The Isar trails

Trail time: explore the banks of the Isar river by bike

Mountain bikers love narrow pathways that provide them with an extra special flow experience. What many people in Munich don’t know is that you don’t need to go all the way to the Alps for an experience like this. The banks of the Isar River in southern Munich are the perfect terrain for mountain bike trails.  

In the summer, you’re unlikely to spot Nadine Oberhuber without her bike. The mountain biking enthusiast is an active member of the M97 Alpine club. In the interview she explains what makes the Isar trails so special.

 

The Isar trails to the south of Munich are renowned as a haven for mountain bikes. What’s so special about the banks of the Isar?

You get to ride on proper trails through unbelievably beautiful landscape, while experiencing for yourself how the environment changes over time. There’s nowhere else like the Isar trails.

And they’re pretty handy, too.

I mean, where else can you just set off from home and enjoy such incredible trails? If you want to hit the trails in the Alps, then you need to drive first or get the train. In Munich, you can start having fun pretty much straight away.

But that can be problematic for the environment, too, right? 

Sure, there’s lots going on around the Isar. It’s Munich’s largest recreational area. You get ramblers, people out for a stroll, trail runners and mountain bikers, of course. Then there are fishers, people out on rubber dinghies and plenty of BBQ parties. However, all this seems to work if everyone looks out for one another. And, above all, the environment.

So, how does that work exactly?

You can have fun in nature without ruining anything. Here we are lucky enough to be in a conservation area. But this only works if everyone sticks to a few rules: Everyone keeping to the paths makes a big difference. And it’s important to look out for any closures in sensitive areas. You shouldn't keep forging new paths and short cuts through the undergrowth either.

And you can’t be afraid of getting dirty.

There’s an old saying among bikers: If you’re out riding and see a puddle in front of you, don’t go round it, go straight through it. Otherwise, you’ll just make it wider. The washing machine will deal with the rest.

Say I’m new to the city – how do I find out about the right trails and routes?

Ideally, you should go out with organised local riders. They know all the best places to ride and which areas are closed. If you prefer to head out on the trails alone, then make sure you do enough research in advance, for example at www.biken-isartal.de.

You’ll also find information on groups and excursions with the Alpine club at www.davplus.de.

 

 

Interview: Ole Zimmer; Photos: Frank Stolle