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Mountain Biking with the Mountain Monk

I love mountain biking. It’s such a great way to combine nature, adventure, and adrenaline all at the same time. But to be honest, I should admit that I really only enjoy half of the experience – the downhill half. Biking up steep inclines is a major pain in the you-know-what that leaves me winded and exhausted. I’d much rather hike up. The promise of a wind-in-your-hair, full-speed downhill descent is usually worth the effort to bring the bike uphill, but even with that in mind, sometimes I can’t make it all the way without stopping to walk alongside my bike or awkwardly hoisting it into the air as I stumble over rocks and tree branches.

Fortunately, a nifty new contraption called the Bergmönch, or “Mountain Monk” in German, is the perfect solution for mountain bikers who are only interested in the downhill part of the journey. It’s a bicycle (actually more like a scooter) that’s made just for going downhill. True, there aren’t any pedals or gears, but who needs them if you’re flying down a hill at full speed? (Don’t worry, there are brakes!)

The major downside is that, because there aren’t any pedals, the Bergmönch can be used only for going downhill. If you run into even the slightest incline, you’ll need to step off the bike and walk back up until you can cruise downhill again. Nevertheless, on the right mountain terrain, this could be a fantastic piece of equipment.

The Bergmönch and its fully integrated helmet fold up into a handy backpack, leaving space for food, equipment, and everything else you want to pack. At just under 21 pounds, it’s pretty easy to sling it over your shoulders for an uphill hike. Then, once you reach the top, you can unfold and reassemble the bike, take a deep breath, and let the fun begin!

Check out the video where the Moutain Monk himself takes the Bergmönch for a spin, or learn more about it here. Yes, the site’s in German, but the pictures are worth a thousand words.

A word of warning: when you start using your new Bergmönch, you’ll probably get some strange comments from other hikers who are intrigued by your odd-looking backpack, but just treat it as an opportunity to tell them about the joys of hiking uphill and biking downhill. Chances are, they’ll groan with envy and ask to take it for a spin themselves!