trail-business https://www.trail-business.com We give you inspiration and show you how to organize your perfect mountain bike holidays besides a full-time job. Sun, 27 May 2018 09:32:46 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.6 https://www.trail-business.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/cropped-Logo-web-36x36.png trail-business https://www.trail-business.com 32 32 Transylvania https://www.trail-business.com/destinations/transylvania/ https://www.trail-business.com/destinations/transylvania/#respond Sun, 27 May 2018 09:32:34 +0000 https://www.trail-business.com/?post_type=portfolio&p=6175


Transylvania – 05/2018



panorama
driving skills
endurance

In 2017 Marius a Romanian guide from ShredMind invited us for Enduro Mountain Biking in Transylvania near Brasov (Romania). By that time all we knew about Transylvania was:

  • it is located in Eastern Europe
  • it has a lot of mountains and forest
  • there was a strong German influence in Transylvania´s history
  • and of course the Dracula (Vlad the Impaler) stories.

During our trip we learned a lot about this country and its possibilities for mountain bikers. Enjoy our destination report about Enduro Mountain Biking in Transylvania – translated from Latin: “across the forest”!

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Planning

Planning yout own trip of Enduro Mountain Biking in Transylvania is not too hard. However, the logistics inside the country can be a bit tricky. Especially bringing your own bike. But you will find more about that in the “Getting there” section.

The best option for planning is getting help from locals. Everybody we met in Romania was extremely helpful and friendly. In our case Marius from ShredMind assisted us organizing the trip to Brasov in Transylvania. Subsequently, booking the flight to Bucharest was the easy part. In contrast, finding a proper rental Enduro mountain bike was quite hard, even for Marius.

We recommend bringing your own enduro bike. Make sure you consider this early in the planning phase, as it makes transport a bit harder!

Marius recommended to stay in the Bike House in Brasov (here on: AirBnB). It turned out being the best decision, as Ioana and Emil were the perfect hosts!

After all, our planning was pretty simple. Certainly the following report and the GPS tracks will help you organizing your own experience of Enduro Mountain Biking in Transylvania.

Best travelling time

The best time for Enduro Mountain Biking in Transylvania is from mid of May until beginning of October.

In May there is still a high chance of finding snow in the mountains.

Getting there

By plane:

You can reach Bucharest from many places in Europe by plane quickly. Airlines like Tarom, BlueAir and Lufthansa are the most popular ones. The flights are not too expensive – but check the prices for bike transport before booking! Ask  for transfer fees directly at the airlines (BlueAir was the cheapest when we traveled, but you have to call them).

By car from Europe mainland:

Depending on where you live you can also get there by car. Bear in mind that the roads do not always have the best level of maintenance in Romania. At night be aware of carriages without lights!

Logistics inside Romania:

Getting from Bucharest to Brasov was a bit more tricky. If you have a shuttle picking you up it is probably the best option. Other possibilities are:

Coaches or minibuses:

There are also coach and minibus services operating between Brasov and Bucharest (airport and city):

Book a couple of days in advance and confirm prices and luggage conditions (especially bike transport) via email or phone (they usually speak English).

Train:

Another option is the train service operating between Bucharest and Brasov. We did not use it because it was the most time consuming connection between Bucharest airport and Brasov. If you have time or you need a connection between Bucharest downtown and Brasov give it a try 😉

Accommodation

Based on our guides recommendation we stayed in very nice 400 years saxonian house with 3 apartments for rent. Ioana and Emil of the Bike House (here on: AirBnB) were definitely the best hosts we could imagine. The house is about 20 minutes walking distance from Brasov downtown. After a hard day of biking you also get an Uber for a few Lei. Highly recommended is the breakfast option with freshly prepared juice, local specialities and pretty much everything you can image (+ 7,- € per person). Moreover the breakfast is served in the historiv vaulted cellar of the house. As Emil is a mountain biker as well (he joined us one of the days) there is everything you need to clean your bikes or wash and dry your clothes.

As Brasov is a tourist hotspot of Romania you also find many other accommodation on the internet. For Enduro Mountain Biking in Transylvania we definitely recommend the Bike House in Brasov.

Language

As Transylvania also known as Siebenbürgen is the region in the center of Romania people speak Romanian (what a coincidence).

Anyhow, you get along with English quite well, especially talking to young Romanian people. Based on the history of Romania you also meet a lot of people who speak German.

Food

Enduro Mountain Biking in Transylvania can be tough, but you are not going to starve in Romania.

Unfortunately there is sad news for vegetarians: Romanian cuisine has a focus on meat. Our friend Jost, a part-time vegetarian who traveled with us, had a hard time finding a main dish without meat – beyond vegetable soup.

However, almost every food we had was very tasty and compared to the rest of Europe cheap. The soups you get in almost every hut in the mountains are excellent. Often there are starter dishes coming with potato bread and a Romanian tomato, beans and vegetablecream. More typical Romanian dishes are goulash, meat pie and polenta.

However, if you prefer to buy your own food, you will find small local supermarkets everywhere in Brasov. – Prepare to communicate with gestures and hand signs if you don´t speak Romanian.

The tap water is drinkable in most of the areas (Brasov was no problem) and in the mountains you find fresh water springs helping you out.

Here you find a few restaurant recommendations in Brasov´s historic center from us:

Sub Tampa – fusion of modern and traditional food – a more fancy place with a nice view over Brasov
Simones – known as the biker friendly place with great dessert
Le Ceaun – traditional Romanian dishes in the historic center of Brasov
Bistro de l’arte – cute restaurant also located in Brasov´s historic center

In fact, if you stay in the Bike House (see accommodation section) you can have a barbeque with your hosts in the front yard. They will most likely assist you in getting local delicacies for the grill.

Trips

On our day of arrival Marius from ShredMind picked us up at the airport. As we arrived in the evening all we did was strolling a bit through the historic city center of Brasov and had dinner.

Day 1:

Marius picked us up and we checked out our rental bikes for the week.

Our first Enduro Mountain Biking in Transylvania was planned for Prapastii about 25 km west of Brasov. We got there by car and started our steep uphill to the Cabana Curmătura hut at 1470 meters. The hut has a fresh water spring where you can refill your water supplies and gain power from a soup and delicious apple cake.

