Lili US Road-Trip to Yellowstone

A road trip with Lili from Seattle to Mount Rainier & Yellowstone National Park. We spent a wonderful week together, crashing anywhere next to the road, meeting a whole bunch of wonderful people. The scenery we saw in Yellowstone National Park was simply awsome! Taking a bath in a natural hot tub with the clearest starlight and yowling wolves around us… I won’t forget any single second of that nice time I spent with you, Lili!

Lili on the road… She drank too much Cranberry juice…

Picking up Travis and travel with him through whole Yellowstone National Park…

The Mammoth Hot Springs… amazing…

Some other hot spring scenery…

Garnet helping us out at the Greyhound bus terminal. Thanks Garnet, you are wonderful!

Mariana-Trip to Silver Star & Sun Peaks

Ripping the trails of Silver Star (near Vernon, BC) & Sun Peaks (Kamloops, BC) was our idea. But then we couldn’t resist jumping into every lake on our way to Vernon. There are so many wonderful lakes in BC! Silver Star’s bike park is great! Some trails are even way better than anything in Whistler. Ripping down World Cup DH, Double Dog, Flow, Pipe Dream (a real dream!), and Rockstar. Shitty weather but a whole lot of fun with Mariana!

Ripping the trails of Silver Star in shitty muddy weather…

Mariana & me at Shuswap Lake…

Whistler, Whistler, Whistler

Long time no post on this blog… I’m still in Whistler. A lot happened, I met a lot of nice people, was riding a lot of crazy trails, just had a lot of fun.

Right, I’m a lucky guy to be here. My arm doesn’t hurt anymore that bad and for over a week now I can ride the park again. And that’s what I am here for!

When I got back from Vancouver Island there was the big Pemberton Music Festival going on on Pemby’s airport area, an open-air event with over 40,000 people. I got up with Anne right before the concert of Tom Petty started and instead of watching the concert from somewhere up on the mountain we just sneaked in jumping over a tiny creek. It was a great concert! Free falling…!! With a lot of dust in the air but we survived that.

Once my arm got better I started to ride again on those Lost Lake trails like Peaches en Regalia, Dinah Moe Humm, Fountain of Love, Pinocchio’s Furniture, Dwarf Nebula, Zoot Alures, Toads of the short forest, Gee I like your pants, Son of Mr Green Genes, Jellyroll Gumdrop – nice names, huh? To round this trip up, get up on the hill above Alpine, ride all the way up and take one of those steep downhill trails which brings you down to «A River Runs Through It» – a wonderful trail with tons of ladder bridges and teeter-totters.

Every Wednesday night they play a movie at Lost Lake – you should definitely check this out! (see Lunafliks) It’s wonderful to sit under the starry sky. Just watch out when you get out there on the valley trail, don’t run into a bear. Last time I almost did, just suddenly saw something black right in front of me. And look at this lovely bear:

On August 1st I met some Swiss guys, Sascha & Aurelia which I knew from back home. It was nice meeting them but we missed each other in the evening and I couldn’t celebrate Swiss national day  with them, there were just Czechs and Solovaks (thanks to Petr) around me at Merlin’s.

Aug 2nd Lili invited us for dinner at her apartment in Emerald’s. She prepared wonderful fish food and we spent such a funny night…
Beware of Emerald’s hoodie gang!

Now I’m ripping the park as much as I can. A week ago I met Jean and Mariana and did some great top-to-bottom riding with them. They are great riders! Look at Mariana’s wonderful smile after some wonderful tables on Freight Train:

The week after Crankworx I will go with her to rip the trails in Kamloops & Silver Star. This is gonna be great!

Last Wednesday Petr, Dom & Pascale took me up on the peak of Whistler mountain and we did some great DH all the way down to Creekside. You can get up there by chairlift only if you’re together with a bike patrol, so thanks a lot Dom for taking us up there!

Let’s make the rest of this post short… it’s just a lot of fun over here. That’s my plans: riding the park this last week and watch at least Crankworx’s slopestyle event on Saturday. Then some days with Mariana in Kamloops & Silver Star – will be great riding our bike there. After that I’m going on a road trip in the US to Yellowstone national park together with Lili. This will be great, she’s such a wonderful girl and we’re going to take our tent and rent a car in Seattle. That’s her:

Gotta get to the park now, Crankworx is going on…

Tofino, Vancouver Island

My trip to Tofino… there’s not a lot to say about it, it was just wonderful!

