Auf und ab, Weinberge und Wald, Deutschland und Frankreich: Der Winzer Michael Gnägy erkundet seine südpfälzische Heimat am liebsten mit dem Mountainbike. Wanderern begegnet er stets mit Rücksicht – und mit einem Lachen im Gesicht.
The first view already is a magnificent one. Michael Gnägy has pedalled hard to bring his bike up the vineyard. Now, he stands at the edge of the forest and looks back. In the area around Bad Bergzabern and Schweigen-Rechtenbach, the Palatinate Forest flows down into the plain like gentle waves. The flowers of rapeseeds and red clovers have painted yellow and dark red stripes between the vines. On the horizon you can see the outlines of the Black Forest. Michael grew up here. But he still can’t see enough of this view, even after five decades. “I have been to the Alps as well, however, the variety here…is just very special.”
Michael is a wine-grower as his main occupation. A few stretches of land of the colourfully striped vineyards at his feet belong to his organic business Nauerth-Gnägy in Schweigen-Rechtenbach. You can even see the roof of the wine cellar among the hills. However, the native of the Palatinate saddles his mountain bike whenever his occupation allows him to. He only takes a break of necessity during the five to six-weeks period of the annual grape harvest. After work, the wine-grower goes for a “quick” 45-kilometre flip one some days. On others, he rides his bike the entire day. And on his way, he examines the tracks and sees that everything is all right there. Michael and a friend of his take care of a track of the Palatinate Forest Mountain Bike Park in the Bad Bergzaberner Land region within the Südliche Weinstraße district. He checks the route markings or reports to the forestry authority when a fallen tree blocks a path.
Some 900 kilometres of tracks have been combined to form a network for mountain bikers in the Palatinate Forest: the ‘Mountainbikepark.’ Michael is by far no longer an outsider with regard to his hobby: This discipline is on the boom. It offers you arduous ascents, breath-taking views and bumpy descents—and a good thrill. And it takes place entirely in the country, in the open air. The park’s network comprises a total of 20 tours. Tour number 10 in Michael’s neighbourhood is one of the demanding ones.