Livigno – det ultimate stedet for en mountainbiker

Flyt.

Flyt er et psykologisk begrep for kreativt arbeid blant annet gjort kjent av Mihály Csíkszentmihályi. Når man er i flyt går arbeidet lett som en lek, man blir fullstendig oppslukt og kan oppleve at begreper om tid og rom forsvinner fullstendig.  (Kilde: wikipedia.no)

Jeg lette etter et ord som kunne beskrive turen vi nettopp kom hjem fra på best mulig måte. Jeg endte opp med «Flyt». Etter å ha drevet med mountainbiking siden starten på 90-tallet vet man hva man er ute etter for å få den ultimate opplevelsen. Man trenger selvfølgelig ikke å ha drevet med dette i 20 år for å skjønne det, men uansett. Vi mountainbikere leter konstant etter den ultimate stien med optimal lengde som kan bidra til nettopp det definisjonen sier, ar arbeidet går som en lek og man blir fullstendig oppslukt slik at man mister begrep om tid or rom, kun nytelse av flyt. Lange strekninger med steinete partier. Akkurat passe krappe svinger, som gir utfordringer nok i å mestre god svingteknikk for å opprettholde fart og balanse, bratte partier som virkelig krever bremsekraft. Bratte fjellsider som gjør at man må holde konsentrasjonen og blikket opp og fremover når det går fort.

Det er ikke uten grunn at Hans Rey, trial og mountainbike legenden, har påtatt seg oppgaven å være talsperson for Livigno og for å reklamere for dette stedet for sin enorme potensialet som Europas beste mountainbike sted. Det var også her han hentet inspirasjonen til «Flow Country Trail» konsept.

Det var akkurat dette vil skulle få sjansen til å oppleve disse 4 dagene.

Første dag. Ble brukt i Mottolino Bikepark, en fantastisk bikepark med mange forskjellige nedfarter, alt fra svart World Championship 2005 løype til fine singletracks i rød og blå fargekode. Det fine med parken var at den hadde mange nedfarter som passet våre sti sykler med 140mm vandring. Hadde selvfølgelig vært en fordel med noe mere vandring. Vi var også innom en noen North shore elementer som var bygget. Uansett var det flere fine tekniske partier.

Andre dag. Det var duket for en dagstur denne dagen, været så ut til å bli helt strålende. Vi studerte sykkelkartet nøye for å finne en sti vi hadde hørt mye positivt om. Vi hadde så vidt prøvd å finne denne stien dagen før også uten hell. Dette skulle være en sti som av Hans Rey ble kalt «The Flow Country Trail». Når vi først fant den, var det ikke noe tvil om at denne stien skulle leve opp til navnet sitt. Vi snakker om en sti med flyt av dimensjoner, totalt på hele turen som var ca 20km var det totalt 4 stigninger på til sammen 6-700hm, men vi snakker om lange strekninger med fantastisk flyt inkludert tekniske seksjoner, med veldig bratte fjellsider som stuper 100m rett ned, krappe svinger og bratte steinete seksjoner. Siste del av stien gikk langs en elv og ned i skogen, slakke svinger nedover hele til dels steinete i starten bød på masse action og mye fart.

Tredje dag.  Denne dagen hadde vi bestemt oss for å utforske virkelig høyde. Carrosello 3000. Sykling fra nesten 3000moh ned til Livigno på 1850moh. Det var grått vær og nokså overskyet, vi tenkte ikke en gang tanken på å sykle de 1000hm opp til toppen, Gondolen var stengt, så vi fikk gubben på hotellet til å kjøre oss til topps. Det er den bratteste kjøreturen jeg har hatt noen gang

.2013-09-29 13.42.57         2013-09-29 13.18.52

Da vi kom til toppen hadde vi blant annet kjempe utsikt til stien i fjellsiden på andre siden der vi hadde vært dagen før. Det var relativt dårlig vær, overskyet, men god sikt og ikke noe regn. Det var klart for å finne stien ned, den var utrolig snirklet seg nedover fjellsiden ca 600hm nedover. til vi endte opp i dalen ved en liten elv med ei lita bru over til et spisested som hadde stengt for sesongen. Derfra gikk det grusvei den siste biten rundt fjellet og tilbake til Livigno. Se ruten her http://www.endomondo.com/routes/255790159