Right after our break at the hut we entered the forest for our first downhill. On the first flowing trail section there were only a few roots and rocks. After a while it got more rocky and technical resulting in a first snakebite flat. Only a few hundred meters after the first flat we climbed an uphill and cycled a wide green meadow with scattered rocks: second snakebite flat.

Back in the forest we had to deal with jagged serpentines and some tricky off-camber sections. Finally, the last segment was flowing and winding down to a fresh water spring.

For a second trail we cycled up to the town Mâgura.

Right next to a little farm Marius showed us the entry to a short and straight single track leading downhill into the valley. So then we biked down a narrow track between a few farm houses into the forest. Due to a small creek the ground got very slippery eypecially in the last rocky sections.

In the evening we reviewed the experience of our first day in Simone‘s Bar having a Sandwich and a German fritz-kola.

Day 2:

The second day Emil, the host from our accommodation, joined in. We drove up the mountains near Brasov by car. Soon we were ascending the rest hundred meters of elevation on our bikes. Even though it was raining most of the day, the ground in the forest had good grip. Only the sections with plenty of roots were slippery. Nevertheless, we descended the downhill sections safely and fast.

The second trip that day we went by shuttle bus up tro another spot in the mountains near Brasov. Contrary to the downhill tracks of the first trip the trails were less technical. Yet, Dustin crashed on slippery roots riding a pretty fast and steep segment. He had to take a day to recover.

Day 3:

Dustin explored the hiking trail in a narrow canyon with ladders and bridges.

The rest of us was prepared for classic Enduro Mountain Biking in Transylvania in the Piatra Mare mountains: uphill equals downhill. That day we had our first encounter with the Romanian sheepdogs starting on a field. Luckily, Marius and his friend Liviu, who joined us that day, knew how to handle the situation: Stop and get off the bikes. After a short conversation with the shepherds we started the ascend of Piatra Mare mountains.

Overall, the uphill through the forest was long and exhausting. However, the view sitting on the edge of the deep canyon during a short break was rewarding.

On the last bit up to the summit we crossed a wide green meadow full of rhabarb-like plants (careful: inedible!). Somewhere during the uphill we saw the footprint of a bear, but luckily not the bear itself – not sure whether stopping and getting off the bikes would have helped in such a case…

As we finally reached the Cabana Piatra Mare hut it was raining and we took our time to relax at a warm tea, some cookies and chocolate.

Unfortunately the dropper post on Daniel´s bike got stuck in the pulled out position. Therefore, we had to remove the post and Daniel biked downhill without a saddle.

Starting as a long and very flowing downhill it soon changed to tough root sections and some short rock gardens. Then, in the lower segment of the downhill Daniel followed Liviu at high pace and crashed in a curve ( documented in our video ;)).

Next day Dustin got back on the bike and Daniel took a day off to recover…

Day 4:

Again we started our day trip by car. Other than the days before we now headed towards Ciucas, southeast of Brasov. First, the ascend started on a forest path, followed by a segment we had to push and carry our bikes. After a short downhill we had to climb again. Then the next downhill started at a mountain flank leading us back into the forest. A perfect spot for a drone video!

Riding into the forest, it got a bit steeper and the ground was covered in loose debris. In fact, a nice flowing trail was the reward.

Before we reached the downhill of the Ciucas Enduro Series, we had to accomplish another uphill. The trails down the official race track was winding through the forest down a steep hill. In brief, another great day Enduro Mountain Biking in Transylvania.

On our way back we stopped at a nice Pizza place called Don Corleone.

Day 5:

On day 5 Max, a local mountain bike hero was guiding us. We met him in the city of Brasov and started a long uphill to the Postavaru funicular. After reaching the top of the cableway, we found us riding a short segment with switchback curves down to the Cabana Postavaru hut. Energised by a delicious soup and the so called cookie-salami (more cookie that salami) we entered the first trail down to the water reservoir. Locals call this track the “cookie-salami trail”.

From the water reservoir we speeded into the forest where the trail got more technical and narrow. Later on, both landscape and the single tracks created a great mountain biking experience for us. Thank you Max!

Afterwards, we pedaled a short uphill and got onto the “rotten trail” – only known by a few locals. This track turned out being a lot of fun despite some pretty technical sections. Moreover, the trail appeared to be never used by hikers.

Finally, the track of our last day of Enduro Mountain Biking in Transylvania led us right down over a green meadow into the historic Romanian part of Brasov.

Day 6:

Eventually, time to say goodbye to our new friends in Romania. We took the coach back to Bucharest and spent a full day exploring the city of Bucharest. If you plan a bike trip to Romania make sure you allow for at least one full day to visit the amazing city of Bucharest.

What we learned

During Enduro Mountain Biking in Transylvania we learned many new things, mostly related to the country Romania.

  1. Bring your own bikes to Romania! Even if it is a bit more expensive you will have way more fun. Even if you spent 200 € more for bringing your enduro bike – do it!! Enduro Mountain Biking in Transylvania does not have the same infastructure as e.g. the alps where you get well maintenanced rental bikes.
  2. The mountain biker scene in Brasov is bigger than we expected, mostly consisting of locals and only little tourists. Try to get in contact with local riders, otherwise it can be quite hard finding the best trails for Enduro Mountain Biking in Transylvania.
  3. The Romanian people are very open, kind and helpful.
  4. Street dogs are not dangerous, whereas sheep dogs can be a threat. If they approach you, stop immediately and get off the bike. Be confident and talk to them.
  5. It is likely to encounter brown bears (we only saw a footprint of a bear). Try to bike in groups and make noise when you enter less frequented areas (a friend from Romania had a whistle he used from time to time). Do not follow the bear´s tracks, cross its way or approach them on purpose.

