Lake Zürich

Zuerichsee
Zuerichsee

Starting from Einsiedeln there are a lot of mountain bike tours. You can go into all directions. But one of the most beautiful ones is if you go to the hill which is between Einsiedeln and lake Zürich.

From there you have a extraordinary view over the whole lake, back to Einsiedeln and the mountains and you can even see Zürich itself which is about 30 kilometres away.

Once a year there is a big mountain bike race called „Iron bike“ which starts and ends in Einsiedeln. The tour goes up and down over several mountains in total more than 2300 meters of altitude. The first up is this hill with the lake Zürich on your left.

But while participating at the race you barely have the time to enjoy the view, so better to make the tour on a sunny sunday morning.

Last ride on MTB

Einsiedeln vom Hundwileren
Einsiedeln vom Hundwileren

Like almost every year, there was snow in October. But this year the snow was not only in the mountains but going down to Einsiedeln. It was on 10th of October and Einsiedeln was covered with a white layer of snow. Just for half a day or so, but it was white.

I did almost 500 km on my MTB, so time to make the last ride on it and finish the season for this year. I had a lot of fun on my new MTB and did one last time a route on the hill on the west side of the village. On top there were still the last remainings of the snow from a couple of days ago.

Its a great view from over there where you can see the whole village and the lake and the mountains in the back.

Gigathlon

Gigathlon
Gigathlon

Gigathlon is an invention of Switzerland. This year there was the 10th event and every 5 years it is done a rather big event of 5 or 6 days. Gigathlon means that each day the participant has to execute 5 different types of sport: swimming, running, biking, mountain biking and inline skating. You can contribute as single, as couple or in a team of 5 or even more.

A friend of mine won a ticket for a team of maximal 15 people who had to do the 5 disciplines on all the 6 days. Means 30 disciplines in total spread to this max 15 people. We were 10 people and I was in the lucky position to do 5 disciplines: 3 times on the bike, about 250 kilometers, once running of 24 kilometers and the last day 3 kilometers swimming.

Did not know how easy or difficult it is to participate in a race every day, but some of the people do the 6 days alone, as single or as couple. That sportsmen are really heroes. One discipline per day is nothing.

Pragel

Pragel
Pragel

We have planned to do Pragel Pass with the bike since 2 years. But every summer there was either not enough time or we were not fit enough. But last Sunday it was ok. I had the time, the weather was pretty and I felt that I could do it.

I started early in the morning, was a bit cold but came forward very fast. After 2 hours I was at Klöntalersee and thought that the rest would be easy.

But no, needed another hour to reach the top of the pass and had to stop from time to time because I was totally exhausted.

Going down the other side is very funny. It is one of the steepest streets I have ever driven upon. And I took me another hour until I was down in Schwyz.

From there it is another 25 kilometers back to Einsiedeln, and that’s it. This is a tour you can only do after you have already a couple of miles in your bones. I was at home exactly 2 and a half hour after my start.

Iron-Bike 2012

Iron bike 2012
Iron bike 2012

This year I was not sure if will be able to do the 77 kilometers. I had not done the tour before this year and did not a lot of kilometers on the bike. Just had the o-tour as kind of training race.

Saturday it was raining heavily almost the whole day. Luckily the race is always on Sunday and Sunday morning sun was shining in Einsiedeln. This means that all the roads upwards were dry but downhills mostly wet or very wet.

This year I enjoyed the race the most since I participate for several reasons: it was nice weather, downhills was wet and I had enough power this year.

And there was something else: this year I had to start in the very last group and there the field is not so crowded. So you do not have to fear constantly that somebody is coming from your back and over turning you downhills. Was much fun!

o-tour bike race

O-Tour
O-Tour

First time this year that I participated at this race. It is even the first bike race except of Iron-Bike in Einsiedeln I did. My neighbor convinced me to go to the race.

We had to start early in the morning, about 6:00 am and I had no time to have breakfast. So I eat two Gipferli and drunk a Red Bull before the start in Alpnach and thats it.

The race is very exhausting. After 100 meters, it starts going up and goes up and up for maybe almost 2 hours. And downhills you have to be very concentrated. I was not too bad.

Was completely exhausted after 3 hours because I started to fast, but at the end I had not such a bad time. And in addition it was a good training for the Iron-Bike which is longer and has more altitude to go.

Säntis Classic

Saentis Classic
Saentis Classic

This is a bike tournament where you start in different groups of about 20 to 20 people depending on your personal speed. I started in „sports“ group but was not really sure if I am able to follow. So I expected a quite hard fight and was prepared to have to give up and finish in the next slower group or find my way to the finish alone.

The frist 50 kilometers go constantly up to the mountains. Its not really hard, you just have to follow the group to be in the wind shadow. I was able to follow and the rest after 50 kilometers was quite acceptable. From then it goes quite steep up to the mountains, 12 kilometers almost only in the lowest gear. This part was free speed, so everybody could go his own tempo.

On top there was a snake station and a rest of about 20 minutes. And then it went straight down. On top we had approximately half of the whole route (130 kilometers). And the following 2 hours were mostly going down. As long as you were able to stay in the group everything was ok. But when we had to pass a short up a hill, I really had to fight, to be able to follow. Legs were hurting badly then and it was not going better until finally we finished.

It was a wonderful day! I will come back next year to the Säntis-Classic.

Spierstock

Spierstock
Spierstock

There is one bike tour I try to do every summer. It is quite hard and I normally need 3 and half an hour. But it is a very nice tour. I really like it.

First you have to go back to Unteriberg and from there a tracking route up to Oberiberg where you arrive near the church and just can continue up to Roggenstock. There it is very steep and I need normally almost an hour until I reach Adlerhorst, which is the name of a restaurent allmost on top of this mountain.

The last part of this way you have to bear the bike and it is very exhausting. From there you continue to Spierstock where you again have to carry the bike. But here is the highest point of the tour and sometimes I make a rest in the restaurent there. The hardest part of the tour is done.

The way down is the really interesting thing. You go down from Spierstock, a quite bad way where you have to be careful. After about one hour, you reach to foot of Grosser Mythen, the mountain on the picture above. Down left where you only see clouds is Schwyz.

Back to Einsiedeln you have to go down on the right side another 20 kilometers and there you are back at home. This year, I had an accident with one of my wheels and was not able to drive down the whole way but had to go with the bike. My wife took me home from Brunni. Wonderful tour! I like it!