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Photo story: ACM does a mountain ride [56K warning, hide your mobile browsers]


meepmeepmayer

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Instead of spamming/immobilizing the photo thread with another crazy big picture post, I'd thought I make a separate thread this time. So here we are.

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This is from today's mountain ride with my trusty (let's assume the best;)) ACM 84V 1300Wh, starting at ~700m altitude and going up to over 1400m. Steep dirt roads, forests, Alms (mountain meadows with dairy farming in the summer) and of course the Alm huts - a hit with tourists. Weather: 30+ °C, humidity 100000000% - outdoor sauna, once again. At least at the start...

You can read up on the tour here (also even more photos): https://www.mtbsepp.de/touren/priener-huette-walchsee (Google Translate, but the original has some nice elevation maps, photos, etc). The gist of the tour is: up to the highest spot, circle around a mountain from there, then down into the valley, and a flat part back to the start.

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So, let's start. Time is around 15:00. Perfect weather, hot, blue sky with puffy white clouds.

From the parking spot, a short distance up the road, the (quite steep and bad) dirt road started into the forest. After a while, the first Alm, and the first hut.

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Route will be up through that forest hill, then left around that rocky peak you can see up there.

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Passing the Alm, back through forest (which you see in the above picture), it was going up and up and up. Unfortunately, it never shows how steep it really is in photos. I stopped pretty much every few minutes on most parts of the entire way up, to be sure my ACM wouldn't melt down.

Looking back.

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More looking back, with a random hut in the forest.

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The way forward. Looks flat, but isn't. Also, this dirt road turned out to be really bad (another thing you never see in pictures) - very gravel-ly with big rocks, uneven, etc. The entire ride up was harder than any mountain rides I've done earlier.

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Always upwards. You could notice the mountain sides getting steeper and steeper. To the left here is a creek, 20 or 30m below.

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Now the interesting part is here! The forest cleared up, and Alm meadows began. Quite some height was gained already.

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Sun was burning down like crazy, even though strong winds were coming down from the mountains, so now I never stopped if not in the shade. Here's the first stop, looking back. Can you see the cows?

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More cows. Cows were everywhere (naturally), and you could hear their bells from far away wherever there were some.

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Fantastic views into the distance. Reality is much better than these (shitty phone) photos, once again.

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Nice Alm hut to the right of the route. Another one up there.

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Panorama on that spot. Again, imagine everything twice as steep as it looks. Road was still as bad as ever, now also with cow grates and rainwater sluices (right word?) crossing the path regularly.

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Passing the house, a small chapel. Chatted a bit with a woman there. She saw some wild goatd, apparently. As the skies were getting darker (behind me), I expected a storm (or at least rain) soon. The woman said as long as the strong winds were coming down from the mountains (trying to stop me and the ACM, to no avail:)), nothing to worry about. Only when they stopped and it became calm, bad weather would soon arrive. So for now, everything good. Killer sun and winds.

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Further up between two mountain ridges, along the Alm road. You can see how my side looked, the other was similar. Between them, so far down below it wasn't even visible, the creek separates both.

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As always, a panorama gives the best impression.

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Further up, looking back. Getting higher quickly.

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Towards the other side.

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Mountainside.

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Further up, a fork. The route was, of course, the steeper one. You can see the rocks in the foreground, the path was quite gravel-ly.

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Looking back at one rare flatter part. Some foresty bits started here. The end of this Alm meadow. You can see (from the mountain above the path) quite some more altitude was gained

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Electro barrier. Don't touch the uninsulated parts! Unless you want to to prepare for such things happening when opening your (Gotway?) wheel, maybe:P Small passage to the side.

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And what could it be for? Cows of course.

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Path was getting rougher and steeper. It does not show in the picture, but it was getting worse fast. Bigger, looser gravel.

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The forest cleared up again, and the final Alm (for the ascent part) showed itself. As you can see, it was suddenly quite gloomy and cloudy, with the occasional sun shining through between two clouds. Which was good, no sun to burn down on me while on the meadows! Wind was still going though, so no worries about rain.

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The ride started in Austria btw, but the uppermost corner is in Germany. Here's the border crossing. What you see below the painted rock is the state of the road. I had to step off and push as much as could ride.

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Yep... this is why you can't just ride up everything.

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A little further up, looking back. You can see, more altitude gained.

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Cows next to the path! Who doesn't like cows?

