Video: 7 Year Old Twins Conquer the Austrian Alps on 24" Hardtails

Sep 17, 2019
by zam  
Views: 4,699    Faves: 3    Comments: 0


Little youngGUNS Bikers Rode Through the Saalbach and Petzen Resorts in Austria

Profesion ln fotograf

It’s been two years since two 12-year-old lads managed to go downhill on three active volcanoes in four days under the guidance of the MTB freerider Gaspi. These days, the two are already growing their first “dustaches” so Gaspi, as a coach with a nose for talent, chose two wildlings nearly half their age: the 7-year-old twins Kuba and Péťa who had enough strength, courage, and technical skills to conquer Austrian hills – and at two destinations at that.

Profesion ln fotograf


“To take two such little shrimps to the mountains is a huge commitment but I trusted them because even when they’re only seven, they’re already experienced and I had no reason to doubt them,” says Gaspi.


Profesion ln fotograf

The first host to the new youngGUNS stars was the Austrian Saalbach. The lads were faced with a tricky task posed by the BIG_5 Challenge, which is an extraordinary gravity bike tour in the mountains surrounding the municipalities of Saalbach, Hinterglemm, and Leogang. For the boys to make it, the whole accompanying crew had to be packing enough energy bars. Anyone with kids knows they need motivation. On the first trails, the lads did so masterfully, with their 24” rigid bikes and just 10 cm of suspension fork travel, that even the pimped-out biking champs with a complete DH gear had to make way and just shake their heads in disbelief. That encouraged the boys to even bigger shenanigans. They went off the leash and a few falls in dusty bends were even accompanied by one or two tears. But the boys are like rubber balls and the motivating Gaspi eventually led them to a successful finish of the BIG_5. Back at the hotel, the boys celebrated their skills with Fanta and Gaspi could finally catch a breather with a glass of beer in hand.

Profesion ln fotograf

Profesion ln fotograf

Profesion ln fotograf

Profesion ln fotograf


The next day, the lads looked like they’ve been on an all-night bender with gummy bears so they were greeted by an icy a bath in a glacial stream before breakfast. The water averaging 6°C was a swift wake-up call. The boys shovelled breakfast into their mouths and, with the vision of the first cable car up the freshly opened Hackleberg Trail, they quickly forgot the odd bruise.

Profesion ln fotograf

Profesion ln fotograf

photographer Milo t fek

From the cable car cabin, Kuba and Péťa were on an impatient lookout for the beginning of the trail, which is carved into a blanket of snow so they counted on a snowball fight before the ride. The melting snow gave the trail a decent chocolate spread texture, which made the whole crew look like they’ve raced through a sewage pipe. Nevertheless, the euphoria from the exciting trail was so strong that the youngGUNS rushed on board of the cable car over and over again. After the last “cable”, dead-beat and completely drenched, the whole gang jumped into the Vito car that already looked like mud spa inside and headed for their next Austrian destination. The boys dozed off right after the second turn so there was finally some sweet peace and quiet.

Profesion ln fotograf

Profesion ln fotograf

Profesion ln fotograf



foto Milos Stafek

The very same evening, the bikers were welcomed by Petzen that lies in the Carinthia region and holds the World’s Best Flow Trail award, issued by the IMBA (International Mountain Bicycling Association). Unfortunately, the morning looked like we’re going to spend the whole day at our hotel, staring into smartphone and notebook screens, because the skies were gifting us with rain, rain, and more rain. But then Gaspi barged through the door and announced: “We’re heading up the rock face, we’re not sissies!” The lads pulled long faces for a bit but then started to obediently take out the rainproof gear out of their bags. Their cycling backpacks needed to be packed by spare layers of clothes because no one knew what the weather will be like up there. It was still pouring buckets as the whole crew hopped in the cable car cabin at 10 AM and headed up a pretty steep hill when, suddenly, there came a deafening bang and the whole thing came to a halt. Thunder, lightning, and an intense storm enveloped the cabin and the thought on everybody’s mind was, “will this thing start moving again or are we stuck here?”

foto Milos Stafek

Profesion ln fotograf

Profesion ln fotograf

After 30 minutes, the cogs on the pylons started spinning but there came another bang and another stop. This way, the bikers hopped all the way to the top and were the last to ride the cable car that day because it was closed right after thanks to that huge storm. What now? The group found shelter in a little chapel at the top but after one hour, they grew tired of it. Petr and Kuba were prone to setting the chapel on fire so they’ve all decided to find something else. How about a dive bar?

