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Dieser Reisebericht liegt an:

Alpine Bike route-01
Alpine Bike
Scuol–Aigle
Zur Route
A perfect father-son adventure

A perfect father-son adventure

My eleven-year-old son and I explored the Alpine Bike rout together on a long weekend in early August. It looked to me like taking the first three days of the Alpine Bike, in reverse order, would be just the right first attempt at a multi-day mountain bike ride …
… The first day would be toughest, but it would track a road and railway line, so that if it proved too much, we could always stop. With that behind us we could enjoy with confidence the easier second and third days, which would take us further into the backcountry.

Many people have asked me whether three days on this route – designed to be challenging for adult – was too much for a child. For my son it was not. But that is perhaps because over the last year he has settled into a habit of doing some sort of sports every day, usually with me, whether biking, running, hiking, or skiing. I think I have managed to avoid being pushy, and to let him take the lead in expressing the desire for physical challenge. But still I have been guiding him, and it has been among the most special part of fatherhood. Infinitely better that giving him an expensive watch, like we see in the magazine advertisements.
11.08.2017 Russikon – St. Moritz – Livigno

We headed out from our home in the Züri Oberland before dawn on a rainy August morning, biking down to the train station in Pfäffikon ZH. At 10:00 in the morning, and two chapters in The Hobbit later, we arrived in St. Moritz under surprisingly sunny skies. We headed towards St. Moritz Bad, and found our way onto the route. Starting at Morteratsch things started getting fun, with steep and winy single track. Unfortunately for me, I also popped a spoke from my back wheel rim about there, but my bike was still ride-able. The weather suddenly turned foul, as predicted, just after passing Diavolezza, with a cold rain and strong headwind. We stopped at the Bernina Pass for some warm food in one of the two restaurants, mainly to get out of the rain. But when we started again it was snowing, and then fog blew in. The ride from there to the top (2’480 m) was mentally and technically challenging, with slippery single-track and the feeling of being alone in the world. Fortunately I had packed for bad weather (even including a 2-person bivouac sack), and when we started our descent down towards Italy we were able to stay warm with fresh pairs of dry gloves and tights, and down jackets under our shells. We took it easy, and where the wet rocky trail seemed too slippery, we got off and pushed out bikes. Eventually the weather cleared, and it proved to be a lovely long descent. But with a missing spoke, my back wheel was getting more and more out of true, and at 18:00 it barely rolled into Livigno. Every bike shop in town told us that one of the others could fix it, or at least sell me a new wheel. But they were all wrong: my bike was simply too old, with outdated 26 inch rims that nobody could fix or replace. I called my wife, checked my bank account, and decided it was time for a new bike. One of the shops gave me a great deal, and promised to hold on to my old one, if and when I wanted to pick it up. Then a multi-course dinner at our Hotel Bernina. “You speak Italian too?” my son asked, in the middle of all of this. And so we talked a bit about how I had spent three months in Italy when I was 20 years old, and what it was like being lost in a different culture.
12.08.2017 Livigno – Tschierv

After breakfast we went to the store to buy more food for the ride, and at 9:30 headed out of town. The route soon started uphill, and there was a nearly unbroken climb to tree line. My new bike was great. This was the steepest long climb that my son had ever done, and he seemed to be enjoying the challenge, but I wanted to keep things that way, so made us take some breaks for water and food. But sooner than expected we were at the pass, where a group of donkeys were waiting for is. As we started the first descent, the trail forked. The right-hand road was the official bike path, but people standing there said the left-hand one was more interesting single track, so we took it, and they were right. From the lake at the bottom came the long gradual climb up Val Mora, and it was the most beautiful scenery I have ever biked through. Riding down towards Val Mustair we took the single-track shortcuts as the road made switchbacks, and they were worth it. We pulled into the Hotel Al Rom in Tschierv at 15:00. It seems to get most of its business from mountain bikers riding through, and the staff there even wash your bike before it gets locked up in the garage. The pizza was great. I nodded off as we watched a film together on my iPhone.
13.08.2017 Tschierv – Scuol

We headed out at 8:30, into beautiful larch forests, and by 10:45 were at the pass, with a short section of pushing near the top, some of it so steep I had to help my son with his bike. The first few kilometers of the descent were fantastic, on very gradually sloping single track, so we could really let our bikes fly. Then we hit the dirt road and it was a little more boring technically, but still absolutely lovely, all the way to S-charl. The ride from there down towards Scuol crossed a series of impressive landslides (is it always like this?), and we were overtaking cars along the way. And it went on forever – this downhill today never seemed to end. Then up a little bit, and we tried some single-track that we saw for the last bit to town, but it was really unpleasantly muddy and rocky, and in fact the first time in the whole three days that my son complained. We pulled into the station at 12:30, a few minutes before the train back home departed.
My eleven-year-old son and I explored the Alpine Bike rout together on a long weekend in early August. It looked to me like taking the first three days of the Alpine Bike, in reverse order, would be just the right first attempt at a multi-day mountain bike ride …
… The first day would be toughest, but it would track a road and railway line, so that if it proved too much, we could always stop. With that behind us we could enjoy with confidence the easier second and third days, which would take us further into the backcountry.