Costs

Costs for 6 nights / 7 days Enduro Mountain Biking in Transylvania:

Flight: about 200,- € (+ 100 – 200,- € if you transport a bike bag) per person

Coach one-way Brasov to Bukarest: 10,- €

Accommodation: ~400,-€ 6 nights for 3 persons (45,- € per night for 3 persons + 7,-€ each for breakfast)

Food: ~110,-€ for 6 days per person

Local transport (Uber, shuttle, cable way, …): ~25,- € per person

Total per person (travelling in a group of 3): ~490,- € (excluding bike transport by plane)

Our conclusion

Transylvania seems to be a rather unknown destination for mainstream mountain bike tourism. Therefore, it is totally different to regions like the Alps or Mallorca.

There are a lot of trails around Brasov we did not even have time to explore (Sinaia, Azuga, …). You can easily stay more than a week in the Carpathian mountains.

Even in the most remote places you find huts serving soup, drinks and cake. If not you find many freshwater springs in the mountains.

Our final conclusion:

Overall, it was a great cultural experience. Enduro Mountain Biking in Transylvania is great for people who want to explore new destinations off the beaten track of bike tourism. Bring your own bike!

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Next stop – Romania mountains https://www.trail-business.com/next-stop-romania-mountains/ https://www.trail-business.com/next-stop-romania-mountains/#respond Thu, 29 Mar 2018 10:08:00 +0000 https://www.trail-business.com/?p=6018
Next stop – Romania mountains

Right after our trip to the Azores last summer  Marius from Carpathian Enduro Experience asked us if we like to visit him in the Romanian mountains. He organizes ski tours in winter and mountain bike tours in summer and offered to show us the best mountainbike tracks around Brașov.

At that time we had already started planning for visiting Madeira in 2018, but we changed our mind pretty quickly. The landscape seems to be rather untouched in the Carpathians. A great place to explore new trails in alpine area and meet the friendly romanian people.

The Carpathian mountains are stretching from Austria, Poland and Slovakia via Ukraine down south into Romania and Serbia. Our basecamp Brasov is located in the region of Siebenbürgen also known as TRANSYLVANIA!! A place full of myths and legends. Our chance for biking in Dracula´s backyard!

This time a friend of Daniel will join us. Jost is a bike addict, who even cycled 800 kilometers from Stuttgart to Hamburg for Daniels wedding last year.

Stay tuned to read what we experience in eastern Europe – Romania mountains!

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365 days of trails beside business https://www.trail-business.com/365-days-trail-business/ https://www.trail-business.com/365-days-trail-business/#respond Sun, 25 Feb 2018 08:08:16 +0000 https://www.trail-business.com/?p=5975

We have been online for 365 days now. It all started out as a quick idea. Our intentions were a mix of sharing our experience and inspiring other mountain bikers.

Sure, we are no bike magazine, journalists or professional riders. But that is the whole point of this blog: We are working full time and try to integrate our hobby in everyday´s life: trail and business!

Looking back at the last year of trail-business.com we are very proud that our intentions were recognized and you seem to like our stories.

Now it is time to thank you and all the people who supported us over the last 365 days!

Thank you…

  • …Marcel for guiding us in Davos
  • …Jan from DirtLej, Andre from Droneking and Bjørn from trailguide.net for your support on our Norway trip
  • …Carlos from Bike Safari Tours for the great experience on the Azores
  • …to all of our friends on our hometrails in Germany (destination reports coming soon!)
  • …feedspot for adding us to your TOP 100 Mountain Bike Blogs 
  • …to all the people on facebook and instagram who like our blog and help us to grow step by step

We are looking forward to the next 365 days with you: More pictures, videos, gps tracks and travel reports – all for free!

And our next destination will be: …..announced soon  ;p

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How to get rid of bike shoe odor https://www.trail-business.com/bike-shoe-odor/ https://www.trail-business.com/bike-shoe-odor/#respond Wed, 03 Jan 2018 16:32:31 +0000 https://www.trail-business.com/?p=5952

The first post in 2018 starts with an amazing topic: smelly shoes… 😛

But honestly: this time a year it is almost impossible to get around muddy tracks and puddles. Moreover, I don´t know many mountain bikers who really care about getting dirty. I cycle to work everyday and can´t avoid getting soaking wet.

Every mountain biker knows the feeling of coming home covered in mud, stuffing the dirty clothes into the washing machine and then leap into the shower. What´s left? The wet and dirty shoes. Most of us rinse the dirt off and put them on the radiator, stuffed with old newspapers and take out the soles. So far so good, but they will start smelling after a couple of dirty experiences. The reason for the odor is bacteria that like the wet environment in the bike shoes and start growing there. Yuk!

After having tried different options of getting rid of the smell the first finding was: forget all the sprays and gadgets you can buy. The solution is much easier and healthy as well! No, it is not buying new shoes…

How to get rid of bike shoe odor:

Always start with washing and drying the shoes properly. The best way to remove bike shoe odor afterwards is:

  • Peel and eat 2-3 tangerines or 1 orange (also try different citrus fruits)
  • Put the peels inside your shoes overnight
  • Remove the peels in the morning and take a smell (I know you would do that anyways! 🙂 )

The most ugly smell is removed already after one first night. As a side effect you probably won´t suffer from vitamin deficiency that easy!

How does it work?

I really have no clue! In case there are any chemists or biologists in our audience please leave a comment with the explanation for us.

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Davos https://www.trail-business.com/destinations/davos/ https://www.trail-business.com/destinations/davos/#comments Sun, 26 Nov 2017 10:28:28 +0000 https://www.trail-business.com/?post_type=portfolio&p=5839


Davos – 09/2016

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1

Tschuggen trail

2

Brämabüel – Clavadeler Alp and Jakobshorn Flowtrail

3

1st section Alps Epic Trail

4

Gotschnagrat

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Höhenweg – Klosters

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Weissfluhgipfel Trail



panorama
driving skills
endurance

What did I think as Daniel and his wife were on honeymoon and a friend asked me to go mountain biking in Davos, Switzerland? – I thought: mountains, great views and nice trails – YES I´m in!

The only thing I had to do was to find more friends to join, in order to occupy the empty seats in the car. That´s is how a very spontaneous bike & road trip to Davos began! And really sorry there is no cool video today 😉

Planning

This time my friend Sebastian did “the planning” before asking me. He has some friends in Switzerland: one who rents apartments and another one (Marcel) who works at bike-academy as a mechanic and bike instructor. Fortunately Marcel had the weekend off and offered to show us the trails around Davos! My job was to find more bikers to join for the trip to Davos, buy drinks and supply for the weekend. Easy!

