destination.