Many people have asked me whether three days on this route – designed to be challenging for adult – was too much for a child. For my son it was not. But that is perhaps because over the last year he has settled into a habit of doing some sort of sports every day, usually with me, whether biking, running, hiking, or skiing. I think I have managed to avoid being pushy, and to let him take the lead in expressing the desire for physical challenge. But still I have been guiding him, and it has been among the most special part of fatherhood. Infinitely better that giving him an expensive watch, like we see in the magazine advertisements.
11.08.2017 Russikon – St. Moritz – Livigno

We headed out from our home in the Züri Oberland before dawn on a rainy August morning, biking down to the train station in Pfäffikon ZH. At 10:00 in the morning, and two chapters in The Hobbit later, we arrived in St. Moritz under surprisingly sunny skies. We headed towards St. Moritz Bad, and found our way onto the route. Starting at Morteratsch things started getting fun, with steep and winy single track. Unfortunately for me, I also popped a spoke from my back wheel rim about there, but my bike was still ride-able. The weather suddenly turned foul, as predicted, just after passing Diavolezza, with a cold rain and strong headwind. We stopped at the Bernina Pass for some warm food in one of the two restaurants, mainly to get out of the rain. But when we started again it was snowing, and then fog blew in. The ride from there to the top (2’480 m) was mentally and technically challenging, with slippery single-track and the feeling of being alone in the world. Fortunately I had packed for bad weather (even including a 2-person bivouac sack), and when we started our descent down towards Italy we were able to stay warm with fresh pairs of dry gloves and tights, and down jackets under our shells. We took it easy, and where the wet rocky trail seemed too slippery, we got off and pushed out bikes. Eventually the weather cleared, and it proved to be a lovely long descent. But with a missing spoke, my back wheel was getting more and more out of true, and at 18:00 it barely rolled into Livigno. Every bike shop in town told us that one of the others could fix it, or at least sell me a new wheel. But they were all wrong: my bike was simply too old, with outdated 26 inch rims that nobody could fix or replace. I called my wife, checked my bank account, and decided it was time for a new bike. One of the shops gave me a great deal, and promised to hold on to my old one, if and when I wanted to pick it up. Then a multi-course dinner at our Hotel Bernina. “You speak Italian too?” my son asked, in the middle of all of this. And so we talked a bit about how I had spent three months in Italy when I was 20 years old, and what it was like being lost in a different culture.
12.08.2017 Livigno – Tschierv

After breakfast we went to the store to buy more food for the ride, and at 9:30 headed out of town. The route soon started uphill, and there was a nearly unbroken climb to tree line. My new bike was great. This was the steepest long climb that my son had ever done, and he seemed to be enjoying the challenge, but I wanted to keep things that way, so made us take some breaks for water and food. But sooner than expected we were at the pass, where a group of donkeys were waiting for is. As we started the first descent, the trail forked. The right-hand road was the official bike path, but people standing there said the left-hand one was more interesting single track, so we took it, and they were right. From the lake at the bottom came the long gradual climb up Val Mora, and it was the most beautiful scenery I have ever biked through. Riding down towards Val Mustair we took the single-track shortcuts as the road made switchbacks, and they were worth it. We pulled into the Hotel Al Rom in Tschierv at 15:00. It seems to get most of its business from mountain bikers riding through, and the staff there even wash your bike before it gets locked up in the garage. The pizza was great. I nodded off as we watched a film together on my iPhone.
13.08.2017 Tschierv – Scuol

We headed out at 8:30, into beautiful larch forests, and by 10:45 were at the pass, with a short section of pushing near the top, some of it so steep I had to help my son with his bike. The first few kilometers of the descent were fantastic, on very gradually sloping single track, so we could really let our bikes fly. Then we hit the dirt road and it was a little more boring technically, but still absolutely lovely, all the way to S-charl. The ride from there down towards Scuol crossed a series of impressive landslides (is it always like this?), and we were overtaking cars along the way. And it went on forever – this downhill today never seemed to end. Then up a little bit, and we tried some single-track that we saw for the last bit to town, but it was really unpleasantly muddy and rocky, and in fact the first time in the whole three days that my son complained. We pulled into the station at 12:30, a few minutes before the train back home departed.

Dieser Reisebericht liegt an:

Alpine Bike route-01
Alpine Bike
Scuol–Aigle
Zur Route