October 2022

View on Karawanken and Julian Alps

It was a nasty September. I can’t remember when it was so rainy and cold. According to recently presented statistics, it was the coldest September in 14 years, but they didn’t share if it was the wettest. Zero chance of biking, hiking in the mountains or any outdoor activity. Brrr.

Fortunately, September went away, and October rode in on a white horse, with a beautiful Indian summer, and immediately made everyone a happier person. So, after a lousy September, I prepared myself a not too demanding, but also not too trivial route.

Let me remind you right away that I standardly do not consider it sensible to go out on a bike when it is cold, that is, below 18C. However, since I haven’t ridden in a „long time”, and I really wanted to, it was the right time to forfeit thermal comfort. I mean, I have the right clothes even for winter. but I don’t like how hot it is uphill, in a moment downhill I’m freezing, etc. This time, however, I decided to NOT COMPLAIN and just go.

Having dressed as needed + stuffed extra clothes in my pockets just in case, I set off on an autumn gravel route.

Through Maria Gail and the hills just beyond, full of mushrooms and first climbs

Mushroom – rich hills beyond Maria Gail

Then around Faaker See, really vacant at this time of year, and then through Ledenitzen to Rossegg.

Faaker See

There is an animal park for kids there, a parking lot full of cars, so probably many visitor even at this time of the year.

Deer in Rosegg park

From Rosegg briefly uphill to Velden and along the next lake, Wörthersee, to turn uphill just before Pörtschach. Usually in the summer I ride there several times; there are always lots of cyclists. This time, although, after all, it was not that cold and the sun shone through, it was empty and empty and empty. The whole bike path for me:)

From the aforementioned turn I was already riding on a road unfamiliar to me. First sharply uphill, at a gust of 12%, but not so long, and then another very sharp climb up to the (artificial) Forstsee lake. I was there once on a walk, it is pleasant, the view is nice.


Komoot here traditionally somewhat wanted me to drive into the bushes, but somehow I managed to outwit it. However, one must be alert to Komoot’s gravel route ideas; they are not always passable.

Rounding the lake, the route led further up the mountain. Actually, from Velden, above the lake, it climbs from 460 to 1015 m in 12km. That’s almost 5% on average, but there were hills of 15% each. It’s beautiful, with views, a bit tiring, but just right.

Village of Wurzen

Right past the Wurzen the road went downhill for a while, and then uphill up to 1015m. The last few kilometers were super new asphalt, I felt like there was no rolling resistance at all. The road led through the forest, that is in the shade, that means cold because sweaty. And even colder on the descent. July come back please!!!

Today’s route alternated between road and gravel, and I admit that I was kinda missing the gravel a bit. It seems closer to the nature and more enjoyable at the same moment, and while the road bike also has its advantages, the most fun for me is just riding gravel bike

Gravel path at Ossiacher Tauren

After descending once more, a quick climb to the level of 1000m, to Ossiacher Tauren, a charming spot with a small lake on top of the mountains surrounding Lake Ossiacher to the south. And then a very steep and unpleasant descent, although with very nice views along the way. One has to constantly put his hands on the brakes, and it’s not that pleasant at all

Downhill from Tauern with Ossiachersee view

The weather, as you can see, got much better, and there was a little more cyclists down there, but it was nowhere near the holiday numbers. After the descent it was already flat, a bit chilly, but as it is in autumn – more and more colorful. The whole thing is almost 75km in 4 hours.

Route picture taken from Strava.com