The Eiger Bike Challenge in Grindelwald, Berner Oberland, the weekend before last, was actually my first real mountain bike marathon and I managed to squeeze a 7th place among the elite women.
The race started out well and it was nice to be able to ride as fast as the top girls, especially next to my new mate and work colleague to be – Jane Nüssli. Then I started to suffer pretty badly from back pain the steeper the climbs became. Not good considering there were a lot of steep climbs in the race! I’m putting it down to not having ridden my mountain bike enough to really get the seat position right. I’ve adjusted it since and on a ride over 3.5 hours it hasn’t been an issue.
My back cramped up so bad on the First climb though, that I did consider throwing the towel in when I had to ride across the finish area a couple of hours later, before setting off on the last climb up Kleine Scheidegg So I’m pretty proud that I carried on to finish off the 88km loop. I was expecting to come in at around 6 and a half hours and in the end I made it round in 6.35.
I feel that I have a lot more in me. Hopefully I can pull some of that out in the Nationalpark Bike Marathon the weekend after next.
Here are the results:
The course is pretty gruesome, there were so many steep climbs on gravel and the descents weren’t at all technical apart from a couple of tricky sections. I did the full 88km route which had 3,900 height metres in total.
I just found a short little clip of me riding next to Jane Nüssli at the start of the day, up Grosse Scheidegg: