By Sebastian, Baden-Baden, Germany.

I would like to share a story of an adventure I had 14 years ago. A good friend of mine and I decided to undertake a Trans-Alp Mountain biking trip from Bavaria to Lake Garda.

I’ve prepared some information to give you a clearer picture of what I’m talking about.

This explanation is particularly for those not from Europe.

Here is the route we cycled. We crossed the Alps from GAP in Bavaria (a state in southern Germany), through Austria into Italy, where our destination was Lake Garda. This particular lake marks the beginning of the Mediterranean climate.

I just want to show you an overview of the trip. We cycled a total distance of approximately 500 kilometres, covering different altitudes and the whole trip lasted a week. The first day was a “warm-up” with just 76 kilometres and an ascent to 900 meters.

As we progressed, the journey became more challenging. However, it was a truly enjoyable trip. Typically, such trips are booked with a guide. You are usually in a group of about 30 to 40 people, and there is an option to have your luggage transported separately, allowing you to focus solely on cycling. However, we chose to experience it authentically, carrying our backpacks throughout the journey. We navigated the route independently using a GPS system, which was especially useful in foggy conditions, as you can see in the pictures.

There are stages in which we had to carry our bikes because cycling wasn’t possible. My bike weighed around 13 kilograms. My cycling buddy’s bike was heavier (15 kgs, which makes a huge difference).

We crossed several mountain peaks and took breaks to recover, have a snack, admire the views. One of the most famous villages we drove through is St. Anton. It is considered a top skiing destination in the Austrian Alps. This is reflected in the price of staying there. Overall, I underestimated the constant challenge over the seven days.

During the preparation phase, we did a lot of trips. An eight-hour tour was nothing special for us. Our last training session was cycling for an entire weekend, as a final check before starting on the actual tour.

What surprised me were the effect of the energy bars. They are very expensive but also very efficient in helping you to regain energy in a short time. They proved to be a good investment.

During our trip I experienced different physical problems. The first one was riding a bike for so many hours. It was painful experience for my backside and my stomach also reacted to the constant pressure to push myself forward.

We enjoyed the nature around us with the different flora and fauna. We encountered groundhogs, didn’t see any snakes (there are some harmless ones in the area) and were struck by the beautiful alpine landscape.  

After the seven days, we were really proud to have reached Lake Garda and could celebrate our achievement.

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