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On the Move: Into The Wold 2023

On the Move: Into The Wold 2023

18.10.23 08:22 3Text: Gabriwa (translated by AI)Photos: Ian Ehm, Tempel 74/Albrecht Imanuel Schnabel, Stefan LeitnerGraveling with the Gsibergers - a local inspection at the thoroughly successful wellness cycling party weekend in the Bregenz Forest.18.10.23 08:22 146

On the Move: Into The Wold 2023

18.10.23 08:22 146 Gabriwa (translated by AI) Ian Ehm, Tempel 74/Albrecht Imanuel Schnabel, Stefan Leitner
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Graveling with the Gsibergers - a local inspection at the thoroughly successful wellness cycling party weekend in the Bregenz Forest.18.10.23 08:22 146

Frantically, you try not to lose sight of the rear wheel of the person in front of you. Heart rate 195, the climb is demanding everything from you. Just don't let any gap open up!
Even if your vision goes black and your breakfast prepares for a comeback: Giving up is not an option.

You won't find such scenes at Into The Wold. Not at all, actually, because the probably most chill gravel ride in Western Austria knows no stress. Anyone who expects a racing atmosphere has not understood the approach that is manifested in the motto:

 Tired legs, full bellies, open hearts 

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The slogan, which could also quite accurately describe the daily work of a heart surgeon, takes a different turn: relaxation, enjoyment, and having a good time are the main focus here. Last year, I let myself be convinced by the concept and this year too, I traveled to Vorarlberg with great anticipation to spend a relaxed weekend with old acquaintances and to meet new people.

What has proven itself can safely be maintained

The ingredients are simple: beautiful nature, good food, likable people. And if everything comes together, even great weather. You can't ask for more, and this year once again everything was just right.

Into The Wild can be seen as a kind of holiday camp, offering a dense and multifaceted program from yoga, driving technique training and a public talk with experts about the popular Pumptrack Challenge, which can even reactivate former professional athletes, and a party on Saturday with a live concert, to the Meet&Greet with endurance athletes from Specialized and of course the big highlight, the ride on Saturday.

Together is the motto

Particularly striking about the three-day event is also how strongly the partner companies and the region in general, where it takes place, are integrated into the concept.
A close thematic entanglement of the unique culture of this area, be it the culinary arts or the architecture, significantly shapes the spirit of Into The Wild. This is reflected not only in the multitude of partner companies but also in the commitment of the local population: everyone pitches in, everyone participates.
You don't come to Mellau as a cyclist, but are welcomed as a guest. A nice feeling.

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Dear Diary ...

Actually, I wanted to arrive by bike from Vienna. The Crux was ready, the bags were packed, the weather forecast couldn't have been much better.
But my form has steadily developed in one direction since Gran Canaria – following the laws of gravity, pretty solidly downwards. Therefore, I opted for the ÖBB option and must say that it couldn’t have gone much better. From Vienna to Bregenz in 7.5 hours! From the destination station to Mellau, it's still a few kilometers, but they are excellently suited as a warm-up for the weekend.

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I am staying at the Tempel 74 this time, a very beautiful and appealing apartment building right in the middle of Mellau. Conveniently, you can book hotel packages with Into The Wold – ideal for groups, as this also takes care of the search for accommodation and everyone can be housed in the same building or at least not far from each other.

I stroll to the registration at the village square, pick up my welcome package, and chat with the organizers. It's still quite quiet. It's Friday, early afternoon, and in a few hours, things will get wild at the pump track.
Last year, I witnessed fierce battles (indeed!) for the fastest time (indeed!!!); a competition that the local youth could quite clearly decide for themselves. This year will be no different.

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Body & Soul - Multifaceted Friday

After my mediocre performance the previous evening - I blame it on the wrong choice of shoes - I treat myself or rather my back to a morning yoga session in the assembly hall of the community center. An hour of stretching and extending - a blessing.
Next on my agenda is a driving technique training. "So you finally learn how to ride properly!” jokes Philipp, one of the organizers. He's right ...

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The talk on the topic of "Regionality" in the afternoon with representatives from politics, business, and culture is exciting and multifaceted. In the end, although you don't feel much smarter than before, it also doesn't hurt to sometimes challenge your brain.
While I'm still pondering over the complex concept of "region" and its connotations, hunger makes itself known. How fortunate that at 6 p.m. sharp, the Käsknöpfle are served. Especially nice: Those who, like me, hope for plant-based alternatives, do not need to despair, vegan options are always offered.

After the meal, things get lively again, a band from the area plays in the community center, the place is hopping, the fox dances. I treat myself to another lemonade, chat with people, and enjoy the atmosphere - tomorrow will be a good day!

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Lab station for the win!

Saturday, 7:30 AM - Alarm clock rings. Get up, brush teeth, and off to the communal breakfast at Hotel Bären. A large buffet with all sorts of delicacies awaits. My nerves (and the fact that I inhaled a pack of chips in bed the night before) only allow for a quick espresso though.
There will be three refreshment stations along the route anyway, so all is safe.

Around 9 AM, the starting shot is fired, all riders start together from the main square. It is advisable to have the route on your bike computer, because by the first fork in the road at the latest, it may be that the group splits. I know my route, as a veteran (after all, it's my second year - I count myself as one of the old hands) I know how things work and what to watch out for. Primarily cow pats, because they can quickly become a hazard on a wet road.
This year's route, with just under 3,000 meters of elevation gain over 100 kilometers, falls into the category: short and punchy. From Mellau through Bezau and Schwarzenberg, the path leads up to the Hochälpelekopf, a rhythmically very nice 700-meter climb up to an alpine pasture.

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The descent to Alberschwende feels like a reward, after 18 kilometers downhill you find yourself at the Bregenzer Ache again.
The next climb to the Osterguntenalpe takes a little while to come, in between there are still about 40 kilometers to manage up and down. A wonderful mix of small forest paths, alpine roads and now and then a few kilometers on asphalt. The route could not be much more varied, and on top of that garnished with a wonderful panorama.
The refreshment stations are located just right, every 25 kilometers, so just before you start to feel hungry, a culinary surprise awaits you. Fantastic!

In the late afternoon, we reach Mellau again and the grin on our faces speaks volumes: "A really beautiful tour!

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 A wonderful mix of small forest paths, alpine roads, and a few kilometers on asphalt, garnished with a magnificent panorama 

The ride is rightly considered the highlight of the weekend.
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In the evening, a raffle takes place, with a whole lot to win again this year and the atmosphere is perfect. A balmy summer evening in the Bregenzerwald with tired legs and a full stomach - heart, what more do you want.

Goodbye and see you next year!

On Sunday morning, the mood is set for departure. Unfortunately, the hangover breakfast in the village square falls victim to the rain, people say their goodbyes and start their journey home faster than originally planned: "It was very nice again this time! Thanks for everything and see you next year! See you!"A familial atmosphere, great scenery, and just a nice break from everyday life - Into The Wold has understood the unity of wellness, gravel, and party and consistently proves what a successful weekend can look like. Five out of five stars, keep it up!The advance registration for next year is already open.

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