Alone in Alpirsbach - a test of the climb to Rötenberg


  1. København-Alpirsbach

  2. Alpirsbach

  3. Alpirsbach

  4. Alpirsbach-Tuttlingen

  5. Tuttlingen-Lindau

  6. Lindau-Feldkirch(A)

  7. Feldkirch-Landeck

  8. Landeck-Innsbruck

  9. Innsbruck-Zell am Ziller

  10. Zell am Ziller-Zell am See

  11. Zell am See 

  12. Zell am See-Pffarwerfen 

  13. Pffarwerfen-Tuttmoning

  14. Tuttmoning-Passau

  15. Passau-Linz

  16. Linz-Melk

  17. Melk-Wien

  18. Wien

  19. Wien

  20. Wien

  21. Wien

  22. Wien-København




Letter 2

Friday 22.07.11

I had reached the conclusion that it must have been the the tape inside the rim and some sharp edge that had caused the punctures. The tape is now back in position - but I should have been wiser.... When I pump again after having put on the fixed tube, I see it luckily: there is a crack in the edge of the tyre.... and the tube is on its way through... exactly like in Chile 2002. My almost new Continental tyre! Then I got a new one, when I reach back home and wrote them a letter. Even I had thrown the old (new) one out.
So the tyre is finished. Angela takes me to the bicycle shop in the next town, she's going to fetch some stuff for Johannes anyway. I get the king of bicycle tyres: Schwalbe's Marathon. 21€, really a good bargain. I also buy an extra tube. The woman in the shop suggests it could have been a poorly adjusted brake shoe that caused the trouble? I check it later. No, it wasn't! What's the chance of twice in a lifetime having an expensive tyre with the same built in fault? Maybe Continental should check their quality procedures?

It's raining today, so maybe there will be no small trip in the surroundings? The entire family Johannes included is going to a roofing ceremony at some member of the family. It's i BIG family so I don't recall exactly who, but I'm on my own all afternoon. I've made a route according to the different advises they've given me, now we'll have to see if I can go. It's still raining.
I've got internet connection and the forecast for Alpirsbach from DMI (Danish Meteorologic Institute) promise: SUNSHINE and nothing but sunshine. Maybe I ought to write to them?

Against all expectations the rain stops and I set off. The first part I have to go on sunday too when I leave. It goes uphill to Rötenberg, so now I can check the climb - even I'm without luggage. It seems bearable. I make a calculation for the upper part: 500 m and 40 m on the altimeter, that makes 80 m in 1000 m, which is 8%.
The reason for my interest in percentages is, that I can't use the two smallest gears. The screw is stuck. So how steep climbs can I do with the available gears? Furthermore a glance in a car map I found back home revealed that the climb at Arlberg Pass reaches 13%.

I get to Rötenberg and have to follow a bicycle road. As usual I'm too quick. I thought Rötenberg to be rather small and therefore I'm sure the bicycle road must be the one going left. Sometime later I realize that might not be correct. I get into the wood on doubtful paths, but encounter an asphalt road, that will probably bring me back? But I don't recognize anything but after a new attempt I find the one I came from in the end.

The road is going UP to Rötenberg And 17% down towards Schenkenzell


A new closer look to the map reveals the bicycle road and I take it. Luckily there's someone to ask if this road leads to Schenkenzell? Yes, sure. Immer gerade aus! That's easy for her to say. The road curves AND divide. It's hard to tell which is the "main road". I take the wrong branch before I'm sure at last. A truck passes, so it must lead somewhere.

 I'm convinced it's the right one when a sign turns up: 17%. That's the steep down hill they told about. I turn around a couple of times to try to climb it. No problems. I'm without luggage, but it should be doable also with, I reckon. Not that it would be easy! But come on Arlberg! I'm ready.

View over Schenkenzell Alpirsbach greets me welcome back


From Schenkenzell I should have started a round trip to the valley behind Alpirsbach, but the time and the wheather makes me give it up. That must wait till tomorrow unless it really get's rainy all day like they've promised. (The german forecast, I've given up on DMI)

I turn on the TV and find a channel that shows the final climb on the stage to Alpe d'Huez. Intriguing! Then I find some news and see the first scaring pictures from the Norwegian disaster. It's getting closer!

27.92 km
14.2 km/h
42.8 km/h
1:57:12 h