On tour with the E-Mountain bike
Water's not the same as water, the people from Chur know. They have Passugger. For 400 years now, they have been siphoning off their precious water at the very back of the wildly dreamy Rabiosa Gorge. Not far from the mountain bike route 255, the legendary Theophil spring rises here. We have chosen this tour primarily because of you. We wanted to follow the path of the water and did not suspect that we would discover a special feature.
The 27 kilometre long Route 255 begins very varied. Along silent contemporary witnesses it leads past the car-free (but bicycle-friendly), historic old town to the rushing Plessur on the quay of the same name. A short stretch along the railway road to Arosa and the bikers are in the middle of nature. Over hill and dale they rush along the less frequented path along the edge of the forest until they finally swallow up the lush canopy of leaves. The coolness is pleasant and welcomes you now. Only a few rays of sunlight make it through the dense foliage, occasionally throwing light spots on the ground. A small path leads over gnarled roots deeper and deeper into the forest. The green becomes denser and more impenetrable. The tree giants, which now stand on trellises instead of dandelions, become higher.
The gorge is not on the route 255, but a short detour to the drinking hall is definitely worthwhile and recommended, because there the unruly Rabiosa Gorge unfolds in its full splendour. Below the bridge, the water falls into the depths as if it were a teenager in the craziest years. Meanwhile, things are much more leisurely up at the legendary Theophil spring. A footpath leads to one of the five Passugger spring tunnels from which drinking water has been extracted for 400 years. This is where the precious water and led via underground pipes to the filling plant of Allegra Passugger Mineralquellen AG. The magic origin tastes good man, we agree at our later rest. But let this be earned first...
From the Kurhaus Passugg, a relic of days long gone, we follow the Polenweg to Churwalden for the actual ascent. 1'000 meters of altitude are on the way, so we switch from standard to eco-mode to be on the safe side, so that the battery of the e-mountainbikes will easily last as far as Brambrüesch. We are surprised at how quickly and comparatively easily the altitude meters can be mastered with drive and enjoy the view of the Lenzerheide mountains.
When the valley finally opens in front of us, the "summit goal" is almost within reach. In the «Bergbaiz Brambrüesch» we are already awaited with a lovingly set table and rewarded with Graubünden specialities. We review the varied ascent once again and agree: it was worth it! We know that the best is yet to come!
Instead of the pleasurable descent on the official Route 255, we decide on one of the freeride routes of the "Alpenbikepark Chur", which has been continuously expanded since the 2009 Swiss MTB Championships. Finally, we want to really enjoy the generous fork travel and the wide trail tires. We choose the simplest, blue marked route and let the pulse beat faster with crisp single trails, flowing riparian curves and, as an option, wall rides and jumps.
After a great descent, the tour ends where it started - right in the city. It's amazing how close city life and nature are to each other in Chur. The slogan «The Alpine City» could not be more fitting. And so at the end we enjoy a refreshing beer in one of the numerous street cafés and toast to the successful tour.
Pictures: Jean-Luc Grossmann for Spot Magazine