the former XC World Cup pro associates eMountain biking with fun and breathtaking experiences
A level playing field
Certainly, most would refer to this, but it is also a very important point. I don't have to choose my training buddy based on fitness, but can cycle with anyone I please. During the Women's Camps and Sunset Rides, the participants are delighted at how we harmonise as a group. They're often used to fairly stressful tours and are really thrilled that rides of this kind can also be a lot more relaxed.
Enjoyment during and after the ride
This point has always really fascinated me: a huge grin very soon lights up the faces of our tour participants, particularly when riding uphill. They experience what we call Uphill Flow. This makes the mountain much more accessible, perfectly in tune with their specific skills and movement. This delight keeps them going even after the tour and is really infectious.
Accessibility for a many newcomers
For me, mountain biking is one of the most beautiful sports in the world and I want to share this experience with others. The eMountain bike makes it possible for large numbers of people who may not previously have had the confidence, to try out this sport. They can simply have fun, seek out challenges in technically difficult uphill routes or create a training or rehab routine. An eMoutain bike is not only a great leveler, it can also be tailored to personal needs.
More fun for everyone
Of course, at the end of the day, it's all about fun. The women that I guide have often come to mountain biking through their friends and have already had some frustrating experiences because they've been unable to keep up the pace. On the eMountain bike tours, they just have fun, no more and no less. I consider this really valuable.
Immediate great nature experience
I grew up in the South Tyrolean mountains and I love nature. On an eMountain bike, I can enjoy a great nature experience instantly. Moreover, deciding whether to ride one more uphill trail or else take a path through the woods. is made easy for me. This means that I'm simply out and about in nature more frequently.
Greta Weithaler, the former XC World Cup pro talks about her competitive sports background and her newly found joy with eMountain biking. Her enthusiasm for sport, nature and eMountain biking is contagious. She encounters any prejudices with a certain serenity – “If you're friendly, you usually get a friendly response.”
“At the end of the day, it's all about fun.”
shouts somebody gleefully as we stand on the peak at sunrise. That somebody is Greta Weithaler. Greta is in her early 20s, born and bred in the South Tyrol, or more precisely: in Naturns in the Vinschgau region. Until 2014, Greta travelled the world as an XC World Cup pro. The racing circuit defined her youth, her friendships and gifted her many positive experiences. In 2014 She therefore hung up her racing kit in order to dedicate herself to more leisurely experiences. By chance, she came across eBikes and was delighted. She recognised this technology's potential to motivate people who had previously found it difficult to gain access to physical activities in nature. And she's spreading the bug to more and more people: as a guide at Women's Camps, at trade fairs and events, as well as on private tours.
What I mean by “we” is a motley crew of female bikers from Germany, Austria and Italy. Greta had asked us if we'd like to experience the sunrise on the peak with her and we'd been inspired by the idea. We're regretting it a bit now, though. It's early, a bed would be really nice right now, but we're greeted by Greta's big smile. We insert our freshly charged batteries, check the displays and settings and, in no time, we're rolling quietly and wordlessly through the darkness towards the mountain.
Greta follows the route previously set on her all-in-one Nyon on-board computer. We now start chatting, become more awake and alert. Every word is replete with enthusiasm for her homeland and for physical activity in the natural environment. For her too, this tour is an experience that was well worth getting up early for. The eBike is an aid for her as well, which makes the decision easier. Greta tells us to select the support levels in line with our state of wakefulness. We therefore set off with a relatively high level of support to get going and progressively lower it.
“An eMoutain bike is not only a great leveler, it can also be tailored to personal needs.”
As we're on the last few meters leading up to the summit, it starts getting lighter. A strong wind sweeps over us, carrying the clouds away. As if in a chimney, they're pulled over the slopes into the valley and a view of the rising sun opens up before our eyes. Another gust of wind blows and the Dolomites appear as well. The cold and the tiredness are soon forgotten. We're enthralled and Greta's cries of joy intoxicate us.
before Greta enters Brixen as the destination in the Nyon on-board computer. The displayed MTB route leads over the mountain ridge opposite. A broad grin spreads across Greta's face, she leads us on and instructs us during the technical passages. The ridge proves to be a fantastic ride, the ride allows us to flow over the short climbs and keeps our tyres glued to the ground.
to recharge our energy levels as well as our batteries. We're glad that Greta dragged us out with her and are delighted by the experience and with the really unique sunrise. Here, in the hustle and bustle of the town, we realise how lucky we are to have experienced these moments and that each of them is unique. Greta is still beaming, she shares in our joy, is pleased for us and, after some time and many conversations, gives us a questioning smile. “Batteries charged? Let's go then!”
“We're so lucky to be here “
Interview with Greta Weithaler:
Please introduce yourself briefly.
My name is Greta and I come from the South Tirol. I grew up in the mountains, so I've been cycling since my childhood through my involvement in competitive sports. In fact, I have a very strong connection to with sports. And I can take good advantage of that on my eBike.
You just mentioned competitive sports. Why did you switch from competitive sports to the eBike?
I wouldn't really call it a switch. Personally, I've closed the chapter of competitive sports. I simply added eBike to my existing bike repertoire because it's just as much fun as riding any other bike.
You're working a lot as a guide these days. Do the tour participants share your eBiking experiences?
In my groups it's like this: The participants get on their eBikes and then, of course, they have to ride uphill. After a few meters, they all just start shouting and giggling and we all have loads of fun. It's always a great laugh. Later, when we get to the trail, they realise what I was just telling you about: we've got 2 hours' time and we can pack as many experiences into that time as others might during a whole day.
Are there any special features of the Bosch drive system that you especially like?
My first conscious experience with Bosch Performance Line CX came when moving off. I was standing on the trail, yet was so easy to get going. The motor provides really excellent propulsion, even at low cadences. And when I keep going at a higher cadence, it keeps supporting me the same way as it did at the start. And that really gives me an amazing amount of pleasure on the trail.
What does your ideal eBike tour look like?
Mountains! High altitudes! Maybe with a second battery in my backpack so I can extend the tour even further. And then, riding as many trails as possible.
Are you looking for challenges, when you're eBiking?
Of course! No matter what bike I am riding, I'm always up for a challenge. And that's exactly what makes biking so much fun for me. Right now, I keep looking for more and more difficult uphill stretches and then I keep trying to accomplish them, until I've made it.
What does Uphill Flow mean to you?
Basically, flow is what every Mountain biker has experienced riding downhill. You're riding down a trail that's not too hard but isn't boring either. And then you reach this state in which you feel just great. And that's exactly what the eBike gives me when riding uphill.
What condition are the participants in when they get back from eBiking?
They have a great big grin on their faces, and they talk to each other about what a great time they've had.
Are there still any major prejudices?
No matter what sport you do, there are always prejudices. Whatever you do in life, there are always people who see the good side of it, and others who see the bad side. It is the same thing with eBikes. Now, what I usually say is: just sit on it and try it out.
How do you experience encounters with other recreation-seekers in the mountains?
If they're looking for recreation, they're usually relaxed. It's pretty rare for me to have problems with hikers or other mountain bikers. If you're friendly, you usually get a friendly response.
What value does nature hold for you?
A very high value. I grew up in the middle of the mountains and I'm increasingly realising how important mountains and nature are to me. I just feel great when I'm out there surrounded by nature, sitting on my bike, which is why it means so much to me.