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This called for a photo op with the ACM. They were a bit startled, but stayed.

...

"Holy cow, it's an ACM!"

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"Who are you strange person, and what do you want?"

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Still pushing a lot. The "good" parts to the side of this rut weren't good at all, they just look like it in photos;)

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The destination showed itself! It's the hut to the right, which is (once more, does not look like it) quite a big higher up than the house on the left.

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Looking back, cows, sun through the clouds, just awesome. Quite high up top now. There's nothing higher behind these peaks to the left of the path.

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Almost there.

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Not far from the top of the photo, the highest peaks to the right of the path.

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Last meters. DAV = Deutscher Alpenverein = German Alpine Society, who run many of these Alm huts.

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And here we are! Over 1400m altitude. I had expected a small hut, but it was a huge tourism venture. Inside, there must have been 30 or more pairs of shoes from hikers spending the night there (not sure why, but I got the impression some tourists lived here like in a hotel for a few days and started their hiking from here).

17:30 now.

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I don't know why they have skis there. Certainly no snow far and wide.

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Those mountains in the background are pretty much as high as it gets here. They form a horseshoe around the hut.

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Usually I just drive by Alm huts. Because with a EUC, you're up the mountains so fast compared to bikers and hikers:laughbounce2: Not this time - plenty of breaks for cooling (myself and the wheel) and photos (and sunscreen), and that shitty road made me (almost) as slow as "those people";) But at least no real exertion here... except when pushing the wheel up the worst parts.

Food with a view. The USB cable is to charge my phone, which was empty by now. I would not want a wheel without a USB port now!

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Behind the hut, the highest two peaks around here. Not sure why there's an Austrian flag again - probably because this path leads to Austria later on.

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Map. Looking at the picture in hindsight, I should have gone all the way up. But with these shitty paths, I didn't feel like it when up there. I'm at the "Priener Hütte" and the big peaks are the Geigelstein and Breitenstein (not to be confused with the mountain from my other rides, which is also called Breitenstein, but is somewhere different).

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Time for the path down (and also circling around some mountain)! It was nice and cool and foggy, with a little wind.

View from where I sat, this is the road down (not where I came up). Small Alm pond for rain- and meltwater collecting down there - cows want to drink too!

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Looking back up at the hut from down the road. Highest peaks behind it.

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The pond, up closer.

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Down! This road is quite good - still gravel-ly, but much smoother, with smaller rocks, and less uneven. Fog was getting less again, and fantastic views were to be had at the right spots and the right moments.

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Hard to show in pictures, but here's one.

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Less photos from now on, as my empty phone started going crazy (despite charging from the wheel the whole time). After going a bit more downhill, the route split off the road and started circling around this mountain.

This is looking back, past a cheese production Alm. Now it was just a trail instead of Alm roads.

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Not suitable for riding! But suitable for pushing and carrying:whistling:

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Ugh... Nice ferns though. Also saw some poison mushrooms (photos didn't turn out well). Phone went totally insane, like the path.

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But it wasn't for long, and fantastic views were the reward.

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One more electric cow stopper to pass...

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... and up a really steep part...

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... and I ended up at a wide open, HUGE Alm meadow area with great views all around.

Here's one more tourist's delight: Alm hut. 2 ponies in the background there!

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Unfortunately, my phone was officially going completely off the hook now, so just a few impressions, more wasn't possible. I was getting dark now anyways, around 19:30. Still cloudy, but no rain!

Nice roots. I was pissed about my phone, otherwise I'd have done some more exploring up there. But after half an hour of getting this thing working reliably again...

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Huge dairy and cheese production up here.

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I love these open, high altitude Alm areas. Great views and you can see the shape of the terrain. I had almost done a detour up this peak (for the views, right behind it it's down into the valley), but was too angry at my phone and the lost time. Still great scenery.

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So it was down into the valley now.

On the further way down, looking back where I had come up. Not visible - cows below.

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Random stuff on the way down. I still needed the phone to navigate me back, so only a minimum of photos.

Forestry.

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Views. Hard to see, but in the center of the picture, looked like a spectacular movie background matte painting, but in real life.

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The road down. It was quite good. Fine sand and gravel. Fun to ride.

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View from further down. Road was paved now.

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The lake is at the town in which I started. I would have to continue down to the valley floor, and then cross back in front of that rocky ridge you can see.