Profesion ln fotograf

Profesion ln fotograf

Profesion ln fotograf

One couldn’t see ten meters ahead thanks to thick fog so the crew decided to risk it and set off in the Flow Country Trail direction but, lo and behold, they met an open pub on the way and the staff was visibly still recuperating after a Friday mountain party. The bikers warmed up their insides with a hot meal and waited for the weather to come to its senses and let them on the trail, but no one was too excited about going outside. The innkeeper made the decision for them – when he politely chucked them all out with a circus clown smile. He explained that the cable car is down, no other guests are coming, and that the staff is going to hit the sack, assuring the riders that the trail is going to be OK. He finished speaking, pointed vaguely into the fog and took a selfie with the crew as a souvenir, probably in case they were never to be seen again.

Profesion ln fotograf

Profesion ln fotograf

Profesion ln fotograf

Not long after that, the Flow Country Trail gate appeared in front of them. The youngGUNS twins were chattering their teeth so there was no holding off and down we all went. The build of the Flow Country Trail is incredible because there wasn’t a single puddle to slow the boys down and the strikingly light colour of the trail had excellent visibility, even for those two little shrimps who were whooping it up again at high revs. The storm was slowly fading, the occasional lone lighting struck a nearby tree from time to time, but the lads could no longer be bothered. They were focusing on Gaspi’s coaching and valuable advice on leaning into banked curves and, gradually, they were picking up so much speed that one was overtaking the other and Gaspi had a hard time slowing them down. The Flow Country Trail is simply awesome even when wet and, in the case of Czech bikers, even during a raging storm.

Profesion ln fotograf

Profesion ln fotograf

Completely drenched and with a white limestone crust on all gear, they’ve jumped into Vito and because there was apparently not enough water that day, they set off to warm their bones in one of the warmest alpine lakes called Klopeiner See – which temperature reaches admirable 29°C. The nearby restaurant will prepare you a local fish as a gastronomic experience but two seven-year-old wildlings make savouring anything a hard task… simply put, circus mayhem.

foto Milos Stafek

foto Milos Stafek

The next day, the weather became kinder and the rain slowly faded, which brought up the question if we should drag the youngGUNS up the rock face on a long trail again. But the two tots loved the experience from the previous day so much it was a no brainer. Up the Flow Country Trail they went – and multiple times! That’s Petzen for you.

And what did the rising stars of youngGuns thought about Austria?

Petr: “What I liked the most was riding through snowdrifts in Saalbach and bathing in an ice-cold river. They have amazing banked curves and jumps in Petzen. Yeah and riding down was faaaaast!”

foto Milos Stafek

Jakub: “I liked the rides through snow and jumps on the Hinterglemm train the best, one could fly really high. Also staying at a hotel. Petzen was way too easy for me.”

foto Milos Stafek


Big thanks to:
Austria | Mercedes Benz Vans CZ | POC - LSK | FUNN

Mondarker | BikeWorkX | Mitas | Ride Fox | BOX | AcePac | DJI

foto: Milos Stafek
camera: Pavel Vigh
clown: Gaspi
younGUNS: Jakub and Petr Tisler

foto Milos Stafek


Posted In:
Videos



35 Comments

  • 18 0
 a) I only see one pair of twins not seven
b) they shred hard for only being a year old
  • 5 0
 Panda eats, shoots and leaves
  • 1 0
 www.proofreaderaction.com is a dope site.
  • 2 0
 24" ain't dead.
  • 8 0
 Great work Dad! Those adventures are some amazing memories.

FWIW it's our experience that mtb kids can greatly benefit from a full face helmet like a Bell Super. (Get them on sale for cheap). I know so many young groms that have wrecked their faces (one life flighted out)...one of my own kid at one point too (bloody mess and a killed tooth). Ironically enough it wasn't my 7yro that DH races/hits black freeride lines....but was the 4yro. Even the slow stuff gets them. No downside to them. All our mtb camps require it for the most part.
  • 2 0
 Can confirm. Our 6-year-old took a face-first digger in the driveway that necessitated an ER visit and some scary hours.

Even if you're just looking at $$s (aside from the benefits of protecting your child's brain and face), spending $150 on a kids helmet is a whole lot cheaper than $1,400 on an ER visit.
  • 1 0
 @atourgates: You should live in the EU, ER is free so bad parents can save money on helmets and healthcare in one go.

*My 3 year old always wears a helmet and tells adults off that don't. You make me feel guilty now, maybe his next will be full face.
  • 5 0
 That photo near the bottom truly sums up the essence of 7 year old boy madness. #againagain
  • 7 1
 I'm 36 and I ride 26" hardtail. Smile
  • 1 7
flag DaveJube (Sep 17, 2019 at 10:06) (Below Threshold)
 That's awesome that you're out there having fun on any bike but you should really try some of the newer bikes. The technology that has developed in just the last 5-10 years is amazing. It's not only the bigger wheels that makes bikes better, but some companies like santa cruz, pivot and intense have really nailed the perfect geometry. I used to think the amount of travel was the most important thing on a bike but I have come to understand that geometry makes a huge difference. Get out to some demo events to try the different bikes out there. It's important that you pick the right bike for your type of riding. The 160mm enduro bikes that are popular now are great but if you ride rolling, smooth single track it's a waste to drag that much bike around.
  • 5 0
 @DaveJube: I have a NS Surge Evo frame from 2016. Wouldn't call it an old technology. It work with 27.5" as well but as I am a short person I prefer to have a smaller wheels for more fun. I don't care about being the fastest on the hill.
  • 2 0
 @DaveJube: Newer bikes? My 26" hardtail was built May last year. I think geometry is right up there. 460mm reach, 63deg head angle, 415mm chainstays.