Even though we didn´t do too much planning you will find everything you need in this article.

Ok, I had some more planning to do: Two week before the trip a branch ruined my rear derailleur, rear wheel and broke the derailleur hanger out of the frame. It was a hassle trying to get all the parts replaced, especially the rear swing arm of the frame. But Bernd from Nobelhobel helped me getting all the parts and fixing it before we drove off to Davos – thank you Bernd! 😉

Best travelling time

Best travel time for mountain biking in the swiss canton Graubünden is between May and the middle of September. Hence the end of September was a bit of a gamble. But I was lucky and the weather was really nice! After September you usually get snow on the top of the mountains and the weather can change rapidly!

Getting there

Getting there by plane is pretty difficult. The nearest airports are Zürich (CH), Stuttgart (D) and Munich (D). From there you have to take the train or a car to reach Davos. Depending on where you start you may have to change train quite often. Going by car is definitely the easiest way.

Remember you have to get a motorway sticker (highway toll) in Switzerland BEFORE entering. Don´t forget – otherwise it takes way more time and money until you ever reach Davos.

Accommodation

You can find a lot of accommodation on airbnb or hotels on other platforms. The price ranges from budget accommodation (about 25€/p.P. per night) to more luxurious places (100€/p.P. per night). It is up to you whether you need a fully equipped gym and spa or a comfortable bed is all you need.

As mentioned we rented an apartment near down town from a friend. The interior was coming with a fully equipped kitchen and the design was held in the styles of the 70s. Everything was clean and there was even a pool. We should have brought our swimming trunks. For four people over two nights the size of the apartment was good. For a longer stay maybe a bigger apartment is better.

If you need a contact feel free to give us a shout.

Language

Yeah, well – that is a thing in Switzerland. If you speak German, French or English you should be fine in Davos. When they speak German theay tend to put an “i” at the end of every second word, what makes it sound really cute (I know German and cute is a contradiction in itself).

The language Swiss German is spoken in all parts of Switzerland and developed in the 1960s to distinguish from the Germans. In the 1980s together with the radio and TV the Swiss German become more and more popular in Switzerland. Swiss German is has influences from French and Italian, depending on the canton you go in Switzerland.

Food

Similar to Norway everything in Switzerland is far more expensive than in the rest of Europe. Hence, we brought most of our supply for breakfast and dinner from Germany. If you don´t import your own food there are plenty of supermarkets. Usually the open from 9 AM -10 PM seven days a week. You are not going to starve in Davos 😉

We recommend taking a rest at the restaurants on the top of the mountains or in the valley during your bike trips. You will enjoy great meals combined with stunning views over the mountains. But remember to bring enough cash (it is expensive)!

Trips

During two amazing days biking in Davos, we enjoyed beautiful landscape, alpine regions, forest and wide open areas. The range of tracks from flowy to technical was extraordinary and we hope to inspire you with our description below:

Day 1:

Track 1: We took a bus from “Davos Dorf” up the “Flüelapassstrasse”. From there we had to follow the road until we reached the river “Inn” in the next valley. After a few kilometers we arrived at the first trail head. This track was perfect for starting the day – not being too difficult, with a very nice rythm and escorted by the creek “Flüelbach”. As the track is a famous hiking trail we had to bike carefully. After a few wider track sections we finally arrived at “Chalet Velo”. We purchased snacks and thought about improving our technical skills on the pump track or the small bike park, but decided to save our energy for the next tracks.

Track 2: After going up to the Jakobshorn by cableway and a few meters cycling on gravel road we turned onto the next track. It started with very challenging short and steep turns – eyes on the track! Luckily, the last section rewarded us with a beautiful view on the wide open landscape and much easier biking.

Track 3: Again we went up the Jakobshorn by cableway. Our goal: biking the first part of the “Alps Epic Trail“. The whole Alps Epic Trail is about 35km long with almost 80% singletracks! It all started with pedaling to the trail head on gravel road. After entering the Alps Epic we found ourselves on an uphill that changed quickly into an incredibly flowy downhill. Fast curves and almost no pedaling staying on the same contour line made this track really awesome to ride. We left the Alps Epic at the “Sertigerstrasse” and rolled down the road very happy. A perfect first day in Davos!

Day 2:

Track 1: Early in the morning we took the “Parsennbahn 1” half way up. As we exited the gondola we found ourselves in dense fog with visibility below 20 meters. Despite the bad conditions we decided to give it a go. We managed biking down the slippery track and tough switchbacks with fogged up googles. After many turns mixed with flowy sections the poor conditions got a bit better and we enjoyed the ride through the forest down to “Davos See”. We crossed the road and made our way down to “Klosters” on hiking trails and narrow paths.

Davos

Track 2: From “Klosters” we realxed on our way up with the “Gotschnabahn” to the peak at 2,250 m. Right after a quick lunch we got onto a natural single track down to Davos. The first part of the ride was slippery and extremely muddy. It was hard to control the bike and stay on track. After only a few meters the ground filled with gravel and rocks and got much easier to bike. For mountain bike beginners we recommend to be careful and get off the bike at some spots that we would declare as no fall zones. But don´t worry you can also enjoy the stunning view carrying your bike!

Following the track into a forest it lead us directly to the “Davos See” the perfect place for a refresh in the lake – if it was only summer!

Next time we hope for better weather conditions and may even check out the bike park in “Klosters” as well 😉

Davos

Track 3: Our last ride of day 2 started at the top of the “Parsennbahn 2” at the Weisflujoch at 2,600 m. Going down the ski-slope we crossed over to the other side of the Weisflujoch and the Schiahorn for the Strelapass. From here the trail went up and down (but mostly uphill) passing a small mountain lake. We reached the “Chörbschhornhütte” for a first rest. Luckily we brought our own lunch as the cabin is not serviced. It was a good idea taking a long break before we started for the 6 km downhill track. The trails begins rocky and technical with steep sections interrupted by amazingly  flowy parts. Approximately half-way down we got into the rythm of a smooth track joined by a few rocks and natural jumps. Thereafter, the track gets pretty curvy and fast so both our hands and brakes had to work hard. Before we arrived in the valley we slowly biked through a forest looking for a tooth one of our buddies lost a while ago. Send us a message when you find it 😉

Day 3:

Before we headed back to Hamburg, Sebastian took us up the”Flüelapassstrasse”. Three of us biked the first track of day 1 again. Still remembering the tricky sections we had a lot of fun speeding down the track. A superb conclusion for the weekend in Davos.

