Team Sparks are Flying High

What a weekend! Like every once in a while, the Velochicks Team headed to Sölden for the Singletrail Schnitzeljagd and the official Bike Opening. After reflecting on these past days, I realized that I’ve gained quite some new experiences. One insight being, that even the simplest of games should be approached with some level of concentration, or it can turn into something rather painful. But that’s not the topic of today.

The Enduro Team Spirit

Today I want to focus on the comradery during such events. The collective experience and the team spirit. The treasure hunt is a wonderful opportunity to ride beautiful trails and share the experience. The “ultimate team competition for Enduro bikers” primarily emphasizes on the fun on the trail. It’s clearly not a classic race, but rather an adventure through the ‘Bike Republic’. You can consciously shape the experienc yourself: choosing the route, forming the team, and setting the target.

A strategy pays off

You receive a map of the region, where checkpoints and mission stations are marked. The team tasks at these locations give the whole event a playful character. The order in which you visit these stations is up to you. This way, you can get to know the local trails better on your own terms, and it brings back some childhood memories. The prize, a giant golden schnitzel, doesn’t go to the fastest team, but to the one closest to the average time.

Would you like a shower or a (non-alcoholic) beer?

Without stress, but briskly

Generally, strategic planning can save a considerable amount of time. Our strategy wasn’t super fancy, but it was good for a start. There was no need to rush down the trails as fast as possible but couldn’t dawdle either, because there was a cut-off time for the whole event. We decided to take the middle ground. Ride without stress, but briskly – and using the gondola support (which can be slower than you think, but better for the energy level).

In the end, we were quite satisfied with the result and the wooden trophy. In my opinion, the treasure hunt was indeed a very successful event. There should be more such opportunities.

singletrail schnitzeljagd winner 2018 - velochicks team on 3rd place
Singletrail Treasure Hunt winner 2018 – Velochicks team on 3rd place

The spots for the treasure hunt are highly sought after, and this year they sold out in no time. We had marked the date prominently in our calendar to secure a spot. So, the first challenge was already conquered in February and we were lucky to start with two teams (women & mixed). It was clear from the start that we would approach the tour all together. As it turned out, it wasn’t a bad strategy. Eight eyes see more than four, otherwise some of us would have almost missed the checkpoint on the Ohn Line in our flow. Lucky us! The call to STOP by one of our team members was so loud that it even benefited a few other teams.

Along the way, we briefly encountered some overmotivated folks who seemed somewhat lost in the process and were behaving super rude in order to get an advantage. They obviously never heard of ‘fair play’ before. We felt sorry for the rest of their team. They seemed very tense and not looking very happy. Perhaps the concept of this fun race was not entirely clear to them. They should know that there are certainly other events for competitive outbursts like that.

Team Fair Play on the Trail

But well, that’s probably a matter of personality. Even in races where the pressure to perform is higher and time is more critical, the team fair play has always worked out well for us. Or perhaps, I’ve just been lucky with my companions. There’s always been someone with whom I shared the same rhythm, speed, or strategy. This lead to interesting conversations. ‘Riding communities’ form and people motivate each other. This is particularly important when we are struggling together through exhausting transfers to the next stage. Or it’s also helpful when you cheer each other on at the start of the stage. That’s what makes it special. In the end, it’s a little up to each person. In other words – how seriously one takes the whole thing (and oneself).

A few motivational words here and there probably never hurt anyone. And many things just work better together. Or how is it said – “because only together, one is not alone”?

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