Is that possible? Mountain biking with an eleven-year-old boy – in the mountains? BRIGITTE editor Daniela Stohn has tried it!
It does not start well for me. At the very first exercise, Marco, our bike guide, calls me a “hair-thistle bag” – which in high German means potato sack. I’m honestly offended. I only know the guy for five minutes, what does he think? Besides, I do not like braking hard in the gravel. Hmm. Am I really sitting so tight in the saddle? Ben, my eleven-year-old son, brakes like an ace and smiles proudly as he is praised.
Up in the flow, down in flight
Ben and I are the outdoor athletes in our family. In the past year we took the gondola up the mountain in Tyrol and rushed back to the valley via the forest roads and gravel roads.
I wanted more of it immediately: from nature, the tingling sensation in my stomach and the feeling of experiencing it all together – but with a little more effort. I wanted to do a mountain bike vacation with my child, but without having to take it back.
Then a colleague said that she rents an e-bike with her husband on vacation while cycling without an engine. That’s it, I thought: Ben gets drive, I can dig, and both of us are happy. And that’s exactly what we are here for now, in Flims, in the Swiss canton of Graubünden.
My son lets me swallow dust
However, after the “Härdöpfelsack” it does not get any better – I realize that I am always the last one. Roland, our photographer, often drives 150 kilometers by road bike – during the day. Guide Marco is fit as a sneaker anyway. And Ben is constantly racing past me with his e-bike and lets me swallow dust. “I’m on turbo!”, He shouts happily. My turbo, on the other hand, is in reserve. But that does not matter, I’m still in love of shock: in the rugged mountains, in the Auspowern, in this “we both here” with Ben.
We are on the road for five hours, cycling past the turquoise-green bathing lakes Cauma and Cresta, admiring the spectacular Rhine gorge, eating delicious Graubünden specialties such as “Capuns”, spaetzle wrapped in Swiss chard, pulling Ben out of a bush into which he will ride his e-bike , a really heavy part, is tilted, which does not detract from his enthusiasm.
Downhill driving? My child promises me an ice cream if I can do it
The next day is even better for Ben: Downhill driving! I’m really scared, but Ben promises me an ice cream when I make the good seven-kilometer singletrack, a narrow Wegelchen over hill and dale down. Wait, when did we actually swap roles?
To my reassurance, Marco first explains the technique: downhill always standing, pedals parallel, elbows slightly to the side. And never, never really brake jerkily! Okay, understood. Only: When you are afraid, you reflexively cramp yourself – and I notice that when we have about half of the 1,800 vertical meters behind us.
I’m on adrenaline, enjoy the pace. But suddenly I’m getting too fast and braking on a steep hill – jerky. I roll backwards and throw myself sideways in a fir tree, so as not to land under the wheel. Ouch, that pikst! Fortunately, all but a few scratches are still there.
Ben gets nothing with it, he jostles after Marco, jumps over hills and crashes down the steepest passages. With abraded legs and bruises, but proudly we arrive below. In the evening in bed, he says: “Mom, you better go up, but I better down.”
The next day I’m back: It’s uphill – my favorite discipline on the mountain bike. “Mom, why do you tempt yourself up a mountain, even if you could take the chairlift?” Ben asks desperately. He needs breaks more often, sometimes he pushes, or Marco gives him momentum – unfortunately something went wrong with the e-bike reservation. I, on the other hand, marvel at the view and feel how my head becomes quite calm.
My conclusion after three days? Great! I had my effort, Ben his pace and the trails. We’ll do it again!
DANIELA’S TIPS FOR CYCLING TOURS
Rock Resort. In the purist, gray Granitwohnklötzen in Laax hide modern, but cozy apartments, on the Plaza in the middle there are restaurants, shops, cafes, playground, supermarket – and a halfpipe for practicing. Apartment with 2 bedrooms / day from about 430 Euro (Via Murschetg 15, 7032 Laax, Switzerland, Tel. 00 41/819 27 97 97, www.rocksresort.com ).
Tegia Larnag’s. Cozy hut, about 15 minutes walk from the valley station in Laax up the mountain, with Swiss specialties such as cheese fondue for about 26 euros (Tel. 00 41/81 927 99 10, larnags.ch ).
Conn. The rustic restaurant is located in the Flims Grosswald right on the hiking and biking trail to the Rhine Gorge, with a magnificent view of the mountains. Only accessible on foot! Delicious are the “Capuns”, spaghetti wrapped in Swiss chard (about 22 Euro), and the pear ravioli (about 23 Euro, www.conn.ch ).
It is best to take all-mountain bikes for excursions, they are agile, stable and suitable for difficult trails. E-mountain bikes are booming, so book better before; best choice is a “Fully” (with suspension at the front and rear wheel) and: must be instructed by experts, because the pace is not so easy to regulate in the beginning. Borrow z. For example, in the case of “Laax Rental” (E-Bike Fully eg 68 Euro per day for adults, for children 40 Euro, valley station Flims and Laax, Tel. 00 41/819 27 70 73, www.laaxrental.com ) ,
Courses are offered by the “Laax School”, a three-hour group beginner course costs 119 euros per person ( www.bikeschool-flims-laax-falera.ch ). There are plenty of things to do: The Laax-Flims-Falera region in the Swiss canton of Grisons offers 330 kilometers of bike trails (info at www.flims.com ).
Beautiful destinations are the bathing lakes Cauma and Cresta, where you can cool off in the turquoise water. Spectacular views of the mountains and the 400-meter-deep Rhine gorge Ruinaulta can be had from the observation deck Il Spir.
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In the peace lies the power In between, it is important, even just take a break
About stick and stone Daniela Stohn drives with leg strength, son Ben with engine