Spotlight

Mountain Biking With a View

Trails, trails, trails. We can never get enough of them. Regardless of whether they be flowy, spiked with roots, or alpine and rocky, they are everything we need—especially when they deliver the right challenge. As we ride, our gaze is always directed downwards as our eyes scan the trail ahead. And, at the moment we find the perfect line, a little endorphin party erupts in our bodies.

The only thing that can add the finishing touches to such a perfect trail experience is the view in between. On top, at the trail head, or sometimes directly on the trail, to relax your hands and catch your breath. Here your gaze will wander, your mind can relax and has time to realize how good all this actually is. But rides that have both trails and views are not easy to find—we know that. That's why we've taken over the research for you, and these Collections, guaranteeing an extra portion of MTB pleasure, are the result.

The only thing that can add the finishing touches to such a perfect trail experience is the view in between.

Trails with a view

Choose from our ready-to-go Collections with handpicked Tours and lots of handy information, created by passionate people like you.

Spätzle Cross — 7 days on the Swabian Alb
Mountain Biking Collection by
komoot
7 hut overnighters for a weekend in the Alps
Mountain Biking Collection by
komoot
The best trails around Lake Garda
Mountain Biking Collection by
komoot
Traversée du Massif Vosgien — Alsace bikepacking
Mountain Biking Collection by
komoot
Shredding trails on the island of Mallorca
Mountain Biking Collection by
komoot
The Stoneman Trail in the Ore Mountains
Mountain Biking Collection by
komoot
The Max Trail — across the Alps from West to East
Mountain Biking Collection by
komoot
3 days of bike crossing in the Black Forest
Mountain Biking Collection by
komoot
The Marvin Trail — an advanced transalp
Mountain Biking Collection by
komoot
The Swabian Jura — castles, caves and trails
Mountain Biking Collection by
komoot
Biking on spoil tips in the Ruhr Region
Mountain Biking Collection by
komoot
White knuckle riding around Mont Blanc
Mountain Biking Collection by
komoot
Giro Engiadina Bassa – 3 days of passes & trails
Mountain Biking Collection by
komoot

How do I go about it?

The Way Up

The way up takes some serious strength and endurance, but that’s what you’re here for, right? Challenging yourself and overcoming that internal monologue telling you to turn around is the reason we head to the mountains. And as soon as you arrive at the top, the strains, the sweat, the swearing; it’s all behind you—now it’s all about the long way down. Therefore, we recommend intelligently rationing your strength on the way up, as getting down safely is tougher on wobbly legs. Start comfortably and in a low gear and climb your way ever upwards at a consistent speed. Allow yourself to stop when the going gets too tough, but try not to do so too regularly as that can drain your motivation by making the way up seem never-ending. And remember to drink plenty and enjoy the views—you should be as conscious of your environment as you are on the way back down; only this time it’s at your own tempo.

The Way Down

First things first: Approach it slowly. Try to start on gravelled tracks before heading on to the more challenging trails, culminating with those steeper, stonier singletracks when your confidence is as high as your heart rate. In terms of technique, take it step by step. It takes a fair amount of ability to weave your way around a switchback or to hop over rocks—and even correct braking technique requires practice. Therefore, start with easier trails and ease your way into it, as the most important thing is that you enjoy the ride.

Taking great photos outside

To make your photos as beautiful as your memories are, here are a few simple tips on how to take beautiful photos during your rides.

The camera

The first thing you need for good photos is a camera that can take them. And while it helps, this doesn’t necessarily need to be the latest SLR or a set up with interchangeable lenses and wide angles. A simple zoom lens with a focal length between 24 and 70mm will also do the trick. In this sense, you may even be able to use your phone if you don't plan to make large-format prints or professionally edit your pictures afterwards. Just be aware that the quality of your camera has a direct impact on your images and consider whether your current one will meet your needs.

Take your time

Good photos are seldom the result of a snapshot. It’s better to take fewer photos (meaning fewer breaks) that are really good, than a bunch of photos you’ll only delete later. So, experiment a little to find the right shot, and consider whether your picture will still look good at home, long after the current feelings of elation subside.

The cut

All good photos fit the rule of thirds, a simple rule that leads to incredibly aesthetically pleasing pictures. To follow the rule, all you have to do is place the most important object in the picture (for example a human, a tree or a building) on the point where the ‘third’ lines intersect (see figure).

Lighting

The most important prerequisite for quality photos is beautiful light. So make sure that your motif is not in the shade, but illuminated by the sun. The time of day also plays an important role: The sun should not be too high; it should cast a shadow of yourself that’s ideally longer than you are tall. Particularly beautiful photos are taken in the golden and blue hours, directly after sunrise and before sunset.

Natural movement

If you or other people are in the picture, you will remember your adventure even better later. But only if it doesn't seem strangely unnatural and fake. So let the protagonists do something that they do all day anyway, such as hike or drive, look into the landscape or talk to each other.

Check out this article to find out more about how to improve your landscape photos.

Safety In The Mountains

Weather

Just like a hearty breakfast, checking the weather forecast is an important part of your daily mountain morning routine. Often you will experience extreme heat, snow and thunder in the same day. When packing, check the weather and take equipment for every possible condition. During your trip, hut keepers are the most reliable source of information, as well as the alpine club website. When in doubt, asking people you meet on the trail can be helpful, too.

Dangers

Rough terrain, narrow and steep paths, falling rocks – all are risks when traversing the Alps. Thorough preparation, suitable equipment and an honest evaluation of one’s skills are key to staying safe. If you don’t have any experience in alpine environments, it's best to bring someone who does.

Respect

Whether you are on a popular trail or off the beaten path, make sure to show respect toward other people and the environment. Beware of other people around – below steep slopes there can always be other trails, so don't kick down any rocks. Always leave a place as you found it and show responsibility towards your companions, people you meet and the environment.

Emergency Numbers

Research and bring with you the phone number of the local mountain rescue. Make sure you aways have some battery left on your mobile device and be cognisant of where you are at all times so you can accurately communicate your location in case of an emergency.

  • Mountain rescue Germany: 112
  • Mountain rescue Austria: 140
  • Mountain rescue Italy: 118

Packing List

During the ride

Helmet, cycling shorts, jersey, socks, cycling shoes, buff, rain jacket

In the evening

Comfy pants, T-shirt, underpants, long fleece or puffy, sandals/slippers

Camping

Sleeping bag, sleeping pad, stove, pot, pocket knife, spork, cup, trash bag

Often underestimated

Mosquito repellent, sunscreen, first aid kit, backup lighter for your stove, clothes line, backup tube, tools, toilet paper (bury it or pack it out!), powerbank, organ donor card (just kidding)

Often overestimated

Tent, ready-to-eat expedition food, deodorant, dish soap, more than one set of fresh clothes

Find more in-depth tips on bikepacking.com

Like What You See? Share It With Your Friends!

Explore More of the Great Outdoors