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Going mountain biking with Germany’s marathon champion

November 05, 2011.
Elisabeth Brandau bei der Arbeit

Elisabeth Brandau talks about her first Bike Camp at CUBE SAVOGNIN. Starting in 2012, we’re going to get real serious about this project!

In spite of the bad weather forecast, my first Bike Camp at CUBE Savognin did take place, and not to our regret. We packed our winter gear and enjoyed a wonderful and eventful weekend full of sunshine, rain and a lot of snow!

Following a beautiful sunset tour, the participants were received at CUBE on Thursday evening. We introduced ourselves to each other and held a meeting concerning the schedule for the next few days, which would be strongly influenced by the weather. We then rode our bikes directly to our rooms and had a sound night’s sleep. A nutritious breakfast was served the following day and at 10:00 a.m. we started our first technique training to assess each others’ skills. After that we headed out for our first tour, which was just when snow flakes began to fall. With the sun in our backs, we climbed to an altitude of 2,000 meters, just to ride a perfect trail down into the valley. This was the ideal opportunity for the guests to put the techniques they had just learned into practice.

Back at the hotel we had a break and were shown strengthening and stabilizing exercises. Afterwards we treated ourselves to the delicious and well-deserved evening buffet.

On Saturday morning, Jack Frost visited us and brought along plenty of snow. As a consequence, the first training of the day was moved to the gym where we tried out a few strength-building exercises for the winter. Come noon, our legs longed for our bikes, so we ventured out into the sleet for curve technique training. We practised on a steep meadow and on gravel roads. Then we moved on to the most beautiful trails of the southern slope of Savognin. The participants were amazingly tough and were not deterred by the horrid weather. If I hadn’t pulled them in, they would have gone on exploring the trails up until nightfall. That day’s extreme weather conditions allowed us to extensively test the merits of the dry lube “Squirt”, which we grew fond of.

Ahead of the grill buffet on Saturday, we were educated about brakes, gearing and forks – powered by Magura. Then we had an exquisite grill buffet together at our hotel. Well-fed, we studied the weather forecast, which predicted heavy snowfall down to 900 meters of altitude...

The next morning, we saw indeed 20 cm of fresh snow! But the weather was unable to curb our motivation. On the fly we organized a mobile catering service. On the final tour across the snow, the riders helped themselves to warm drinks and snacks at the food stand. A change of clothes was also provided.

Back at the hotel, and following a hot shower, we said farewell to our guests. I was so glad that the participants were not put off by the lousy weather and I hope that they will successfully implement the techniques they learned over many kilometers of riding!

Let me use this opportunity to thank everyone who supported me in organizing the Camp, and I’m already looking forward to my Bike Camps at CUBE in 2012!

For the next season, we have scheduled several Bike Camps with Elisabeth!