Ride Among the Giants 2021


After not organising an edition last year, this year the fourth edition of Ride Among the Giants went ahead. The guys from RAW cycling magazine choose the Ötztal Valley in Tirol, Austria as the destination. Presented with an opportunity to ride our bikes in an amazing place and meet a bunch of like-minded cycling fanatics, we didn’t hesitate to much when they invited us to participate in this edition.

Ride Among the Giants is an event that brings brands, influential cyclists, and media creators together in a spectacular setting to generate a story that reflects the magnificent experience of riding bikes with a group of enthusiastic people.



 




On the first day, a long travel day for most of us, we got to know the other riders and crew. Stunning mountain views and idyllic villages came into sight once we got close to our accommodation. We were staying in a house in Längenfeld, a small village about 20km from the popular mountain biking town Sölden. We build our bikes, had some food, and talked about our diverse backgrounds. There was a sense of excitement among all of us, we were ‘Among the Giants’ and ready to get on our bikes.

The second day was going to be our first day of riding. When waking up we weren’t greeted with clear skies like the ones we’re used to see in Girona. Nonetheless, we geared up, stuffed our pockets with extra layers and headed out despite it was already severely raining.

We rode a good 20 km through the valley until we reached Sölden where we made a right turn to start climbing the highest road in the Alps, the Ötztal Glacier Road. The climb was hard, with an average gradient of 11% for over 10km. I imagine there could have been incredible views that we didn’t get to see due to the pouring rain and low hanging fog. Once we got higher up, the weather cleared up a tiny bit and we were allowed some glimpses of the beautiful surrounding.


 
 



When we reached the top, at 2.898 meters of elevation, the rain might have had eased off, however, the temperature dropped to 4º C. Whilst regrouping we had hot coffee and pretzels to warm up. Some of us decided to add some extra few kilometres to see both glaciers on top of the climb. A thick fog had reached the mountain at the same time, meaning we had to descend taking lots of care as we could barely see the road in front of us.

We arrived frozen back in Sölden and we extended our ride hoping the rain would stay away, which it did until we reached our turning point. The final part of the ride was ridden in the rain again and so we were quite happy to go back at the house and take a long warm shower. A few beers were opened to accompany the local food cuisine in the village before calling it a day.

The next morning there was still a lot of cloud cover, but at least it was dry. We got prepared for another big day on the bike with two major climbs, Kühtai and Hahntenjoch. The Kühtai greeted us with a glance of sunshine and plenty of stunning views. Descending on dry roads was also nice after the wet descends we had the day before.


 



We refuelled in Imst and looked with a bit of fear to the clouds that started gathering above the second climb of the day. It didn’t take long before our fears became true and started raining. However, as we reached the top the clouds and rain started disappearing. We descended back to Imst, still having a good number of kilometres to go before reaching home. We mainly rode on beautiful roads and quiet bike paths. Although it was a lovely way back home, most of us were happy to see the house. Once there, the plan was to get some food and rest after a long and tough day on the saddle.

The fourth day was going to be another long day, ascending the Timmelsjoch followed by a descend into Italy, for a good coffee. This would mean ascending the same climb from both sides. The temperature had dropped even more in comparison to other days, but none of us complained as it didn’t rain. The climb started with some relatively easy slopes until we reached the official start where things started getting more difficult and the percentages went up.

The views on this climb were probably the most spectacular ones of the week. Although the views to the side and below were very impressive we couldn’t see the top of the climb as it was covered by the clouds. The flock of sheep we encountered on the last part of the climb didn’t care much about our effort, neither they provided us any useful information on how far we had to go.


 

 
 



When we finally reached the 2.509m top, we went into the only open bar looking for something warm and shelter and we waited for the rest of the group to reach the top. While getting ready for the descend, the temperature dropped even further, and the rain started pouring from the skies. The combination of the two made us decide not to risk a freezing cold descend into Italy, but instead ride back to the house. It turned out to be a wise decision as the rain intensified on our way back and we had to put on all the clothes we had hopping not to get undercooled on our way to the house.

Although we arrived home with a shorted ride, we were still very content with the day, especially when the pizza party got started. The Italian chefs who came with us during the week, prepared us delicious pizzas in their Ooni pizza oven, which paired with a nice beer replenished the calories we burned during the rides.


 



Despite our early departure we decided to go for a pre-breakfast ride on our last day. The pre-breakfast thing wasn’t much of an issue at this point as we had plenty of pizza the night before. And by this time, we had also got used to the rain which appeared was once again on the ride. It was nice to get out on a day that would have otherwise been spent sitting in cars and aeroplanes and on the way back to the airport everyone was fulfilled with the amazing days of riding!

Four days of riding in the mountains in these conditions were a good test for some of the new and existing products in the TACTIC collection. We gave some test clothes to some of the riders, that used the PURE bib shorts mixed with the Signature and Hard Day jerseys in combination with our arm warmers, wind vest and some other accessories (like gloves and overshoes). You might also notice a jacket in some of the pictures, but unfortunately, I can’t tell you much about that yet. Just keep an eye on our social media and subscribe to our newsletter to find out more.

 
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