Blog

22Aug

2015 TransAlp MTB Adventure

Although it’s taken almost a month to finally create this post, the memories of my first mountain bike stage race are still somewhat fresh (especially the good ones). I’ve been busy enjoying euro travel and getting into triathlon race mode, but I couldn’t let an epic adventure such as the TransAlp go undocumented in my online scrap book.

Here’s a recap video created by the TransAlp event team

We decided to register for this event with our dear endurance junkie friends – For those of you who know Patti & Al, you understand how ‘easy’ it is to jump on board once they suggest an epic endurance challenge. They were willing to make the trip to Europe, so we were ready to step out of our comfort zone for this unforgettable TransAlp journey.

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The magnitude of the challenge hadn’t quite registered until roughly three weeks before the event. I reviewed the course details and quickly realized this was going to be one for the books. Our MTB skills were pretty rusty, but we prepped our minds and gear knowing these would be the most critical factors in our quest to cross the finish line each day. It’s a two person team event, so hubby and I thankfully had each others back. We stayed/rode together the entire week – Yes, quite the marriage strength test, but I’m happy to report that despite at least one meltdown, we’re still going strong!

Summary:

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  • 7 days  ~60,000 ft of climbing. Yes, you read that right!
  • 54+ total hrs of riding/hike-a-bike time
  • Lots of photos and breathtaking views
  • Lots of smiles
  • Lots of bruises
  • Just a few tears

Highlights:

  • Hanging out with old friends
  • Making new friends
  • EPIC VIEWS
  • Visiting new towns across Germany, Austria and Italy
  • Italian pizza
  • Crossing a finish line 7x in 7 days
  • Having drinks and laughs with friends afterwards
  • Taking pictures and supporting others along the way
  • Shimano XTR components that held up – Clearly bomb proof!

Lowlights:

  • Living out of a duffle bag for 7 days
  • Unable to wear my favorite cycling clothes (COEUR) in an attempt to match my partner
  • So much hike-a-bike
  • Sketchy technical descents after 4+ hr climbs
  • More hike-a-bike
  • Super long and exhausting days
  • crashing 2x on the final day (I was mentally and physically spent)

STAGE 1 (hyperlink to Strava file)

Yay Moment: Sharing hugs and cheers after the first mega climb of the week!

Stage 2 

Yay Moment – Enduro downhill park! What a blast and very THANKFULL for my dropper seat post!

Stage 3

Yay Moment  ……. finish line and beautiful hotel. I must mention the first 25K took us 4.5 hrs!! SO much hike a bike on gnarly rocks and snow. Our longest day, but we made it!!

 

Stage 4 

Yay Moment: The Beautiful Dolomites!  but, I will forever remember this day as Al’s unfortunate, yet epic hike day.

Stage 5

Yay moment – The relatively safe downhill finish to beautiful San Martino di Castrozza. Our excellent post ride dinner and drinks with the gang was a welcomed delight.

Stage 6

Yay Moment: Jumping in the lake at the finish line.

Stage 7

Yay Moment: Having drinks and dessert with our pals after crossing the finish line!

This was likely a ONE & DONE adventure, but it certainly confirmed my love for cycling and living in Europe (and my badass friends). I’ve yet to ride my MTB post race, but that’s primarily due to the fact I just received a new rocket ready to make it’s racing debut at the Ironman 70.3 World Championships next weekend. I’ve been tinkering with the fit for the past three weeks, but I think it’s finally ready to go! ArgonE118 CY