René Wildhaber’s darkest hour
René Wildhaber, Enduro specialist and successful Swiss mountain biker by trade, has seen the world on two wheels. From Kyrgyzstan, just lately, to the United States, the African steppes, or the mountains of South America – René Wildhaber has a reputation for facing even the most impossible tracks. But this time around, not more than a few kilometres from his home, everything was totally different, as the 42–year–old recalls:
„I remember visiting the Tamina gorge as a kid and being deeply impressed by this place of power. The whole area is a taboo zone for bikes. When the promoters approached me with this idea, I was really sceptical. But then, being able to ride through the gorge once in my lifetime, amidst this abundance of colours. That really felt like a dream come true.»
The Wildhaber family name was first mentioned in writing around the year 1’200 A.D. at the Pfäfers monastery. “Around the same time, the thermal springs were discovered by hunters. Who knows, maybe those hunters were my ancestors”, René Wildhaber speculates smilingly.
The crazy ride through the Tamina gorge was recorded last year. The memory is still very much alive. René Wildhaber recalls: «The roaring of the Tamina river, feeling the surface more than being able to actually see it, and knowing that this was a one-off, an opportunity that would not present itself a second time in my life – all this made the filming such a unique experience. The moment when the electricity went out and we ended up in a major thunder storm, that was magnificent. It really seemed as if the Tamina was tired of us being there and wanted to rinse us out with a gush of rain I won’t be likely to forget.”