I’ve never known a track to be quite so rocky as the tracks in Bad Wildbad. Wow, there are a lot of rocks! The first time you head down the tracks, you’re a bit like ‘where the hell am I meant to go!?’ but after a little analysing you find the lines and then it’s just about as much fun as you can have on a downhill bike. There are two downhill tracks here, aptly named ‘Downhill 1’ and ‘Downhill 2’, so at least there’s no confusion of the pronunciation of the names.
Headcam run of Downhill 1/IXS –
Downhill 1 has been used for the IXS race series and is the more infamous of the two, you’ll have no doubt seen photos of the main rock garden here somewhere or other before. The track is incredibly rocky and very technical, but I love it to bits. Once you’ve got you’re lines sussed it’s just so much fun pinning it down between the rocks with your heart in your mouth.
Downhill 2 isn’t quite as good as Downhill 1 as it’s a little bit slower and harder to get into the flow, but it’s still a great fun track and has its fair share of rocks. It’s slightly easier as well, but still far from easy.
There is also a 4-cross and jump/bikepark area serviced by a t-bar drag lift. I cannot put into words how much I hate this drag lift. It took me a good 5 attempts and an inhumane amount of laughter from my riding companions (who nailed it first time of course) to make it to the top. Once you’ve got the right technique, it’s not actually bad at all, but I’ll never forgive it for the humiliation.
Which brings us to getting back to the top of the mountain in general. There isn’t actually a ski lift here, instead you have to get a funicular train back up to the top which leaves every 30 minutes. This year the train was out of action and was replaced by a bus doing the same job. At first I was sceptical and thought it would be hard to get enough runs in, but in the event it worked out pretty well and we were never waiting long. Apparently next year the train will be working again and will be running every 15 minutes, so should be even better.
I absolutely loved this place and will be back again before the season is through. The downhill tracks were just my kind of riding, very technical and requiring a bit of thought, but once mastered just smiles for miles.
Body armour is compulsory here; as someone who usually only wears knee pads I thought this a bit of a pain, but in all honesty it really is a good idea with the amount of rocks on the track.
Day Pass: €24
Notes: The wearing of back, knee and elbow body armour and full face helmet is compulsory