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Bike-Nation Ötztal

Brand new trail center & eBike Park

From front to back, from bottom to top, Ötztal is geared towards cycling enthusiasts. For example, there is the Ötztal Cycle Trail leading through the entire valley. And the truly legendary BIKE REPUBLIC SÖLDEN where bikers from all over the world get together. And the brand-new eBike Park in Oetz as well as a Trail Center at the entrance to the valley. Our author is talking with Christoph Rauch, responsible for infrastructure development at Ötztal Tourismus.

Christoph, what is a Trail Center?


Trail centers are places where a network of different trails is offered. Therefore, you can start from one single trailhead and choose rounds with different degrees of difficulty. At Ötztaler Höhe, right at the entrance to the valley near AREA 47, we have three loops: WIDI Trail for kids, trail newbies or for warming up; "Oachkatzl" (squirrel) and "Wolfsrudel" (wolf pack) promising great fun for bikers of all levels.

 

And there is also the right infrastructure available!


Exactly. There is a bike wash station right at the start as well as restaurants and toilet facilities. Additionally, the Trail Center is connected to the Ötztal Cycle Trail and the regular Ötztal Regiobus lines equipped with special bike trailers also stop right here.

 

biketraining with trainerin Vreni

The Ötztaler Höhe Trail Center is right at the entrance to the valley. Why there?


Over many years, competitions for youngsters and elite mountain bikers have been held here on occasion of the Ötztal Mountain Bike Festival, and there is an attractive network of routes. The event is organized by the local club of Racing Team Haiming - one of the most successful MTB clubs in Austria: in addition to champions such as Charly Markt and Mona Mitterwallner, it is also the home club of Junior World Champion Laura Stigger.

 

What's more, the climate is different from, for example, the BIKE REPUBLIC SÖLDEN which is located much higher ...


The climate at the valley’s entrance is mild. Haiming is North Tirol's largest fruit-growing village. The season for bikers is fairly long. From April to October, you can enjoy great biking here – be it at the Ötztaler Höhe Trail Center or on the leisurely routes along the Ötztal Cycle Trail or the Inn Cycleway, which both meet in Haiming.

A few kilometers southwards into the valley, in Oetz, there is Tirol's first eBike Park. Which features does such a park have?


E-biking is booming, there are many experienced cyclists who try it but also a lot of newcomers. If you can handle an e-bike properly, it is a lot of fun. That is why we have developed a special park at the Acherkogel mountain gondola where you can train very well by getting familiar with both the handling and the terrain.

 

Why is all Ötztal so committed to cycling?


The region boasts really perfect conditions and offers - the locals love them just like our guests do. From tours along the Ötztal Cycle Trail to demanding downhill lines like “Olm Volle” in the BIKE REPUBLIC SÖLDEN. Additionally, there is the valley-wide offer of Bike & Cycle Accommodations, sports shops and outdoor sport providers offering tailor-made (e)bike tours. Cycling makes an essential pillar in the value chain and I think there is still a lot to do in the future to liven up the off-peak season. Enthusiasm for the bike in all its facets is increasing enormously - and we have the ideal ground for great experiences.

 

How is the park designed?


The route is laid out in the form of a practicing course on which you get this e-bike feeling on special trails at different levels of difficulty - including the unrivaled Uphill Flow Trail. It's all about balance, small obstacles, shifting gears correctly, braking and cornering techniques.


A clear statement for the bike!


Deeply rooted in tradition: already in the early 1990s, the Austrian Alpine Association published a brochure in cooperation with the Austrian Federal Forests in order to draw public attention to the topic and to promote cooperation between hikers and bikers. The brochure points out the ecological compatibility of mountain bike sports, calls for an expansion of the range and promotes the cooperation of important decision makers. Meanwhile, there is also a clear commitment from politicians to promote “Radland Tirol” (Tirol cycling land).

Now from the valley entrance to the BIKE REPUBLIC there are trails and tours for beginners and children. What role do the youngsters play?

Bicycles play such an important and multifaceted role in shaping our future - and we are particularly focused on the youngest guests. Especially in times of digitization, home schooling, Netflix & more, we also have to take responsibility to open up spaces in nature – for both young and old! Places where people can naturally unfold and have fun outdoors on a bike. We strongly focus on more structures and offers, ranging from MTB playgrounds for the little ones to Experience Trails. Our children should be able to let off steam on marked routes and tailor-made parks. In any case, Ötztal Tourismus absolutely wants to take the next steps and continues to trust in appropriate support from the authorities, stakeholders and decision makers.

Child Biken
Sissi Pärsch

Guest Author Sissi Pärsch

… is a freelance journalist writing for several magazine like “BIKE” and “Bergwelten” (in German) – therefore she is a regular guest in Ötztal.

“Something I can tell you about Ötztal: it is 67 kilometers long, ascending from its entrance to the rear end with its majestic mountain peaks above 3000 meters altitude. And this valley will never stop surprising me with new and spectacular insights and outlooks.”

ÖTZTAL MAGAZINE

The author also presents the new trails and tours for bikers in the ÖTZTAL MAGAZINE - Summer 2021. The print magazine with the latest and most interesting stories about Ötztal’s spring, summer and autumn seasons is available free of charge in DE/EN from all Ötztal Tourismus Information Offices. You can order it HERE and have it delivered to your home or view it as a flip-through brochure.