Fjerde og siste dag. Vi våknet til pissregn,  og ble liggende litt ekstra før vi gikk til frokost. Kontinuerlig sjekket vi været og håpet at det skulle bli bedre. Det ble det ikke. Vi besluttet å ta en kjøretur til St. Moritz, for samtidig å se etter stiene som går ned begge sider av Bernina passet. Vi var tilbake på hotellet tidlig på ettermiddagen, og vurderte frem og tilbake flere ganger om det skulle bli en tur eller ikke, til slutt tok Knut Espen ansvar gikk ned og sjekket om noen kunne kjøre oss opp på fjellet. Det ble en utrolig fin repetisjon av Dag 2.

Sykkel- og reisekamerat Knut Espen har også skrevet fra turen, det kan lese her:

http://knutespen.wordpress.com/2013/10/02/mountainbike-paradise-livigno-2013/

Hilsen fra Livigno

Her kommer en rask hilsen fra Livigno, sykkel paradiset i Italia, nær grensen til Sveits.

Vi har til nå hatt 3 utrolige dager med høyfjellstier i 1850 – 2850moh. Helt rått!!

Dag 1 i Mottolino bikepark hvor vi blant annet havnet i en svart DH løype.

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Dag 2  gikk på en ultimat flytsti på fjellhyller fra 2400moh til 1800moh inkludert 750m stigning.

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Dag 3 gikk fra Carosello 3000, 2850moh

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Følg med de neste dagene, det kommer mer bilder, info om turene, om utstyret, stedet vi bodde, og film orgie av dimensjoner inkludert slow-mo.

A Perfect Day

I was recently visiting a conference in San Francisco, when planning this trip I planned a day for myself as well. What I was going to that day, was a platitude. I had to go mountainbiking and find som local trails.

Actuallty I was thinking of a trip to Whistler, but I quickly found out that it was too far away and too short time available. When I was e-mailing with the guys at Bearbackmountain in Whistler I asked whether they knew about any guides around the San Francisco area, and they did.

I got in touch with Celia Graterol from mountainbikingmarin.com, and she was available, lucky me. After som e-mailing forth and back, and after filling out Celia application for a ride, it was just to start looking forward to this experience, I coudn’t wait. I found myself a rental bike at sunshinebicycle.com. I booked a Cannondale Jekyll and agreed to meet Celia at the bicycle store.

In San Francisco I started looking for how to get to Fairfax where I was supposed to meet Celia, and we were going to cycle from there. I planned to take a bus to San Rafael and then jump on another bus to Fairfax not far away from San Rafael. The bus was delayed I didnt catch the bus to Fairfax, but jumped in a taxi 15$ later I arrived at Sunshine Bicycles just before opening time. I got the Jekyll, they mounted my pedals which I had brought with me. I was very curious about which shape I was in, after spending almost a week from 0830-1730 on a chair listening to Technical sessions about VMware’s new vSphere 5.1 version.

Then Celia showed up in a Pick-up with her Santa Cruz Blur, a very nice bike. Her friend and guide companion also showed up, Tom Fallon. Celia is the founder of mountainbikingmarin which arranges guided tours and clinics. Celia is a former US National Champion in Downhill 2002. I could already imagine her skills around the trails we were suppose to visit this day. Tom Fallon is a really nice guy with a future within motorsport and racing, but have of course played around the hills on a mountainbike since childhood. I was going to spend a whole day with these people, and they were going to show me some of the best trails around Marin valley, guess if I was looking forward to this day.

Celia had made a plan:

First: Tamarancho, Second: Paranickle, Third: Solstice and about 3000ft of climbing (we have to suffer a bit in order to have fun downhill)

Tamarancho

The weather was actually pretty good, it was not too warm because it was cloudy and little bit windy this day. There was at least not too warm, on the tops it was even more windy.