I got over to Vancouver Island with the BC ferry from Horseshoe Bay. That’s where I started to realize what a huge island Vancouver Island actually is. If a ferry carries trucks and buses, two floors of cars, you can go jogging on the top deck, it got seven floors, an elevator takes you up there, pissoirs look like some five star hotel juvels, … If a ferry is that big, the island where it’s going to must be even bigger, I though.

I ended up on highway 19A hitchhiking over to Tofino. First I was holding a «Tofino» sign and after a while I gave up on that and just wrote «Parksville» on it. Parksville’s just around the corner I though and definitely somebody is going to pick me up. But there were still those other two hitchhikers in front of me not getting on a car either. Finally I made it over to Tofino. It took me a while but it was worth it, I met some pretty interesting people on that trip. I had four lifts to get over there. The first guy just drove me to the next shopping mall, the second lady drove me up to Parksville and it blew me almost off her jeep – I was glad to get off again. Then, a construction worker drove me all the way over to Port Alberni. There I was lucky. That 24-year-old guy headed right to Tofino. He was like «Hey man, grab that mojito behind your seat! Kill it!». He drunk driving and told me he was already driving for over 12 hours and stopped at every pub on the way. Suddenly he pulled over, grabbed the CD sleeve and poured some coke on it. After that line of coke he was again ready to drive and put some gangsta rap music on. I was not afraid; he drove that car pretty good, I was just a bit worried about that kid.

I made it to Tofino before the sunset and got right to Tonquin Park beach when the sky was glaring in a wonderful red. I was just going to settle down on Tonquin beach when Cut passed by and told me «Hey, better get over there to the next beach, they won’t check that one.» I ended up climbing through the rain forest to get down to the second beach. Down there was just like a huge hippie community – everybody sitting around the campfire, singing and Cut playing his guitar like a rock star. Later on in the night I took my stuff and found some nice quiet spot further down on the beach. Hell, was I sleeping well!

The next two nights I spent in the HI-Hostel, the Whalers on the Point guesthouse. Lucky as I am the hostel was full and they put me into the games room, sleeping right next to the pool table. The next day I checked out Long Beach. Again I was hitching down there. Just about the 5th car picked me up and guess who was in there – Cut again, he went fishing with his friend. Long Beach is a wonderful beach, a really long beach, guess you couldn’t give it a different name.

While hitching back to Tofino those nice girls picked me up and I showed them the way to Tonquin Park beach:

Wednesday I was on a whale-watching trip up to the Hot Springs. We saw Orcas (killer whales), otters and grey whales…

The Hot Springs were like really hot (over 50°C). This was really relaxing – especially the small pool where the warm water from the spring gets mixed by ocean water. I could have stayed there forever but we had to get back on the boat. That was a fun trip where I met you guys, Raphi & Renate.

My last night I preferred to sleep again on the beach. I went down to Cox Bay beach. It’s not as long as Long Beach, but also pretty huge. I was hanging on the beach the whole afternoon and then just stared for about 3 hours into the sun – This sunset was amazing! It was like the most wonderful sunset I have ever seen!

The beach was all mine. Most of the people already left it before that wonderful sunset. I settled down on a quiet spot and fell asleep while watching shooting stars that just didn’t want to stop.

Friday morning the Tofinobus just didn’t want to pick me up on Cox Bay, so I asked for a refund and ended up again hitchhiking. Lucky me! Adrian Dorst, a great photographer drove me down to Ucluelet. From there two crazy chicks drove me all the way over to Nanaimo. It was fun riding with them! Another two lifts from Nanaimo and I was back in Whistler, home sweet home.

Back in Whistler

Back in Whistler means back in the park, back on the steep trails, back crashing again on Schleyer. I twisted my arm and again, I’m out after just riding the park for another 3 days. Hell, I can’t go on like this. I’m here to ride my bike and not hanging around the whole day. At least, the weather’s nice so I’m heading again to Lost Lake.