And now stop reading and get take your bike on the tracks in Davos!

What we learned

Cheese fondue tastes amazing after a long day on the bike!

Bring a good Enduro bike to Davos and the tracks are thrilling. As most of the paths are natural hiking trails, cycling can be very exhausting, especially climbs up to 2,500 m – you would die with a Downhill bike 😉

Trail-tolerance works great in Davos. Hikers and mountain bikers get along pretty well – please respect and help supporting it stays that way.

Don’t crash your bike at home before going on a mountain bike trip! Well maybe crashing is always a bad thing, but it really sucks right before bike holidays.

Costs

All costs per person:

Fuel (Hamburg to Davos): 35,- €

Accommodation incl. Davos-card and tourist tax: 63,80,- €

Bus-ticket in Davos: 8,80,- €/tour

Lift pass for the bike: 8,80,- €/day/bike

Food: ~20,- €/day

Total: ~165,- €

Our conclusion

It was a great and spontaneous short trip to Davos we can highly recommend. Let´s try to sum up some advices and highlight for you:

  • The area gives you the chance to choose from bike parks with tables, jumps or drops and almost natural trails for both hikers and bikers.
  • Davos offers a perfect range from easy to hard and short to long tracks gives you the opportunity to tailor your own bike experience. The “Alps Epic Trail” is about 35 km with almost every meter going on singletracks.
  • You can chosse from biking up every mountain or going by bus and lift.
  • An Enduro or All-mountain bike is the best choice. Bringing a Downhill bike will eat up all your energy pedalling the uphills inbetween and during the tracks.
  • Many locals bike around Davos. Therefore, feel free to ask the friendly people for advice and the best tracks.

Special thanks to Marcel (a friend of Sebastian) from bike-academy for guiding us in Davos!

Please leave a comment for us and feel free to ask us for assistance planning your own trip to Davos.

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Mountain biking green – carbon offset https://www.trail-business.com/mountain-biking-green/ https://www.trail-business.com/mountain-biking-green/#respond Mon, 28 Aug 2017 16:42:17 +0000 https://www.trail-business.com/?p=5812

For sure biking is much more environmental friendly than driving a car – not a big secret 😉

But mountain biking and especially taking your bike on holidays probably isn´t that environmental friendly? Together with the Ekos Group, a social enterprise charity, we had a closer look at the carbon emission we produce with our environmental friendly passion.

The basics

Firstly it is very hard to find good and reliable information about this topic when it comes to mountain biking. Especially the production of a mountain bike varies heavily, depending on the material, the parts and the sustainability effort of the manufacturer. Moreover it is not possible to calculate an exact carbon equivalent for everything like spare parts, crop damage riding trails or individual equipment. As offsetting a ton of carbon costs only about 23 € it is fair to over-estimate the emitted carbon slightly for offsetting. We stick to rough values in this article based on multiple resources, studies and correspondence with EKOS from New Zealand.

But now let´s try to give you hand with mountain biking green(er) by carbon offsetting.

The bike

According to many bike companies the customers still care mostly about the price. That makes environmental friendly production pretty hard for them. One step towards mountain biking green is to have a closer look at the brand you buy. The following numbers can be taken as a guideline to carbon offset a brand new fully equipped mountain bike:

  • Mountain bike with aluminum frame (can be recycled): 350 kg CO2 eq.
  • Mountain bike with carbon fibre frame (very hard to recycle): 200 kg CO2 eq.

Also bear in mind the CO2 emissions for shipping when you order online.

The spare parts

Calculating the CO2 equivalent for spare parts almost makes no sense. Unless you burn down your tyres every week 🙂 We think smaller spare parts can be covered by the over-estimation when you offset your mountain bike holidays. Anyways we try to give you an idea for some parts:

  • front wheel (Al): 10 kg CO2 eq.
  • rear wheel (Al): 20 kg CO2 eq.
  • chain: 10 kg CO2 eq.
  • tyre: 5 kg CO2 eq.
Mountain bike holidays

Again totally depending on where, how and for how long you are going your emissions have to be calculated. We always try to offset our holidays and the calculations are not too hard. In our bike holiday planner we already included the calculations of CO2 eq. based on your mode of transport. Here is what´s behind the calculations:

  • 1 liter of gas for a car: 2.64 kg CO2 eq.
  • 1 kilometer/person in a train: 0.041 kg CO2 eq.
  • 1 kilometer/person in a bus: 0.032 kg CO2 eq.
  • 1 kilometer/person in a plane: 0.211 kg CO2 eq.
  • 1 kilometer/person on a ferry: 0.1 kg CO2 eq.

If you take your car and/or bike on the ferry add 0,002 kg CO2 eq. for each kilogram per kilometer on top.

For using the bike you can roughly calculate:

  • 1 kilometer/person on a bike: 0.01 kg CO2 eq.

During mountain bike holidays you also consume food, water and electricity. Probably some a bit more (food) than on an average work day and some a little less (electricity). A typical and average split in everyday energy consumption looks like this:

  • Cleaning the dishes 7%
  • Light 9%
  • Cooking 11%
  • Washing/Drying 13%
  • Fridge 17%
  • Electronics 27%
  • Else 16%

The easiest way to calculate your consumption with an averge CO2 eq. on a daily basis using 3 kg CO2 eq. per person.

Example

For our last mountain bike holidays in Norway we calculated the following carbon emissions:

  • Car – appr. 175 liters of Diesel – 462 kg CO2 eq.
  • Ferry – 330 km (3 persons): 99 kg CO2 eq.
  • Car, bikes and supplies (~2 tons) on the ferry – 330 km: 1188 kg CO2 eq.
  • Food, water, electricity (8 days/3 persons): 72 kg CO2 eq.
  • 100 km on mountain bike (3 biker): 3 kg CO2 eq.

