SkiBike Tour 2015-16 - EUSA SkiBike Meeting Day 2

Posted: Saturday, 9 January 2016 by Mark Kinnon in Labels: , , ,

This morning all of the beginners were given free time to practice their freshly honed skills which gave myself and Thierry our first chance to ride with Wayne Richards. The skiing area at Zell am See isn't huge and yesterday we had be hemmed into a small area deemed the most suitable for the beginner skibikers. This morning was our opportunity to break free and explore. So we headed down through the woods above Zell am See along a charming path shown on the piste map simply as 5 and 5b towards the Sonnenalbahn cable car.

From this point we could use the Sonnkogelbahn chairlift to reach the summit. The area was reminiscent of the ski stations of Scotland rather than Austria, with a rounded and undulating character with plenty of rough grass and scrub nestled between the pistes.
The snow was much softer than elsewhere at Zell am See and in places a delight to ride, we managed a few circuits but had to head back towards the main group for lunch.

The restaurant was quite a sight to see, with skibikes outnumbering the mainstream winter sports apparatus stacked nearby. At lunch Peter joined me and I took him on a repeat of the morning's route to the "secret" mountain area which had become even softer and slushier by this time.

Skibikes outnumbering the regular winter sports apparatus

In the evening we met for the official EUSA dinner, held at a Kohlschnait Lodge which has its very own illuminated sledge track. In the UK this would have meant a 50m grassy bank, but here in Austria it goes half way up a mountain and is 3 Km long.

A tractor and cattle wagon are the sole uplift, with sledges hung off the front forks and the the guests in cattle class behind. The meal was a meat grill affair composing a selection of finely sliced cuts for you to grill at your table. For weirdos like me who are vegetarian (I'm pescetarian if you have to split hairs) the options were baked potatoes, or baked potatoes and salad. The Kohlschnait Lodge also has it's own craft brewery and the product slipped down very smoothly.

Kohlschnait Lodge - ok who doesn't want beer? source Tim Brooking

With the meal completed, we were assigned sledges and headed down the sledging track to our taxis. Seeing some of the drop-offs to either side I was fairly nervous about the arrangement, but for the younger at heart it was a hoot.