We kicked off  this festive 500 before dawn at a somewhat unspectacular discount grocery store parking lot. However we had our spectacularly brave guest Rebekka Kirsch join us, who accepted the challenge of not only riding 11 times the elevation of her previously highest climb, but also doing it at freezing temps.  It still was night with the first rays creeping through the sky illuminating some clouds that headed our away, which meant we had to battle a headwind while leaving the city on ice riddled gravel roads.



Soon and in high spirits however we reached Marktschellenberg, the starting point of the 19km long climb featuring 1200 elevation gain. The first 13 % ramps provided a first test for Becky, and we may or may not have been truthful about the amount of ramps to come, but she still managed to overcome them all and we took a quick break to eat some snacks in Oberau while watching the sun lighten up Watzmann and Hochkalter over the Berchtesgaden Valley.

We continued making our way up,past the little village, past the snow line,  past the toll station, which raised the amount of people we saw so far to about 10. Stopping to enjoy the view about every switchback, this ride was never about getting KOMs or setting records, except when John and Becky held an impromptu jacket-zip-up contest, which Becky lost...

Not really having planned the ride any further we decided  to get some coffee and cake after the furious and freezing descend in Hallein. The main city square was packed, but after some searching we found a fairly posh place. Not caring about etiquette we had cake and made plans amongst all the fancy people ogling us and smoking up the place. We decided to add a little loop flat, which may or may not have had 2 hills, a canyon and a bunch of dudes casually firing cannons.


John couldn't hide his excitement over wielding such firing power. After borrowing it for a picture he gave it back heavy hearted and we finished our ride with the sun almost about to set.