We started on the climb up to whre the Tamarancho trail started, this is an area with trails built by a local scoutgroup, we started to climb on some pretty rough trails uphill, I had to immediately get used to the narrow and tight switchbacks, I am not very used to that because in Norway we dont have much of that kind of trails. It was a lot of climbing the first 15-20 mins before we could enjoy some flowy trails, we were getting up to speed on really tight singletracks with a lot of loose small rocks, roots and a steep hill on the side, there were no room for mistakes, that’s for sure…..

We ended up on a fireroad, and we were actuallt going to get to know these fireroads…heavy stuff, up, up and up… until we finally reached the top, and there was a wide rocky downhill section where we really getting up to speed on before we ended up in a small place we could sit down for a small break and some snacks.

Paranickle

Tom warned me about the Red Oak, which contains some sort of poison, I was not going to touch them, thanks for the warning Tom 🙂 It was time to drop into the Paranickle trail, and finally some real downhill. Again we dropped into a really nice trail which was turning from side to side with some rocky very steep section, I kept the speed up and floated down the smooth trails. I had of course turned on my GoPro, here you can see the result:

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=l5vYVoilcK0%5D

After the Paranickle trail we discussed what should be the next, we chosed to go down to the main road for shuttling ourselves up to the start of the climb to Solstice trail. On the way to this area we stopped by a coffeshop for a sandwich and a coke and for trying to find the last reserves to be able to do the last climb to reach a really nice downhill trail with some really challenging sections I was told.

Solstice

After the quick snack, we found the fire road we needed to climb in order to start on the downhill of Solstice trail. OMG, say no more, that climb I will never ever forget. At some places there was as steep as it was almost not possible to pedal, unless you had an adjustable fork which I didn’t have. The front wheel kept leaving the ground all the time. Finally we reached the top of the hill. 1215ft (370m) of climbing in 1.86 miles (3km).

This was probably one of the hardest climbings I had ever experienced in my so far with 20 year of mountainbiking….

Then it was time to start the final downhill section of the day, I was really excited an was looking forward to it. My legs were more or less exhausted, but it is strange how much one can stand when you know you’re gonna have fun for the next 30 minutes or so. The trail started with some really narrow switchbacks again, which of course kept the speed down during these turns, but in between there was some really flowy section until we reached the woods, then it was a narrow trail, with some rocky sections, trees really close to the trail which you had to sneak around, some trees was also hanging over the trail and I had to watch my head. As usual I saw only Tom’s back because he fired away after every turn. Then suddenly the trail was ending in a «Y» and I had to wait for Celia which came from behind, it was a good idea that I stopped, because Celia told me just to lower my seat even more, and go on, and I did. It was a really steep section starting with some big roots crossing the trail and a really rocky section, it was just to put the back behind the seat and let it go, Tom waited for me after this section. When you never have ridden a trail and come into such section you need to make your decisions fast, I did, and it went perfectly fine. We kept on riding downhill, there was another steep section, but easier to see, but it was a lot of loose gravel and rocks, really fun. Look at 10 minute with fun here:

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFcW5lWF98U%5D

We had 10 minutes riding back to town, then it was time for an afterbike beer at the local Micro brewery, Iron Springs pub. I really appreciated the time we had and the discussions of everything about the ride and everything else about mountainbiking. It’s a pity that there is so many trails are illegal to use for mountainbiking. It was especially interesting to learn about the mountainbiking history of Marin county, which has really been significant to the development of the mountainbiking around the world today.

Facts:

Start Time Aug 31, 2012 8:40 PM
Distance 30.05 km
Duration 4h:06m:37s
Avg Speed 7.3 km/h
Max Speed 50.6 km/h
Calories 3089 kcal
Altitude 1 m / 404 m
Elevation 806 m ↑ / 937 m ↓

For route, click here

Gutta leker seg i bakgården

Dette er gutta som kan leke seg, men det er klart det er ikke så vanskelig når man både har utstyret, fasilitetene, bor på riktig sted, og ikke minst kan tjene penger på å gjøre slikt.

Dette er ren morro fra første til siste sekund. Se og nyt.

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