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What followed (not pictured) was a very enjoyable downhill ride on a super smooth freshly paved road, going in curves through pitch black forest (despite the dusk outside) and in serpentines down the hill. Nice fun after the phone thing. Saw some mountain bikers enjoying it too.

A final impression, nearly down.

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It was getting dark fast now, and due to crazy phone, here is the last picture, of another chapel at a farm along the road. My guess: such a big and kitschy one was built for tourists.

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The rest of the ride was mostly flat, through meadows and farms, back to (and through) the town. Quite a lot of (young!) people there. It's vacation time in Germany (and Austra, I believe), so tons and tons of tourists. At around 21:00 I arrived back at my car.

Here's the GeoTracker map.

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Thats was it for this ride. Due to the shitty road condition, I can't really say it is a good EUC route, or much fun riding. But in the end, what counts is getting up those mountains with minimum effort, and this is what the ACM does! It really is spectacular up there. Barely needed 40% battery for the ride - 35% to the top, and not even 5% for the rest!:wub::cheers::clap3:

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The end. Hope you enjoyed and it gave you a nice impression of a mountain tour in the area.

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Dude :blink: if you don't start advertising for group rides, you're wasting a huge guided tour opportunity here.  I know of a couple of customers who likely would sign up (looking at chu @Marty Backe and you @The Fat Unicyclist).  Get a couple of extra ACM's and charge a small touring fee, and you've got a good EUC sideline going there.  International EUC Tours, my man.  Capture the market!  :w00t2:

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Great tour! It's always a challenge to find a route which is rideable enough to bring the wheel and wild enough to be interesting (views and riding skills). 

The Austrian flag you saw painted on that rock wasn't a flag. It's just the marking for a certain hiking path. Red/White/Red is a commonly used marking, as is White/Blue/White. In areas with a lot of different paths leading to different destinations, you will see a lot of these markings in all kinds of colors. On hiking maps, they are shown as well,  so you always know which color to follow. 

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That was fantastic. Wow, would I enjoy myself there :).  I know those kinds of gravely trails. I must say, the Monster would be fun to ride there. And now that I've seen how capable the Monster is at hill climbing (once you've learned to ride it sitting down), it would tackle those hills better than the ACM.

You've got some beautiful riding there :cheers:

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Thanks everyone!.

8 hours ago, Marty Backe said:

If you can import your ride into Google Earth and attach the file here we can take a virtual tour of your ride.

In the original link of the tour description (from some mountain bike site) https://www.mtbsepp.de/touren/priener-huette-walchsee, you can download GPX/KML track and much more (it's under downloads, maybe to see this you need to look at the original site, not the Google Translate). Probably much better than the bad and interrupted (crazy phone) track I have.

8 hours ago, Marty Backe said:

That was fantastic. Wow, would I enjoy myself there :).  I know those kinds of gravely trails. I must say, the Monster would be fun to ride there. And now that I've seen how capable the Monster is at hill climbing (once you've learned to ride it sitting down), it would tackle those hills better than the ACM.

You've got some beautiful riding there :cheers:

The Monster might be good for that gravel, but it is also good for starting from zero on steep inclines (was hard enough with the ACM), and for these quick balancing hip turns (not just going straight)? And combinations of those? I was actually thinking I would not have liked to do this with a Monster instead of the small and light ACM. Especially the starting part. It really is steeper than it looks in the pictures.

9 hours ago, Christoph Zens said:

Great tour! It's always a challenge to find a route which is rideable enough to bring the wheel and wild enough to be interesting (views and riding skills). 

It isn't really a good riding tour at all, I would not recommend it to others (as a EUC route) and probably won't do it again. But the views were certainly nice. Maybe I'll go up again to explore more where it was becoming late and my phone went crazy. Or for these peaks:wub: But I think I'll try other tours first.

9 hours ago, Christoph Zens said:

The Austrian flag you saw painted on that rock wasn't a flag. It's just the marking for a certain hiking path. Red/White/Red is a commonly used marking, as is White/Blue/White. In areas with a lot of different paths leading to different destinations, you will see a lot of these markings in all kinds of colors. On hiking maps, they are shown as well,  so you always know which color to follow. 

Thanks! That explains it. I was looking for the border crossing and this was in the right place. The actual one is at or a few meters before the first electric cow stopper and that flat part.