I don't think @szec said he was riding an old bike.
  • 1 0
 @DaveJube: “some companies ... have really nailed the perfect geometry.”

Also @DaveJube “I have come to understand that geometry makes a huge difference. Get out to some demo events to try the different bikes out there. It's important that you pick the right bike for your type of riding.”

????
  • 1 0
 @szec: @szec: I'm sorry if I offended you, it wasn't my intention. It was wrong of me to assume that because you ride 26 inch that it was an older bike. I have been in the bike industry for almost 10 years now and a lot of the bigger bike manufacturers don't even make 26 inch bikes anymore except in the sub $500 recreational category now. Some of the smaller high end companies do make 26 inch but the vast majority of bikes produced in the past 4 years are 27.5 or 29ers.

I know you have heard it all before but the benefits of a larger wheel are not just faster. I mean my 29er trail bike is definitely faster but my 27.5 Intense M16 DH bike is easier to ride through rocky terrain than my previous 26 inch Demo 8. When I am riding DH I'm not racing so speed isn't important but the 27.5 wheels roll over rocks way easier. The 27.5 wheel doesn't get caught up in holes as much as my 26 in did.

I'm not trying to have a wheel size debate because it really is personal preference. The industry does push the idea of bigger is better in order to sell more bikes, tires and stuff. They feel the need to come up with something new every year in order to keep people buying the latest and greatest.

It really doesn't matter what you ride as long as you're out there riding and having fun. A bike and how much it costs isn't relative to how much fun you can have either. I've ridden everything from 26 inch fully rigid department store bikes in the early 90s to $8,000 super high end, best of everything, newest technology having super bikes and I can honestly say I have had just as much fun on the crappy bikes as I did on the high end bikes. It's all about the experience not the equipment.
  • 1 0
 @vinay: you're right. It was my mistake to assume that because he rides a 26in that it was older. I was speaking in more general terms.

Here in the states not many major manufacturers offer 26 inch bikes anymore unless it's the cheaper recreational type of bike. You can still find some smaller high end companies that produce 26 inch bikes but they are getting harder to find.Of course building a bike with your own specifications allows you to get that bike exactly how you want it.

Since I work at a bike shop i was thinking more along the lines of larger manufacturers like, Trek, Giant, Specialized, and Cannondale. It's getting harder and harder to find 26 inch models for some of our customers. It's even getting hard to find 26 inch frames for custom builds. But there are still a lot of 27.5 frames that can work with 26 inch even though they are designed for 27.5.

Another thing is it's getting harder to find 26 inch Rims and Wheelsets and also tires. Now a manufacturer might offer a few 26 inch models but they will have three times as many 27.5 and 29er to choose from. It's almost like the industry is discriminatory towards the 26 inch crowd that they grew up with.
  • 1 0
 @DaveJube: No worries, no offense taken. Smile I am pretty sure that my next bike will be on the 27.5 wheels although I prefer playability of smaller wheels.
  • 1 0
 @DaveJube: Yeah no worries man. I get that the big mass production brands (except for maybe Banshee and Liteville) seem to no longer release 26" wheel compatible frames. But as for components, big tire brands like Schwalbe and Continental continue to release their higher end tires in 26" too. It are the newcomers (in the mtb market) like Goodyear who understandably limit their focus to the more popular bigger sizes. Same for modern stuff like tire inserts (other than just tubes). Pepi, Tannus, MrWolf etc released their new products in 26" too when the bigger sizes were already more popular. So yeah, I think they'll continue to do that and for me that's enough. I don't need the possibility to run every model and compound out there. As long as I can get something decent and I can ride, I'm good. I honestly admit never having ridden the bigger sizes but I recall Fabien Barel once said that the bigger wheels roll smoother over rough terrain. Smaller wheels require/allow you to work more with the terrain. That is, you need to actively absorb impacts but you can also gain more speed out of the backsides of bumps/landings. Depending on where and how you ride, that is a quality or an issue. I like to pump my bike wherever I can so for me that is a quality. Someone who rides really rough rock littered alpine descends at speed obviously doesn't have the opportunity to spot backsides to gain speed and may be better off on the big wheels.