Total: ~1750 kg CO2 eq.

Summary

In order to be on the safe side we offset 2 t CO2 eq. for less than 50 € with our new partner EKOS! We are aware that carbon offsetting is a modern selling of indulgences. But not doing this is far worse. As mountain bikers we have a natural interest in maintaining nature – we hope you support us and offset at least your mountain biking together with us for mountain biking green. 🙂

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Holiday planner for mountain bikers https://www.trail-business.com/holiday-planner/ https://www.trail-business.com/holiday-planner/#respond Sun, 16 Jul 2017 13:33:27 +0000 https://www.trail-business.com/?p=5131
Mountain bike holiday planner and the theory of organizing mountain bike travels

Planning mountain bike travels can get very sophisticated and confusing quickly. During planning you will come across many options asking yourself whether to go by ferry or plane, sleep at a campground or in a cabin, stay 6 or 7 days or even take a guide? Which combination is now the best in regards of your budget and travel time?

Imagine yourself planning mountain bike holidays for you and five of your friends. Now you try to find the best combination out of hundreds of solutions with respect to cost, time and environmental impact. Not an easy task! But we have been through this a few times by now and want to share something with you:

The trail-business holiday planner!

How does the holiday planner work?

It is an excel spreadsheet that can easily be used by everybody (who has Microsoft Excel running on the computer…). Download a blank version and an example file. After opening one of the files simply follow the steps in the 8 tabs along the bottom of the sheet:

  • Starting Tab: Start with entering your basic travel data (dates and people joining the tour)
  • Tab 1: Enter daily costs (assumption for food and maybe bike rental)
  • Tab 2: Enter transportation options (car, train, bus, ferry,…)
  • Tab 3: Enter accommodation (hotel, campground, cabin,…)
  • Tab 4: Enter services you want to use (guides, tour packages,…)
  • Tab 5: optionally you can enter equipment you need to purchase for this travel
  • Tab 6: Build 3 combinations based on the tabs 2-4 using the dropdown menus
  • Final Tab: In this final calculation you get an overview. Based on travel time, costs and environmental impact you can then choose you best option

The holiday planner is totally flexible and you can edit every cell colored in blue. Every tab comes with an important notice colored in red at the top of the sheet.  Don´t worry, even without substantial knowledge in excel it can easily be mastered. We are currently thinking about recording a tutorial video for you, let us know if you need it.

How much does the holiday planner cost?

It is 100 % free! Trail-business.com is a private project so far without any monetarisation in mind. The only thing that is not free is the improvement of the holiday planner. This is where we need your input! You found mistakes, typos or have a question? Let us know and we can make the holiday planner better together.

Please download, use, like and don´t forget to leave a comment below!


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Norway https://www.trail-business.com/destinations/norway/ https://www.trail-business.com/destinations/norway/#respond Thu, 13 Jul 2017 20:41:38 +0000 https://www.trail-business.com/?post_type=portfolio&p=5726


Norway – 06/2017

Norway


panorama
driving skills
endurance

Norway? Why should you go to a destination so far up north only for mountain biking? Well, after having biked three different areas in Norway we found a thousand reasons why. Here are just a few:

  • awesome landscape,
  • beautiful natural trails,
  • daylight from 4 AM til 11 PM in summer,
  • very friendly people,
  • and the weather is better than what Norway is known for.

This time we rented a drone at droneking to capture the amazing landscape. Enjoy our report, pictures and video about mountain biking in Norway (and prepare for weird food combinations).

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Planning

Inspired by Dustin´s hiking holidays in Norway we wanted to experience the trails on our bikes. Having agreed on the week right after Daniel´s wedding in June it was on Dustin to organize the trip to mountain bike in Norway. Luckily we where already in contact with Bjørn from Trailguide.net who seems to be famous all of over Norway 🙂

With his help we narrowed our options down to three different spots:

  1. Hallingdal – to meet Bjørn and bike together with him.
  2. the Fjords – for epic singletracks in stunning landscape.
  3. Gautefall – for biking on large rock areas created by glaciers during iceage.

After having set the destinations we used our cost calculation sheet to compare different accommodation and transportation options. Finally, we decided to go by ferry and car and book accommodation on AirBnB.

There is thing to bear in mind if you plan your budget: Food and drinks (especially alcohol) is pretty expensive in Norway. Therfore, we brought food and a portable cooler in order to save some money.

Best travelling time

As Norway stretches up over about 1750 km from north to south there is maybe no general “best” travelling time. But there are some things to consider: The further you go north the colder it gets (what a great finding ;)). Especially far up north climate is arctic all year long. In the fjord and coastal regions the weather is pretty mild, but often rainy in the mountains. Anyhow, prepare for snow even in summertime!

Most locals we met told us that the best travelling time is between June and September. Most mountain passes open already by the end of May until October.

We came to Norway at the beginning of June and were not really lucky with the weather. Hence, we were very happy about our sponsored dirtsuits light by dirtlej we used almost every day.

Getting there

Depending on where you start you can either go by plane, train, ferry, car, on a bike or even walk if you have time.

By plane:

Norway has almost 100 airports, but Oslo is by far the largest, followed by Bergen, Trondheim and Stavanger. If you fly to Oslo you can easily start your mountain bike adventure from there or rent a car or take a train to other areas.

By car from Europe mainland:

Driving through Denmark you can cross the bridges to Kopenhagen and Malmo. From Malmo you can then make your way up the coast. Be aware that the roads in Norway have many turns, uphills or bottlenecks and often a speed limit of 80 km/h. During planning you consider that driving by car sometimes takes longer than expected.

By ferry and car from Europe mainland:

There are three major ferry lines going to scandinavia:

Depending on where you start you can drive all the way up to the ferry ports at the northern tip of Denmark. Another option is to go in a cruise from Kiel, Ruegen, Rostock or Gdansk. In any case start planning early to not miss early booking offers. Try to keep you car within the dimensions of 5m in length and 2m in height to not pay extra.

Accommodation

All we were looking for was a place to sleep, cook and put our bikes during our roadtrip. Therefore, we booked self-catered cabins via airbnb, which turned out being a really great solution.

