The Cause

By Cycling Dad:

As given away by the name of our blog, is not only about the love for cycling, but also about the love of having a family. When my wife Alex and I became parents, we knew immediately that we wanted to do something for children who have a less fortunate start into life then our own. We also wanted to see where our contributions are going, so when we learned that there is a SOS Children’s Village very close to where we live, we made the logical connection.

At the peak of the 2013 cycling season in August, I will attempt to finish the Oetztaler Cycle Marathon, covering a distance of 238km and 5,500 meters in altitude gain. For each meter in altitude, I will try to raise one Euro in donations for the SOS Children’s Village in Hinterbruehl, Austria. That’s 5,500 Euro for children in need, and will help me keep focused along the way. I am planning to select one meaningful area for spending the donations together with the Children’s Village, and will write about my experiences along the way in this blog.

Please support me in my endeavour and donate as little or as much as you can spare.
To donate, please click here and follow the instructions on the following pages.
To learn more, please visit,,  the webpage of the Children’s Village in Hinterbruehl (German) and

Please also share this fundraiser on Facebook, LinkedIn, or simply by talking about it with friends and colleagues over a cup of coffee.

P.S.: Your donations to SOS Children’s Villages are fully tax deductible. All you have to do is submit the banking transaction along with the request for tax credit in your annual tax return.

About the Oetztaler Cycle Marathon

The Oetztaler Cycle Marathon, or “The Big O” as I will call it, is one of the toughest amateur cycling events in the world. It takes place annually in Tyrol, Austria, in the heart of Europe between Italy, Switzerland and Germany. The figures are impressive: 5,500 meters of altitude difference have to be overcome on a 238 km round course, with three massive mountain passes along the way. The fastest rider – Stefan Kirchmair – completed the entire course in 2012 in an all-time record seven hours and twelve seconds… with a broken collarbone… Holy Cow! Here is a graphic from the organizers with the track profile. I think the slopes in the picture are drawn according to the actual incline. It is one tough cookie.

Despite these horrific figures, around 4,000 brave riders take to the starting line each year. Of these, in 2012 exactly 3,404 barely survived finished the marathon. I am determined to see my name among the 2013 finishers.

Here is a list of first-hand participant reports from the Big O. Most of them are in German, but even after translating them with Google Translator, you should be able to get the idea ;) . I highly recommend the Cervelover Blog because of the all the details he provides about his personal experience on the Oetztaler. Let me know if there are others that you would like to see on this list.

The Cervelover at the 2012 Oetztaler Cycle Marathon
Joachim Toelke at the 2006 Oetztaler (277th!) and 2008 (50th !!!)
Juergen Pansy at the 2012 Oetztaler (52nd!), who by the way also posted this amazing pacing guide on Much closer to pro then I may ever be…
And last but not least Stefan Kirchmair on his record-breaking 2012 Oetztaler ride (1st!)

Why going through this ordeal?

Frankly speaking, I just love cycling. To me, this sport is more than just moving my body. There are so many elements to cycling that fascinate me, from speed, technology and strategy all the way to the cleansing effect on body and soul. I want to share this passion with you, my readers. The Oetztaler Cycle Marathon is the ideal season’s target that will help me get back into the saddle regularly. Cycling for a cause will also help a lot. Luckily, my wife Alex also seems to have caught the cycling bug. To learn more about us, visit our team pages.