Family bike tour with E- (xtra) power to the Wildalm
An e-mountain bike tour is fun for the whole family. Thanks to the motorized support, every push of the pedals is pure outdoor enjoyment, even for those who are less than top fit.
Ever since we set off for our holiday in the Salzburger Saalachtal my husband has talked about nothing else: he wants to get to know the area by bike. For this reason he has booked us into the Friedlwirt where the hosts are very enthusiastic bikers and guides themselves. Great for him – he is always going off on long rides with his friends and has calves of steel as a result. My pedal power is not that good and the idea of trailing around after him on holiday on the bike paths around Lofer, St. Martin, Weißbach and Unken doesn’t exactly fill me with glee.
Time for an adventure
Our son is already a keen cyclist at twelve years old but on longer tours he gets out of breath due to lack of endurance. And so it is him who leads us into the best adventure of our holiday as he says, full of vigour, “Come on Mum, don’t be a couch potato! We can hire top quality modern e-mountain bikes here in the hotel! A tour won’t be strenuous at all! And I really want to go biking with you and Dad!“ Who could say no to that? The next morning our host Bernhand greets us personally and announces brightly, “I’m your bike guide for today! We’re going to ride via the Sonnberg to Hintergföll and via the Moarlack to the Wildalm. We will take a break there and because it is such a hot summer’s day we can cool off on the way back in the crystal clear water in Unkenbachtal.“
Biking with a tailwind
Sceptically I say, “Oh, that sounds like a long way!“ However Bernhard laughs and counters, “Yes there are 20 kilometres and 800 metres of altitude to conquer with the bikes, but I promise you that it will be so effortless for you that you’ll feel as if you have a strong tailwind.“ After a short introduction to the bikes we are ready to start. My husband wants to wear himself out and chooses the lowest power level. My son winks at me and says, “Well Dad, we’ll see if you can keep up with us“. After my first push of the pedals a big grin spreads across my face. It feels as though Tour-de-France winner Lance Armstrong is sitting with me in the saddle and pedalling.
Happily chatting, I cycle ahead with my son and we leave Bernhard and my husband behind us. After the ascent to Innergföll I turn around and see my husband struggling up the mountain with a bright red face. “I’m going to ride on a higher setting from now on“, he announces, out of breath, and adds, “Otherwise I’ll never catch you two!“
Hut break on the Wildalm
Laughing, we continue our tour and above the Moarlack we take a short break. The view of the Salzburger Saalachtal is magnificent from here. The green alpine pastures ascend gently while the craggy rockfaces of the Steinberge in the distance are a breathtaking contrast. Bernhard patiently describes the panorama and never tires of naming all of the peaks. The tour continues uphill to the beautifully situated Wildalm where the hut landlords greet us warmly. We settle down on the sun terrace and replenish our energy with a hearty snack. Even though my battery should last for a lot longer I connect my bike to the charging station at the hut and announce, “Better to be safe than sorry! I really don’t want to have to ride without the help of the motor!“
Bathing fun in the cool water
After our break we jump into the saddle again to set off for the wild and romantic Unkenbachtal. High rockfaces border the stream which snakes along beside the trail. It is pleasantly shady here and we yearn to cool off after our tour. Bernhard brakes near a small, flat cove with snow-white pebbles and we gladly take off our shoes and socks. We wade through the ice-cold water up to our knees and on the small rocks on the bank we let the sun shine on our faces. My husband takes my arm proudly and says, “So my adventurer? Now that you’ve seen how you can conquer mountains on an e-mountain bike and even leave me behind, how about tackling a couple more tours in the Salzburger Saalachtal?“ I agree, laughing, and together with Bernhard and our son, we start to plan our next effortless e-mountain bike ride in the local area.