Hallingdal/Gol:

Appartment at Ligia on an old farm. Very warm welcome with delicious selfmade waffles and fruits!

Norway

Norway Norway

Hafslo at the Fjords:

A spacious and well-equipped self-catered cabin in the woods. The host Ernst even brought us wood for the fireplace.

Norway

Norway

Nissedal/Gautefall:

We stayed in a basic rural cabin about 400 metres of walking distance to the parking spot at the road. The host Henrik prepared the place for us. Hence we had a warm cosy place with enough water and beer 😉

Norway

Norway

As Norway has the “right or roam” you are allowed to camp in the wilderness and even on private ground after permission. For more info check the website from Visit Norway.

Language

Guess what, they speak Norwegian in Norway 🙂

It is nice to learn some very basic words like “takk” for “thank you”, but you get along with English very well. Most of the Norwegians switch to English anyways, as soon as they recognize you are a tourist.

Food

Already mentioned in the planning section above, food can be pretty expensive in Norway. If you like to drink a cold beer after a long bike ride, you will find yourself paying 8 € easily, even in supermarkets.

Hence, we decided to bring a cooler and fresh vegetables, food in cans and drinks from Germany. If you plan to do so either, double check toll.no/en on what you are allowed to bring into Norway.

For meat lovers try to find a place where they serve reindeer, tastes very nice, even on pizza.

Moreover, if you bring a fishing rod, you are allowed to go fishing in seawater places. For fishing in rivers and lakes you can buy a fishing license for only a few crowns.

But most importantly we discovered great receipes involving chocolate covered peanut (known as M&Ms). You can have them on bread, in milk, pasta and almost every dish you can imagine. For 1 week you will need at least 2 kg for 3 bikers.

Norway

Trips

After an early start for our Friend Andi coming up from Frankfurt to Hamburg we started driving to Hirtshals in Denmark by car. During the few hours on the ferry we only got little sleep until we Larvik in Norway at 2:00 AM. The rest of the night we spent with driving towards of Gol in heavy rain. A short stopover for a powernap and we arrived at our first mountain bike destination (Gol) where we met Bjørn from trailguide.net. Let the biking in Norway begin!

Day 1: Gol

Still tired but motivated we started our first bike ride at our appartment around 11 AM. About. First we had to pedal up to about 680 m above sea level on the northwest side of Gol. An easy uphill on tarmac and dirt road an off we went into the misty forest. Beginning with roots and muddy sections the single track offered a great mixture technical passages and flow trails. The spooky setting due to the fog in the dense forest gave us a feeling how thext days are going to be. At least that is what we thought.

Norway

Day 2: Gol (again)

Our second day in the area around Gol our group got bigger. Bjørn brought two really cool fellows Adrian and Andreas along. Without any idea on how the biking would be today we got into the car and drove up to the Nystølfjellet (no clue how to pronounce it properly). A fjell is a mountain range often spreading over large area – being our biking zone for the day. Starting above the tree line we cycled up to three different peaks with flowy trails in between.  This turned out being a great area to test our DJI Mavic Pro drone we rented at droneking for our new video. After a long break due to some technical issues we got some great aerial shots and continued on the fjell.

Norway

The Norwegian landscape did just not want to stop showing us his best facets. At the last plateau we had to cross an outflow of a lake as suddenly low clouds started to veil the view. After a short break the sky started to clear up again and offered an amazing view: To our right was an old hut right at the lake shore and to our left we saw the flank of the hill dropping into a valley surrounded by more mountains. We had no other option than letting the Mavic take off again to capture this stunning scenery. The way down the hill was pretty challenging and technical but a lot of fun!

Norway

Taking advantage of the long days of summer we started a second tour later that day. Bjørn led us up to the northeast of Gol via a tarmac uphill. About about 650 m above sea level we arrived at the trailhead. Winding down the single track towards Gol we crosses enjoyed a mix of forest, open and rocky slopes with some technical passages and some very fast and flowy parts. Later in the evening we could hardly believe the diversity of tracks we biked that day. In order to get an impression check out the scenes in the first minute of our video.

Day 3:

During a full day of driving from Gol to Hafslo at the Sognefjord through beautiful landscape we quickly stopped at a massive waterfall. Somehow Dustin´s mood was incredibly well, even though it was a large waterfall dropping down 155 meters. There is the assumption that only waterfalls between 5 and 50 meters cause bad feelings for him – nobody knows, we will keep on observing!

Norway

Back to biking! After the long drive to Hafslo the next day was mountain biking day number three. It turned out more being a hike and bike. This trip was the hardest of the Norway adventure: Up the mountain called Molden.

Norway

By car we drove up to parking spot and started our trip up the mountain. Some parts were okay to cycle but after a while it got way steeper, muddy and slippery. On the last section up to the peak at 1100 meters we shouldered the bikes and literally climbed up. Every meter was hard work but interrupted and rewarded by amazing lookouts.

Norway

Having defeated the climb up the mountain we started our descend down into the valley. Going down track of the 80/20 Enduro Series we had to cross snow- and mudfields. Later on we found out that they cancelled the last sections of the Enduro race last year due to bad track conditions. Well, after a while the trail became more rideable going back to very technical on the last kilometers. It is definitely a lot of fun for more advanced riders. Only one of us three was able to bike the whole track. Technically Daniel was the only real finisher of the race 🙂

Norway

At the end of the track almost at sea level we had to pedal up all the way back to the car. For the last 300 meters we took advantage of a very nice transportation concept: hitchhiking! Thanks to the Lady and her daughter who took one of us up to the car. Only a few minutes later Daniel was back with our car and we drove to our cabin.

Day 4:

During our fourth day of biking we rode many different tracks in the fjord area. There seem to be some ongoing discussions with some landowners about the behavior of some bikers (e.g. shuttling up all day with many bikes). Therefore, we respect the wish of the locals to not drag too much attention on this special area.

