I have been home for a week now – and have had plenty time to reflect on a fantastic 2 weeks spent at Bike Verbier in the Valais region of Switzerland. I seemed to spend most of the 2 weeks buzzing about riding my bike – whereas on previous trips I have enjoyed myself, but have found the riding much more of a challenge… and may have had the odd meltdown moment!
We rode a great selection of trails – there was very little use of the actual bike park terrain, apart from some acclimatisation at the start of the week, and to link natural terrain together. The riding is so varied – rocky tech, loose steeps, rooty terrain, traverses through beautiful high alpine meadows.
Rides often started up high in the mountains dropping down through the day into more wooded sections. Some lift access and/or van uplift tended to be followed by 1-2 hours of climbing to gain a bit more altitude, maybe also some hike a bike – then picking up gorgeous ribbons of sweet alpine single-track to descend back to the valley.
Picking a favourite ride doesn’t seem possible – the beautiful backdrop and tech fest of descending from Emosson dam is up there, a new ride starting close to Crans Montana and ending at a lovely cooling lake was awesome, the 126 swiss corners of Vertigo had me buzzing like a crazed bee…but there were so many more…..
So why was this year special? I think I am fitter and stronger - thanks to all the big rides I have been doing back home. I resumed meditation practice to ensure a calm and focussed mind – starting the day meditating in the garden became an enjoyable part of my routine (I am carrying that on now we are home)… I have spent a lot more time on my bike in the last few months and that seems to be reflected in improved levels of skill and confidence – to the point where my favourite rides were the steep and techie ones. I also wasn’t so concerned about exactly what was coming – I knew that I would be able to cope.
The fortnight was not without incident – I was able to practice my first aid on a few occasions. The most notable was when one of the group suffered a dislocated shoulder and broken arm- the ambulance crew decided that the air ambulance was required. What an experience that was – one of the winch crew arrived with a chainsaw to remove a tree that was potentially in the way for winching the casualty out. The process must have taken about 2.5hours but was amazing to see.
I have to thank Bike Verbier for another amazing 2 weeks – the chalet is lovely, the food is amazing, the guides are wonderful – all we needed to do was get up, eat breakfast, pick up our packed lunch, ride bikes, eat cake, get cleaned up, eat dinner, sleep and repeat…