Helmet on, goggles on, kick off and your mountain bike is away on a roll downhill. The 15- kilometre route descends at lightning speed over woodland and meadows down into the valley. A variety of pumps and steep curves are sure to provide a good adrenaline kick. Where we are at? At Bad Kleinkirchheim's Flow Country Trail, of course. Already since 2019, we’ve been providing unforgettable moments for both young and old.
So that you can enjoy every second of your descent, our team puts a lot of energy into the maintenance of the trail before, during and after each biking season. But what does a typical work day on the trail look like? And what do you have to take care of? Join us for a behind-the scenes look at Europe's longest flow trail. Let's go!
The trail team.
Our employees Christoph, Robert and Josef have this year’s preparation work on the Flow Country Trail firmly under control. While Christoph can usually be found at the wheel of his excavator, Robert and Josef are more likely to be out and about with vibratory plates, shovels and rakes. However, their work equipment also includes chainsaws, leaf blowers and ground anchors, a quad bike and a mini dump truck. And of course a good snack – what better to do on your lunch break than sit and enjoy the panoramic view of the Nockberge mountains.
Getting ready for the next season.
As soon as our bike season draws to a close, the team begins with the preparation work for the revision. They can still carry out some of the mountain work before winter really kicks in, but then it’s winter break on the trail.
A day like no other.
However, from April / May onwards work can pick up again – as long as the snow conditions allow for it. The team’s working day starts at 07.30am. Together with the Head of Technical Operations, they discuss which part of the trail they’ll be tackling that day and when’s a good time for setting up the bike parcours in the valley. After all, working in nature is very weather-dependent and requires a certain degree of flexibility in the work schedule.
Once the tasks have been distributed and the work truck is loaded, they can get on their way. In general, the inspection always starts at the valley station. From there, the team then works its way uphill section by section – to the entry arch at the Kaiserburgbahn mountain station.
The trail, beams and bridges all get a facelift.
First, all routes must be cleared of branches, tree trunks, fallen leaves and undergrowth. Next on the agenda is repairing unsightly brake marks and clearing up storm damage. The snow load in winter and the melt water in spring also take their toll on the trail. However, after consulting with the respective property owners, the team can quickly straighten or repair the damaged areas using their small excavator. Then the so-called “dumper” is used here – a mini-loading tipper to fill the trail with new gravel.
Especially this spring, the snowfall in May and the persistent rain made the preparation work on the trail difficult. While a rather damp soil is very suitable for the repair work, it shouldn’t be too wet either. In addition, the rehabilitation of the track – also called “shaping”– should be followed by several rain-free days. Only then can the fresh soil dry well and be more robust against damage caused by mountain bike use.
Bike summer 2023.
Once everything is done, the summer season can begin. Since 1 June, the Flow Country Trail is open again. For your trail adventure, the Kaiserburgbahn takes you and your mountain bike to the starting point of the Flow Trail in just a few minutes. From there it's back down to the valley on two wheels and at a lightning speed.
Please note: Use of the trail is only permitted during the opening hours of the Kaiserburgbahn. At these times, a first aid team is also on hand to quickly take care of you in case of emergency. In the interest of nature conservation, we also ask you to stay to the marked bike routes at all times and not to turn off onto logging roads or forest paths.
What about during the season?
Throughout the season, our team goes on a daily inspection run to check the trail for obstacles and damage. Especially after a thunderstorm, it can take several hours to clean up the trail. So before your visit, please always check the current opening times and any disruption reports on the individual sections of the Flow Country Trail.
Do you want to learn more about the Flow Country Trail? Then feel free to browse through some of our other blog articles, such as “1 day as an emergency responder on the Flow Country Trail” or “My first time on the Flow Country Trail”.
And now: off to the Bad Kleinkirchheimer Bergbahnen. We look forward to seeing you!