Mountain Bike Magazine SANI - Autumn 2018 - Page 78

BUCKET LIST Graubunden up on such a bad weather day. The hut is so tiny that we can look right into her kitchen. I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed an espresso as much as this one. Ale, Richie and I sit quietly on a bench outside in our filthy rain gear and embrace these calm, finally warm and caffeinated moments. Although it feels like we must almost be back in town, we’re concerned the guide’s estimate of another hour left to ride is slightly optimistic. Of course it is! But as they say, wine is the best healer (Dr Schley 2017) and back at the hotel in the evening we are all on the same page of positivity after a glass or two – this was a ride we won’t forget in a long time. A real wet-weather Graubünden adventure. After a good nights’ sleep we are able to save a big chunk of energy right off the bat, as we take the Motta Naluns lift up the mountain in Scuol. To our delight, our guide Werni, happens to know the guy handling the lift and he shuttles us up even higher into the majestic peaks in his truck. As we get dropped off in a lush 78 | MTB | bucket list busting green field, the thick clouds that worried us when we left the hotel lie behind us. Werni assures us, it’s all downhill from here and damn, my legs could not be happier about that. However, you always have to keep the super-human endurance of a Swiss bike guide in mind. With these folks, downhill can be quite flat and flat can in fact be surprisingly uphill. But we are ready for whatever this day brings. Back in the early mountain bike days, Scuol was one of the most famous downhill spots in Europe. The Swiss downhill sensation himself, Claudio Caluori, had a house at the foot of the trails. Unfortunately, the main downhill scene didn’t stay, but moved on a few kilometres. You won’t have to look far to discover the world’s fastest going head to head at the Mountain Bike World Champs in Lenzerheide, another of the five big bike resorts in Graubünden, in September this year. You can imagine the potential of the trails here, being a former official Downhill track. A perfect mix of fast turns and rocky single track is everything we need to be happy. It’s not easy to concentrate on the trail, with the mid-summer mountain scenery being so beautiful. After a delicious lunch break at another mountain hut we ride a couple more trails before cruising back into the town of Scuol with its uniquely characteristic Sgraffito architecture of Engadin houses. The architecture, paired with the Romansh language, makes it hard for me to believe that I am still in Switzerland. Three different languages are spoken in Graubünden: Italian, Romansh and Swiss German. This diversity is impressive and the 17 000km of trails on 7 000m² of alpine terrain even more so: a true trail paradise! But still, even though everything