Holiday, Schladming, World Championships and beyond!

Summary – part 2.

20th – 28th August.

After all the excitement of the last month or so I was feeling a bit run down and so decided to take some time off to go and see my friend Lena again, however this time instead of staying in Munich she had organized a camping trip down to Austria for 8 days before the World Championships (more on that later). So we packed up and headed off to a place called Wolfgang Am See. I should mention here that on the way to Munich I missed my train from Geneva arriving 4 hours late into Munich, again , Though at least this time I managed  to get ahold of Lena so she dint have to spend 3 hours at the station, but back to the story. Wolfgangsee was an awesome campground on the edge of a beautiful lake where the water was warm enough just to laze around in without turning into a Popsicle which suited me just fine. The next few days were spent hanging out not doing much which was a nice change from the usual hectic goings on with the rest of the kiwis.  It wasn’t all relaxing however as I found out about this toboggan/bobsleigh thing that you sit in and go down a metal tube on.  When the only control you have is a brake, then needless to say I took it as a challenge to go the whole track without touching it. This was fun.  I have no idea how fast I actually went but it was pretty dam quick, at least to the point where I really didn’t want to fall off (which did almost happen) .  I do have some footage of me going down it so if I ever figure out how to upload it I will put a link up on the video page.

Beautiful Scenery everywhere. Zell Am See
Camp mum!

 

Slug life!
Found this snow bike sitting in one of the museums, was almost cold enough to take it outside for a hoon!
We went and did a canyon walk and saw some pretty impressive stuff, right at the top of that spire is a cross, god knows how they got it up there.

After 5 days of relaxing during which time both my wardrobe and wallet got probably the biggest makeover ever (one in a good way and one in a bad way),   the weather packed it’s bags and headed away from  Wolgangsee so we followed suit and headed towards Leogang for 3 days before the Mtb World Championships started  on the 29th. A short 100km drive left us in Saalfalden, a medium sized town about 10km’s from Leogang where we spent the remaining days cruising around the lake and checking out the sights and sounds of the area (there weren’t many)before heading to Leogang where Lena dropped me off to the boys on the Tuesday afternoon and headed home to begin a biking trip to Venice.

pretty self explanatory…
Typical….

Now while doing nothing for a while was a very nice change and something that was needed, by the time I got a chance to ride my bike again in Schladming (while the practice for worlds was on we took some time to go to the nearby town and ride the infamous Planai track) I was more than just a little bit keen to get some riding in!

Went up the Dachstein cable car.
Then found Mordor
Sebastian Vettel’s got nothing on me and Hampton.

Pretty impressive formations in the Ice Castle

In mountain bike circles, Schladming is famous for having one of the best tracks in the world that runs under the Planai lift. I had never ridden here before but had heard numerous stories about the place and after riding it for two days I can certainly say that the track did not disappoint! Probably my favourite track that I have ridden since arriving here and I wish there was something similar in NZ to train on over the summer. Unlike Saalfalden, Schladming had a lot of activities to partake in and so one rainy day we decided to check out a pool that was about 20 kms away. The big attraction with this pool though was that it had a slide where you stood on a platform and the floor fell out from underneath you after which you gained heaps of speed and did a sort of corkscrew before finishing down in a pool.  I was mad keen to give it a go on paper however once getting there and seeing it, a little bit of claustrophobia kicked in and I wasn’t so keen all of a sudden. Still, I jumped in, the door shut on me and the countdown began. Now, I’m not sure what I did wrong but to cut a long story short, I didn’t make it up the uphill part of the slide and slid back down to the bottom and for anybody who gets claustrophobic (I.e. a fear of small spaces) will know that this was not ideal.

We Went motor biking aswell, captain goon on high-alert.

Having to get rescued from a waterslide is not something that many people can say has happened to them, I am one of the lucky ones, not to be beaten though I went back up and did it again, this time successfully and headed off to see what other mischief I could get into.

All the safety gear was compulsory, don’t think we have ever felt this ridiculous in our lives haha.

We left Schladming on the night before World champs and headed back to Leogang just in time for the 4X after party. Waking up on Sunday morning with a slight headache we wandered over to watch the action. With a large kiwi contingent racing it would have been rude not to cheer on the boys and girls and those of us that weren’t racing made a blimmen good effort out of it and helped the team to some good placing’s!

One of the jumps up the Planai.

On the Monday we headed back to Rederberch, Germany to stay with the Herolds for a couple of days before getting on the road for one last big mission in Gladys up to Norway (I am currently writing this from somewhere in Sweden) so lookout for a report from that soonish!

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