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I am going to be in Europe this summer. I will be in Astria for a couple weeks and a week or two in the northern half of Italy and hopefully I will be in Switzerland for a while. I was thinking if going to Schladming (I beleive the UCI DH world cup was here a while back) to try and do some riding. I mostly ride xc but am up for anything fast and fun. I will not have my bike with me so I will probably need to rent one for any biking I do. Where are some good places to go riding in theses countries and how can I get ahold of bikes as cheaply as possible? Know any locals there?
 

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No biking over here...

But seriously, that's like saying "I am going to the US this summer. Can I bike there and where should I rent a bike?".

In Austria, Northern Italy and Switzerland you can't go wrong, but there are dozens of options for venues. Lake Garda in Italy is something of a mecca for mountain biking, as are the Dolomites. Pretty much anywhere in Western Austria or Switzerland will be great. I'm in the West of Switzerland (oppostite end to Austria) so don't have specific advice on venues. Pretty much every ski resort is now set up for moutainbiking in the summer but some are better than others.

For rentals, I would suggest you bring your shoes and peddles with you. Most rentals will not have clipless. Where to rent depends on where you ride. I don't know of any way of getting a cheap rental unless you want a lousy bike.
 

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I know this is pretty far away from where you will be, but just a thought for future trips to Europe. A country to consider would be Scotland. MTBing is now their #1 tourist attraction.

Have fun overseas. My wife and I are going to Croatia in September. Should be a great time.
 

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Gimmelwald = Interlaken.

theoneinventor said:
I am going to try hard to make it to Gimmelwald in Switzerland. In such a small town I wonder if it would be possible to get ahold of a bike or if it is more realistic to count on just hiking there?
I'd never heard of Gimmelwald, but a quick google search tells me its near Interlaken, which is a largish town and you can almost certainly rent a bike there. Depending on how much luggage you have, its an easy ride from Interlaken to Lauterbrunnen where you get the train or gondola up to Mürren. If you can't stay in Gimmelwald, Mürren is very nice too.

I've ridden in Interlaken in the past. This area of Switzerland has unbelievably spectacular scenery. Either the Gimmelwald (or Mürren) area, or across the valley at Wengen should have some great riding. I think Wengen, as a big ski resort, would be setup for biking (open lifts, etc.). If you're in Gimmelwald make sure you get to the top of the Schilthorn for the views - there is a lift to the Piz Gloria revolving restaurant. You might recognise this from the James Bond movie 'On Her Majesty's Secret Service'. If you happen to be there on September 9th they hold the Jungfrau marathon that day.
 

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Flying High Again
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What's in Gimmelwald? Are you sure you don't mean Grindelwald? Same area but it's a well known and large-ish ski resort town.

I don't know about biking in Interlaken area, but there is some great DH mountain biking in the Graubunden (swiss german side south of Zurich) at the ski resorts of Flims-Laax and Lenzerheide. I'm hoping to get over there this summer.And there is also the french side where Buster and I are. I'll be at Portes du Soleil most weekends and a few odd vacation days here and there. This is just south of the east end of Lake Geneva. There are certainly plenty of bike shop to rent from around there. If gets a little expensive if you want a DH type bike at about 60 CHFs per day. You could probably find a crappy-ish XC bike for half that.

There is XC all over Switzerland and most sports shops sell bike maps. But I'm no expert on XC...
 
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