The first Harfangatang review for a route comes in. Karl gives us his thoughts on the Vennbahn a 130km long cycle track that runs through three different countries.
My name is Karl and I live in Aachen/Germany which is just north of the German uplands called Eifel. (It has nothing to do with the Eiffel-Tower btw…) So in the town it’s quite hilly and a longboarding is not too much fun .
BUT, there is a cycle track called “Vennbahn”. The track follows an old railway that connected Troisvierges in Luxembourg to the industrial center in Aachen since the end of the 19th century. After WW2 traffic went down and 1989 the track was shut down completely for trains. Since then a long distance bike track was built on the route ands was completed in 2013. The complete track is about 130km long and leads through three different countries Luxembourg, Belgium and Germany. Due to border changes during the wars, the track sometimes lies in Belgium whereas on the left and right side of it you find Germany. This looks kind of weird on the map.
The track suitable for Longboarders is 37km long and has very smooth asphalt on 90% of the track. It starts in a village called Lammersdorf and ends right in Aachen city. But the best thing you need to know about Vennbahn is the slight slope you can find on many railway cycling tracks. For nearly all the 37km there is a slope of about 1-2%. It’s not much but combined with the finest asphalt it is really big fun. It even gets better. There is a bus which brings you right from Aachen city to the starting point in Lammersdorf. Could there be a better place to get into Longboarding?
The first 8km are the best. No intersection with any annoying roads and about 2% slope can get you up to 40km/h if you want to. If your thighs can handle a tuck that long one might perhaps go even faster. With my first Pintail cruiser it was quite fun to go down the Bahn until I got my first Bennett truck started to pump and got some REAL stoke. My personal best is 1hour 33 minutes for the 37km but I know guys who make it under 1:30h. Only the intersections with some roads stop you from going faster.
Pumpable board + Vennbahn = Endless concrete surfing
When I got more and more into LDP Vennbahn started to get boring and I explored more and more the Rhineland where it is really flat and some nice roads for ‘real’ LDP. So I somehow lost sight of the Vennbahn. But when I trained for my first Ultra in summer 2016 I thought: Hey there was that Vennbahn thing. What about going up and down again for training. This gives you some serious long distance and a hell of a training. So if you want some training for your next Ultraskate plus some superstoke going down the track again, feel free to contact me and I’ll join your ride! It’s not quite a ‘spot’ but I would call the Vennbahn my homespot.
Cheers for the review Karl. If you want to be in with a chance of winning a set of Harfangatang wheels, email your review to firstname.lastname@example.org – it could be skating equipment, camping kit or even a skate route you use. Send it it and you might win!