Großer Feldberg (Taunus)

This weekend I was riding at the Großer Feldberg in the Taunus Mountains with a couple of friends.

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Welcome to freedom

Let’s face it, this year’s german summer blows, right? It’s either raining like whatnot or it’s hot as hell … sometimes even both, resulting in a foggy, sweaty mess that nobody really likes. And even with a certain state of mind concerning weather, it got a little cumbersome over the weeks. This sunday however, was plain awesome.

7.40 am, 17°C, longsleeve jersey. Not much of a sunset, lots of grey clouds. Most of the time pedaling uphill on a wavy kind of trail. Conditions are great, lots of grip on the trail, not too hot yet, practically noone around except for the occasional grumpy sunday-morning-i-am-still-wasted-but-the-dog-has-to-poop-people.

Half an hour later. It starts to rain. For a second there, I think I should return home since I’m not that far away yet. But there’s a downhill trail, right at my front tire … easy choice, right? The trail was a mess … besides the usual roots and rocks there were deep ruts from the rain that had come down that week. Totally different from what I remembered the trail being like … refreshingly different. Since I know the corners and I’m familiar with the steepness, it felt pretty comfortable to adapt to the new obstacles. Mud and rain everywhere, can’t really see much any more, breath’s pumping … feels great.

Couple minutes later, bottom of the hill, noticable temperature drop, rain’s getting heavier. The trail ends at the lowest point of the valley, so the only next direction available is “uphill”. It’s dead quiet. The only noise is my breath, the rear tire gripping into the ground, raindrops falling and a little creek coming down right next to the trail. No cars, no talking, no phone-annoyance, just nature, my bike and me. It’s still hot from the exertion of getting up the hill but every tiny raindrop provides a bit of cooling. Every leaf I touch while riding through the thick underbrush soaks the jersey with cooling water. Look straight ahead, pedaling, breathing, riding. Not trying but doing, not guessing but knowing.

Welcome to the zone where nothing else matters, where everything else becomes tiny and pointless, where everything you do is what you want to do and noone’s there to tell you not to. Welcome to what mountainbiking’s really about. Welcome to that short moment of freedom, right outside your door.