Black Forest Brevet pit-stop

About a month ago, Chris decided to take on a pretty impressive challenge – the Black Forest Brevet, which would require a team of riders to ride up and down five of the biggest Black Forest peaks around Freiburg: the Kandel (1241m), the Schauinsland (1200m), the Belchen (1360m), the Hochkopf (1079m) and the Hochblauen (1165m). Pretty impressive, hey? He did the ride to fundraise for the British charity Mind, which supports people with mental illness. Everyone’s response was amazing – more than double the target amount was raised!

After some pretty hard training the previous weeks, the team was ready to go – including the back-up snack-bringers: some friends and I had decided to hire a car and meet up with the riders half way through the day to replenish their protein bar and water supply. On that Saturday, the day was lovely – perfect riding weather. The riders set out at 6 in the morning. A few hours later, we packed snacks and drinks, and drove along the vineyards and lovely rolling hills of southern Baden-Württemberg towards the third and highest peak of the ride: the Belchen. We were planning to hike the last 4 km to the top, to feel like we were participating in the challenge in a tiny way – but we arrived late, and were just about to miss the riders, so we decided to take the little yellow floating gondolas.

Seilbahn zum Belchen

We arrived just in time to meet up with the riders at the top. It was amazing how chilled-out and relaxed they were after having alredy climbed no less than three mountains, and with two more mountains to go.

belchen (Large)

Biking in the Black forest

Some of the riders decided not to continue, but most of the group was determined, and after a short, protein- and electrolyte-filled snack break they went on their way to conquer the remaining two summits, and we hiked the remaining few hundred meters to the very top of the Belchen.

Belchen peak

The view from the top on that crystal clear day was amazing. We had a quiet picnic overlooking the Muenstertal valley,

View from the Belchen summit

Cross on the Belchen

… and kept company to a herd of cows enjoying the sun.


On top of the Belchen

We watched the mountaintops around us trying to figure out which way the riders were going. The ride went on till the evening – Chris got back home exhausted but exhilarated. I’d quite like to read his account of the day (probably slightly sportier than ours)…

Hiking down the Belchen

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