This definitely was not my mistake, it was Schley’s. He shouldn’t have built that trail! We met Richie Schley at the after-Loonie-race-party and I gave him a punch for that…

At least I’m able to use my camera with my right arm. I took some nice shots of Arnaud, the Swiss rider I met in the park:

nice, ey?

recovering in Vancouver

Last Wednesday I hurt myself up on Freight Train. I fell right off the trail landing way too much on my front wheel after a huge jump. I fell right into those trees and lucky as I am a young flexible tree was holding me back. If I wouldn’t have worn my armor and my full-faced helmet, I would be gone by now. It was time to get down to Vancouver to relax a bit.

Vancouver’s a great city! Whole downtown is surrounded by parks & beaches, you can go anywhere in downtown by foot or with a rent bike and it’s just somehow a quiet city even though it looks really busy if you see all those huge skyscrapers. North of downtown you’ll find the huge Stanley Park, a wonderful place to hang out. There’s nice beaches, interesting wildlife, Beaver Lake, the Lost Lagoon, huge trees, and the gigantic Lions Gate Bridge.

My first day I did everything by foot, walked all around Stanley Park’s boardwalk. It was winding like crazy. I have never seen something like this before – blue sky with a stormy crazy wind that almost blows you away. I was wondering how those people can live like this and how everybody says Vancouver belongs to the world’s top first places to live. But then that guy on the beach told me: «This is very very special! We have never had a wind like this before. Tomorrow will be different, it’ll be all quiet again!»

Vancouver downtown view from the Lions Gate Bridge:

In Standley Park you can find a whole bunch of wild animals. Around the Lost Lagoon there are a lot of racoons. Suddenly there was a whole family standing in front of me staring at me:

Friday and Saturday I was renting a bike on Robson St at Arash’s bike store. Don’t forget to trade in the bike rental coupon which can be found on the 3D city map and you’ll get a full-day rental for $17 (instead of $26). I forgot but Arash gave me a good price the second day.

On my first day I was swimming in the ocean on Third Beach. Water temperature was like 18°C but the wind was terribly cold. The second day I got to the pool on Second Beach – a nice swimming pool right next to the ocean with water temperature of 26°C. Riding a bike in Vancouver is a great thing, there are so many nice bike trails and you’ll get around so fast. If you need some camping or bike equipment, check out Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) in South Vancouver on W. Broadway/Columbia, right accross the Cambie Bridge.

For the two nights I stayed in HI-Downtown Hostel. It’s a huge hostel with not really a lot of charm, just a typical HI styled hostel. The first night was just horrible, they didn’t let us sleep at all. The fire alarm got off 3 times, the whole building had to be evacuated 3 times! Well, fireman didn’t care too much as the next fire station is just around the corner.

I will definitely go down to Vancouver again. It’s a really nice city! I could imagine living here becoming one of those bike messengers…

Whistler park riding

Whistler’s bike park is just sick! There are still trails I haven’t seen so far, the whole Whistler mountain is just full of trails, like a big labyrinth. You find everything, the steepiest most technical downhill tracks and the highest jumps I’ve ever seen, flowy burms and crazy ladder bridges (the thing we call «North Shores» back in Europe but nobody calls them like this over here).

I gotta get back to the park now. It’s Jake’s last day in Whistler, the crazy guy from Maui (Hawaii). We gotta rip down those tracks together. It’s so much fun riding with him. He’s riding his bike like a pro but he still doesn’t speed up too fast risking his life like a lot of guys do in the park. Yesterday his friend did that huge double with the huge gap down in the X cross park, the biggest double in the whole park. I was almost following him, but glad I didn’t… He just lost his bike in the middle of the air and bumped right into the landing wall. Damn, that was bad! He broke his clavicle (collar bone) on his last days in Whistler.

So, that’s us, the remaining ones:

Look at that kid to our right, he’s from Geneva, Switzerland. He’s riding his bike like nuts and does all kind of tricks in the air. It’s really fun riding with him. When we took him all on the top and rode all the way down he just had such a huge smile. Look at his teeth!

Last Sunday I was riding together with Petr on Whistler’s west-side mountain. There are just so many trails there, all real biking trails, hiking strictly forbidded! In Switzerland it’s just the other way round. We did some steep uphill and I was sweatening quite a bit with my heavy downhill bike. Petr showed me a steep downhill, a wonderful track. It ended up in the valley trail which is full of ladder bridges.

And after every ride… back in the Village at Miro’s coffee shop, Esquire’s:

Hey, besides, we got the apartment! $900 for 5 weeks, right in Upper Village, isn’t that great? I’m going to share the 2bdrm apartment with Anne, the German girl from the hostel. But first, I’m heading off to Vancouver for the next 3 days. And now I definitely gotta get back to the park to join Jake for some last great rides. See you soon!

