Back at the end of August last year we left the chaos of the Eurobike tradeshow in Germany behind and headed for the mountains… the Austrian Alps to be precise…
From Dirt Issue 147 – May 2014
Words by Mike Rose. Photos by Ale di Lullo.
When I say ‘we’ I mean myself, fellow Dirt journalist James McKnight, and we were trucking with Mitchell Scott from Kona and a driver. We didn’t really know what the plan was as we squeezed into a packed people carrier (horizontally if I remember) and ate ice creams. I felt ridiculously relaxed kicking back and watching the world go by. We drove for a few hours through breath–taking scenery headed for a group of small villages called Serfaus–Fiss–Ladis, surrounded by the Austrian Otzal Alps and the Swiss Samnaun range. I knew nothing about the place.
As we climbed up out of the late afternoon shade of the valley floor there was that great feeling you get of gaining height, of clean air and bright light. We were there for a Kona Process press camp at a brand new bike park that nobody really knew anything about… and we had no idea what to expect.
As we settled down for food at the hotel we were staying at we met Benny Pregenzer (one of the resort managers in Fiss), a tanned, charismatic character in a light brown leather bomber jacket who had a glint in his eyes. Fit and healthy, he’s been living the ‘winter life’ for years, Australian ski resorts in our summer (their southern hemisphere winter) and then back to Europe in our winter. With him was Stefan Falkeis, younger and quieter but with an air of efficiency, he was to be our main point of contact for the next few days and he had the answers to all of our questions. Both of course were keen mountainbikers, so they knew the score.>>