All we can say is that we pedaled up every meter we descended and stayed on the beautiful tracks. Besides amazingly flowy natural trails we also enjoyed a man-made section with steep curves and jumps. Later that day we met the local Vegard who showed us the really amazing green single tracks down to the fjord.  We enjoyed the fantastic panorama and the amazing ride, hoping the area will settle it´s discussion and bikers support the locals in finding a reasonable balance between tourism and nature conservation. Until then we hope you understand we don´t upload the GPS tracks of the area here.

Norway

Back in the car we drove to Nissedal, our last destination at Gautefall. Driving over the ice and snow covered Aurlandsfjell was an amazing experience. Norway´s landscape is just beautiful. It took us a full day until we arrived our cabin in the woods (hang on isn´t this a title of a movie? Well it didn´t get that bad!).

Day 5:

Next day (bike day number five) we took the bikes to the “Himmelrike”. Bjørn gave us the advice to cycle up the hill at the Gautefall skisenter on the bedrock. After having reached the top you will understand why the granite valley formed by the glaciers of the last ice age is called Himmelrike (kingdom of heaven).

Norway

Riding down the bedrocks it started raining and got more slippery every minute. On the last 10 meters of the track Daniel slipped on his bike and crashed into the rocks. The trip to Norway ended with a broken hand for him. Luckily he is almost recovered by now and will hopefully be able to enjoy the rest of the season on the bike.

What we learned

First finding: There is no need to carry cash money. You can pay everything by credit card.

Roads in Norway have many turns, uphills or bottlenecks and often there is a speed limit of 80 km/h. The time in the car can easily exceed the time spent on the mountain bikes.

You can find more mountain bike GPS tracks on the internet than we expected during planning. Pretty often they turn out to be much harder to ride than expected 🙂

It is not only a rumor: You can easily hitchhike in Norway (as long as you don´t want to take your bike inside the car 😉

Another finding is described in the food section of this article. All food lovers should prepare for an M&Ms cookbook by trail-business…

Costs

Costs for the three of us:

Ferry: 285,- € (car limited to 5 m length and 2 m height, 3 passengers)

Diesel:  200,-€

Rental roofbox: 55,- €

Accommodation: 600,-€

Food: 350,-€

Total: 1490,- € 

(about 500,-€ per person)

Our conclusion

An great destination for every mountain biker who loves nature. The landscape seems to change every few kilometers and offers magical sceneries (e.g. Himmelriket). When you are going to Norway bring enough time. The week for our trip was a bit short, we could have stayed longer at almost every spot.

Norway is a large country and you can mountain bike almost everywhere. As long as you do not expect a touristic infrastructure like in the Alps you can experience amazing natural single tracks. Prepare for all kinds of weather and you will have a lot of fun!

Be careful, because some tracks can get very tricky and you may need advanced biking skills to master them. But even if you just get off the bike at these sections you will love every minute in this beautiful country.

Which brings us right to the final point: Take some time to enjoy the nature and the beautiful scenery. Our impression is that Norway is not the country for shredding down the hill (except for bike parks like Hafjell maybe). It is more for advanced rider who love biking in rural and natural areas. Perfect for unique mountain bike holidays.

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Dirtsuits from dirtlej https://www.trail-business.com/dirtsuits-dirtlej/ https://www.trail-business.com/dirtsuits-dirtlej/#respond Thu, 08 Jun 2017 13:46:11 +0000 https://www.trail-business.com/?p=5693

Dirtsuits in summer? Well, during final plannings to visit Norway we wanted  to prepare against changing weather conditions and…

…we heard there are quite a few waterfalls in that area. Last time Dustin saw a waterfall he got in a really bad mood – nobody knows why. But it was clear we needed a solution to protect Dustin from the nasty waterfalls!!

We decided to contact dirtlej to get their brand new dirtsuit light edition that was not on the market yet. They just introduced the new series and we were lucky to get some in advance for testing in Norway. Dirtlej insured us the bad-mood-waterfall protection is being built-in. 🙂

And today we received the package! Inside the parcel we found two incredibly lightweight dirtsuits from dirtlej in orange with blue zippers. They seem to have a good quality and we are going to test them on the trails and under waterfalls in Norway next week. Daniel was really hoping for the pink version for matching his neon yellow Orbea Rallon, but unfortunately there is a supply problem at the moment. Dirtlej you can be sure he will continously check your website for the neon pink 🙂

Besides the dirtsuits dirtlej sent us their extended bike protection set. Looks like very reliable protection for our bikes being tied on the car´s bike rack. It appears to be like a full protection suit for our bikes including:

  • 2 forkprotector
  • 2 rearprotector
  • 2 frameprotector
  • 2 pedalprotector
  • 4 rimprotector

We will keep you updated with images and our experience with both the dirtsuits and the bike protection during our trip to Norway. Please root for Daniel the bad-mood-waterfall-protection really works. Otherwise he may be never seen again….

Thanks a lot to the dirtlej team for supporting us with your products!

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Preparing to visit Norway https://www.trail-business.com/visit-norway/ https://www.trail-business.com/visit-norway/#respond Fri, 05 May 2017 17:50:47 +0000 https://www.trail-business.com/?p=5670

Yeah!! We are going to take our mountain bikes far up north!

Visit Norway, the country of…

…trolls? Maybe. But we are way more interested in the trails Norway has to offer. We are currently planning the trip after having booked the ferry 2 months ago. This appeared to be a good idea to do quite early as they are almost fully booked by now. Going in June will hopefully bring us some decent weather for mountain biking. Especially the fjords around Kaupanger usually has little rain in June. Let´s hope for the best.

Visit Norway with..

…our mountain bikes and a video drone. Well, it looks like we are bringing a drone this time to spice up our videos with some aerials. At the moment we are waiting for good weather here in Germany to test the gadget before feeling confident taking it out in the wilderness 🙂

Visit Norway, meeting…

…the guys from trailguide.net in Hallingdal. You probably realized we support them by uploading our GPS-tracks to their website. In June they are going to show us their favorite single tracks in their area personally! We are very much looking forward to biking together.

Visit Norway for…

…awesome landscapes.

…waterfalls (Dustin hates waterfalls!).

…serious mountain biking and new single tracks.

…having a great time with friends.

…making new friends.

… there are so many other options to finish this sentence. If we did not pick the right ones for you: then please https://www.visitnorway.com/

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