Why do I get out there? Why suffer? Why feel like shit for eight hours in pouring rain? I do not know. I simply do not know. But I have to. I need to. That's what bike riding is about. A need. Not a call. It is nothing religious. It is desire.
A desire to be on the bike. To feel the bike. To really hear the sound of the bike mixing with the sound of the wind. Mechanics and nature. It is a desire to be out there with friends. Making a stronger bond by suffering, by friendly competition, by completing something together. And only being able to complete it because you are together.
But also a desire to be alone. To experience solitude, not loneliness, but solitude in the midst of the Austrian mountains. Getting dropped and then having to fight yourself back. The sound of your body hurting in the rain. The chain which grinds on the gears. Your lungs which hurt. Your mind which steps in and out of consciousness. You who knows that you must get up there on the top. And it is only you who can get your body up there.
Five guys riding from Munich to Vienna in the beginning of October. 850 kilometers and 10.000 meters of climbing. Three days with rain. Two days with sun. It was cold. That is the stats. As simple as that.
Five guys moving through a changing landscape in the rural countryside. Out of season. Nothing much is happening. But still. Inside your mind you are trying to absorb it all. To inhale it. The comradeship, the mountains, the smells. The contrast of riding in a valley where the leaves are getting browner, while you are looking up at the white mountain tops. Riding in between and into different seasons. That was the idea. That was what got us out there. To see it all change.