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Awesome ride!  What kind of temperatures were you hitting on the mother board before stopping and how long did take to reach them?  What temperature did you start back on your ride?  Did you ride mostly straight with the road or did you have to weave back and for the majority of the time?

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25 minutes ago, Hoser said:

Awesome ride!  What kind of temperatures were you hitting on the mother board before stopping and how long did take to reach them?  What temperature did you start back on your ride?  Did you ride mostly straight with the road or did you have to weave back and for the majority of the time?

No idea about temperatures. The danger is cables melting their insulation (and then shorting) from high currents, which you cannot see from the wheel's temperature reading (the sensor is at the mosfets or wherever, the cables melt before the sensor gets too hot, at least on the ACM).

The cable melting thing did happen to me on an earlier, very steep ride after 8 or 10 or so minutes. So now I know whenever something "feels" steep like that (it's very much a perceptory thing), I don't go longer than 5 minutes continuously and then do a few minutes for break. This is very conservative, but better than a broken wheel. So it's an uninterrupted riding time limitation, not a temperature thing, I'm following (of course, incline matters - the steeper it is, the shorter your riding intervals can be).

Just looked at some logs, max temperature was 60°C (so far away from any limit) and the average lower - around 50°C (somehow I always see 47°C a lot, seems to be a standard temp for my ACM when doing regular breaks and allowing the mosfets to cool down via the pedal arms as heat sink). But again, I don't look at temperatures, and if they ever got too high the wheel would warn anyways.

Sorry I can't give any tips what to look out for:) Would be nice to just look at temps and stop when the are too high.

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Imho, weaving is pointless on anything but wide, paved roads. And even then, the slower speed from constantly turning would probably put a similar or even higher stress on the wheel as just going up straight. On this gravel road, I just went up where I could, avoiding the big rocks and everything else. Ride time before making a cooling break matters, in my experience.

Weaving (going sideways) is a good way to get going, though. Straight uphill sometimes needs crazy lean (and trust in the wheel) so sideways is easier.

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What was the total ride distance for that trip?  How long would it have taken you to hike it or do it on a conventional bike?  It always amazes me how far and high these wheels are able to take people considering their compact size.  The ability to lift a rider up some of these inclines is simply amazing.

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1 hour ago, Hunka Hunka Burning Love said:

The ability to lift a rider up some of these inclines is simply amazing.

I couldn't agree more!

 

meepmeepmayer, thanks for pushing the limits.  I think you're brave, because it would really suck having to lug an acm off the mountain.  I assume you carry a tire repair kit?

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5 hours ago, Hunka Hunka Burning Love said:

What was the total ride distance for that trip?  How long would it have taken you to hike it or do it on a conventional bike?  It always amazes me how far and high these wheels are able to take people considering their compact size.  The ability to lift a rider up some of these inclines is simply amazing.

21.5km.

They say the hike up to the highest hut would be 2.5h on foot. Didn't take much less for me, but lots of breaks for cooling, photos, sunscreen, just so, etc. Not sure how long the rest would be, however long you need for walking ~15km.

Bikes, not sure. They say 2:40 for ride-only time, which is still more than I rode my ACM altogether (2:15 or so and I never rode fast).

The coolest thing, it takes less battery than one might think. Downhills = free (or you even get some back). In the end, maybe 1km of range lost per 100m height gained? (very rough estimate)

@Hoser I don't carry a repair kit. See here (warning, loads 30MB of photos at the top of the page:whistling:):

 

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20 hours ago, meepmeepmayer said:

Hope you enjoyed and it gave you a nice impression of a mountain tour in the area.

I did, lots of great photos.  You are a good photographer, you said the phone was running out of battery, have you tried one of those compact cameras that run on two AA batteries?  

That looked like a great place to visit, I can see why a lot of tourists would stay at the top of the mountain, just to have breakfast at one of the tables outside, looking at the view.

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Thanks. Yea I could take a real camera, but tbh I'm too lazy and the photos are just for showing off/proof-of-EUC-there mostly;) For proper documentation, I should just do videos, but that's even more work;) I learned on holidays how much time (good) pictures and video take, and would like to keep that minimal (even though it's nice to have afterwards) because it just distracts too much from the actual experience. Maybe a power bank for the phone, or an action cam to the helmet that just records for 5 hours on its own...

You're right, if you aren't too serious (some families with kids were there), there's more than enough to do starting up there for a few days. Found the site of the hut:

http://prienerhuette.de/

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