However, like surfers soulful relationship with the sea, so mountains have the same powerful draw for me and whether I'm riding through them, mtbing down them or running and climbing over them, I always long to be amongst their majestic stature and feel the freedom and peace that comes from being amongst them. And thus once it seemed that most of the passes in the Alps should be clear of snow by the time I arrived at their foothills in early April, the decision was already made, and I went about plotting a route over the biggest passes I could find en route to Eastern Europe.
I left Munich through the massive deserted Oktoberfest festival area and resolved to return to experience it one day before cranking hard on the pedals alongside a river whose waters would lead me to the mountains. A few hours later I got a first glimpse of the first lofty white peaks and a few hours after that I was pedalling through the still snowy foothills and climbed up to a great campsite alongside an alpine lake.
Morning arrived with a healthy dusting of snow that continued throughout the morning's ride to pelt my eyes just to squarely test the naive African's obsession with this rare white stuff (note: still stoked on it).
I'd even started to manage the cold and happily made camp at -10 deg, now learning how to constantly layer on and off to retain and shed heat as is so vitally important as the mercury dives.