Welcome to Whistler!

Here I am, I finally made it to Whistler!
Currently I am staying at the HI-Hostel right at Alta Lake – a wonderful spot. The water is warm as this lake doesn’t seem to get fed by all the glaciers of the surrounding area. I can jump into it at any time. It’s just wonderful to get back sweatened from the bike park and go for a swim.

The flight

That’s how I got to Whistler… I took a flight with Airberlin changing airplane in Duesseldorf. The guy from Zurich, Ogi – a relative of the former Swiss president – sitting next to me told me about Greenland. He showed me his wonderful pictures he took last time visiting his girlfriend in Canada. And wow, we flew over Greenland again! What an amazing view!


And look at those glaciers…

Greenland glaciers

This was really a wonderful flight. I was just missing a bit of sleep as we were following the sun all the time. I ended up in a 24hrs day without sleeping.
The bus dropped me off on highway 99 «sea to sky highway» at Wayside Park. I sat there next to the road with my huge backpack & bike box. I unpacked it and stuck it all together. It seemed almost impossible to ride that bike with all that luggage, but I managed to get over on the other side of Alta Lake reaching the wonderful HI-Hostel.

Whistler bike park

Here I am, riding my SantaCruz VPfree in Whistler bike park. And wow, it’s just great! I have never seen such huge trails with killing high jumps before. On my first day in the park I actually wanted to save up the A-line run for later on, but then I couldn’t hesitate to check it out.
I started with Crank It Up, a great trail with tons of tables and huge jumps. Then I checked out the A-line. Down at the lifts I heard a 10 year old kid shouting at his dad «Hey, I swear to God, A-line’s the best line in the world!» – he was right!

In the evening I met Petr, Kika’s friend. He was just around the corner at Rainbow Park finishing the Looney-race (the local weekly Thursday-night race). We went out for a beer and I had my first huge burger. I hope the weather on Sunday is better than the promised in the forecast as Petr wants to show me the «Disney Land» trail, some motocross trail nearby. Sounds like a great plan!

Petr & me

My second day in the park

Oh well, that was just too much. Lucky I’m still alive!
In the afternoon Shelvin from Ohio took me up on the Garbanzo lift at 1650m. We ripped down the Freight Train an A-line kind of trail just with even higher jumps. I was quite chilly up there. The upper lifts have just opened a week ago, before there was still snow.
I was following Shelvin. He rode like crazy taking all the biggest jumps and doing all kind of tricks in the air. I just trusted him and thought if he can do it, I can do it as well. Before the most crazy stunts he warned me and asked me if we should take the chicken run but I was fine and just followed him. I even jumped up that huge truck or whatever it was – I would have never done this by myself. This was my greatest run I’ve ever had.

Back down at the bottom I met this guy from Maui (Hawaii), Jake. He’s another crazy guy riding his bike like nuts. He was like «Huh, I’m going on my own now, the others are just sick, they are riding their bikes like they were motocross bikes. I’m off, I gotta do some real mountain biking, some technical stuff, I’m sick of all this who-can-fly-the-highest kind of shit!». Together we went up with the Garbanzo lift. We started with Original Sin a pretty tricky trail. We took all the double diamonds in between. Whistler bike park got green (easiest), blue (intermediate), and black (advanced) marked trails. The black ones are marked with a single black diamond. And then there are those double diamonds… When you see them you think those Canadians are just nuts. So, we ripped down Original Sin, Captain Safety (double-diamond), Fatcrobat (double-diamond), D1 (double-diamond, pro line), Schleyer (double-diamond), Lower Whistler Downhill (double-diamond), Lower A-line. That was a crazy run, some real technical stuff, more the thing I know from Switzerland.

Once we got back up again with the lifts it was already like 7:30 pm and the bike patrol asked us to do sweeping line 18 – a great line, actually just the same we did before. Weather conditions were a lot worse, we didn’t see anything up on the mountain. Some jumps just leaded into nowhere, into strong fog. We picked up a guy that was already wounded on his knee – a stupid guy running on trails that were way over his limits. Those sweeping lines are really a great idea. There are just too many trails for the bike patrol to check at the end of the day.