Bikes sure have gotten better over the years. Question of course is whether the big wheels contribute to that or just that the modern bikes got the big wheels because that's what's common now. To actually test the qualities of different wheelsizes in isolation you would need one bike model that's being offered for different wheelsizes. The only frame I can think of now that is being offered in 26", 27.5" and 29" specific is the BTR Ranger. I've got the 26" model. So yeah, someone would have to order all three frames, build them up identically (though with the appropriate wheels of course) and test them. Would be a nightmare to do though as these are built to order and it might take half a year to even receive the frames. And none of the current owners would be willing to offer their own frames for such a test. My rough guess here is that all three bikes ride really well. The smaller wheels are better extracting speed from the terrain, the bigger wheels are more forgiving and allow you to maintain more momentum over rough terrain.

All this said, should I get a full suspension bike at some point and I fancy a bike with one of the bigger wheelsizes, of course it won't keep me from getting one. And I'm sure it will be fun to ride too!
  • 2 0
 I wish I was 7 years old again so I could learn how to ride all over again, especially with the technology today in bikes and trail building. I think it's great that they are learning on hardtails too because it teaches the kids how a bike handles over different terrain. It's important to understand how a bike reacts to different things on the trail. A hardtail will let them feel that more. That way when they are approaching a certain trail condition they will know exactly how their bike is going to react to that trail condition. I started riding a bike in dirt for fun way back in the early 80s. I rode BMX as a kid for years. Then when I was in High School I got my first mountain bike, it was a fully rigid basic fat tire bike. I started riding trails for sport around 1989 and we rode fully rigid steel bikes. We learned how bikes handle through rough rocks, roots, off camber sections and jumps. By riding fully rigid we understood how to pick lines, how to absorb shock and how to use trail to our advantage. These two kids are learning the same thing. They will be able to progress at a very fast rate. They also watch older kids ride big bikes and they see how to do it. they can see what bikes are able to do. If they keep riding they will be the next generation of World Cup riders in about 10-15 years. They are the ones that will push the sport in the same way that the current generation of kids like Bruni, Pieron, Shaw and Brosnan are doing now. These kids that are learning now are going to be so good in the future it's going to be so exciting to watch them grow and push the limits of the sport.
  • 1 0
 Youngsters, BMX was the seventies ????
  • 1 0
 @nurseben: yes.....BMX started in the early 70s. Kids started to customize their Schwinn stingrays and race them. By the 1980s almost every kid had a BMX bike and they started doing jumps and stunts too. My first "BMX" bike was an old huffy with a banana seat with sissy bars. I took off the long seat and put a small saddle on it. Then I put some knobby tires on that mofo and rocked it. My first "REAL" BMX bike was a blue mongoose with blue skyway mag wheels and a custom JT Racing number plate on the front. The bike was probably $300 in 1981 which is like $3000 today. When I rode it down the street I thought everyone was looking at my admirring my shiny new bike.
  • 2 0
 Oh how the world would in my eyes would be such a better place if more kids had a father like that . I was lucky to catch a ride with friends to BMX race track a few times a year.
  • 1 0
 Looks like a fun trip! Is it just me or are the bikes a tad too big? I guess it's hard getting something that fits well and lasts longer than 6 months due to the rapid growth of kids.
  • 4 0
 bike check please
  • 2 0
 Yeah Scott doesnt make a proper kids 24" hardtail yet like Norco Charger/Rocky Mtn Vertex/Spawn YJ/Prevelo/TrailCraft/Vitus Nucleus (480$!). They still only use the old junky coil forks (that dont work) or are rigid and arent cheap. This is probably a Scale rigid with upgraded RST First air fork, new stem and what looks to be shimano deore hydraulic brakes (stock are cable disk brakes). Nice setup!
  • 2 0
 My boys are almost 2 years old, I can't wait when they start riding with me Smile Sponsors needed !! Razz
  • 7 0
 That’s you!
  • 3 0
 @oswaldini Try mondarker
  • 1 0
 Awesome little shredders, and reminds me of my boys riding their waaaay lesser hard tails at Whistler bike park back in the day.
#shakewhatyourmamagaveyou
  • 1 0
 Our twins are also 7 years old and a few months back we visited Leogang. It was awesome tot see the progression they make in just 2 days ????
  • 4 2
 LOVE IT! Need more groms on pinkbike! Yeah lads!
  • 1 0
 nice riding little dudes!
  • 1 0
 TFW your bike is older than these kids.
  • 1 0
 Hopefully, one day I will jump like those kids.
  • 1 1
 You could drive a car on those " trails" cool!
  • 1 0
 Sweet bike wash station!

Post a Comment



Copyright © 2000 - 2019. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv65 0.021252
Mobile Version of Website