That’s Jake, a great rider from Mali (Hawaii) with the sweeping line card in his hand:

It’s Saturday now, gotta get out up to the bike park soon. Weather is pretty shitty but as soon as the sun comes out the trails dry so fast. First I need to check for the 2bdrm apartment in Whistler Upper Village, there might be a chance getting the rent for over a month together with Anna, a German girl I met in the hostel.

¡ Pipo se va a América del sur !

Hola todos!
El 2 de noviembre me voy a América del sur por un viaje de 3 meses. Viajaré por Ecuador, Perú, y Bolivia.
No será posible contestar a todos vuestros emails. Si encuentro tiempo y una conexión internet, voy a publicar los fotos en la gallery.
Hasta luego!

Soon, I’m leaving for my South America trip. On 2nd of november I’m flying over to Quito/Ecuador and will be travelling around for 3 months in Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia.
I probably won’t be able to answer all your mail. If I find some time and some internet connection, I’m going to upload my pictures to the gallery.
take care and see you soon!

On the way to Romania

Mir Siebesieche gönd mit de Siebemeilestiefel uf Siebebürge!

Our great idea: professional hitchhiking
Yeah, our plan was just great. The day before we left we were sure about getting to Praha on our first day by hitchhiking. No, getting to Munich was not enough for us – the world’s most professional hitchhikers. Tuesday morning we tried to start our trip at the highway entrance Zurich-Nordring. It was pretty cold and it started to rain. Our thumb was already freezing but as we’re not pessimists we didn’t give up that fast. The whole morning we tried to get one of those 3000 cars but only 2 of them were stopping and didn’t even go in our direction. What was wrong? Our whole illusion fell apart! First two hrs we were standing at Zurich-Nordring and the next 2 hrs we were hanging around near the Glattzentrum. No way! First we were standing on the sidewalk with a Prag-sign, then we had to change it to Munich. Later on the sign said «Bregenz» and finally we tried it with St. Gallen and Winterthur. We didn’t even make it to Winterthur. A guy would have taken us to Chur but that was not really the right direction. Damn bastards, those drivers!!Munich Hofbräuhaus - What else?!There was no other way than getting an Inter Rail ticket for 2 zones for CHF 400. Such a ticket is not even a bad idea – like this we’re able to see 6 countries and cultures in just 10 days. We would have never managed this by hitchhiking. You can do something like this if you got like a month of time or so.
Our journey to Munich was pretty interesting! There was this weirdo who was talking about the difference of Diesel- and electrical trains. The only reason why he was traveling up to St. Margrethen was ‹cause he loves electrical trains and our train was one of ‹em. Also he was a fanatic German fan. He recommended us his great Bahnkarte – the German half-price ticket. I never saw a guy being that fanatic about such a rubbish!
Then I had the silly idea to test out my pepper-spray with tear gas in it. I remember the store in NYC where I got that spray from and where everyone was running out of the store as I just tried to test the spray. Again I was just spreading a tiny little bit of that spray and everyone started coughing in our train. It was so cool to see 20 people coughing and no one knew what was going on. They even called the control officer and asked him what was wrong with the ventilation. He tried to give an explanation and ended up in telling those tourists that there was some «Bremsstaub» getting into the ventilation and that this shouldn’t happen as it was a «high-tech» train. Well done! Good explanation.

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NYC Survival Guide

VIP-only guide to the most asked question «How to make it in New York City

VIPs only!!
…now we’re getting to the real hot part of this guide! Better take your hands out of your pockets, now it’s getting tough!
You know, NYC is the city of the cities. NYC is the place to be!
What the hell are you talking about? Is that true? So why is not everyone on the world living in New York?
Well, you know, that’s the point – everyone wants to be in NYC and there is no space for everyone – so, what’s the conclusion?! Living in NYC is pretty tough. You gotta fight 24hrs a day (well, you’re lucky! – at least a day just contains 24 hrs!).
Ever heard Frank Sinatra’s «theme from New York New York»? (that’s the song you’re listening to right now!) «If you do it in New York, you can do it anywhere»
This dude knows what he’s talking about! If you do it in NYC you will not get in trouble in any other part of the world. The funny thing is: No one does it in NYC!If you want to start a new life in NYC, no one prevents you from doing so! Just remember not to give up too fast. Life’s hard – life’s harder in New York!

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