A singletrail a day… – An interview with Kurt Exenberger of Austria’s Bikeacademy

A little while ago, during Eurobike to be precise, we ran into Kurt Exenberger.

Who? Well, the owner of a company named Bikeacademy, „Austria’s first mountainbike school“ – and what kind? The kind that trains the world’s leaders. So if you think your skills could use a boost, go find your way to the „Kitz alps“.

If you want to know a bit more about the Bikeacademy just read on – we interviewed Kurt to learn more about his work!

Kurt on one of the beautiful mountains in the area. Picture: Michael Werlberger
Kurt on one of the beautiful mountains in the area. Picture: Michael Werlberger

Could you tell us a bit about yourself and your background? Who are you, what do you do and how did you get there?

I started riding my BMX bike when I was 8 years old and switched to the first mountain bikes in the early 90’s. After that I did some road racing until I was 20, but I was too lazy to become a pro rider. After a few years of traveling and surfing I went back to my home area and started the Bikeacademy at age 24. At the same time I trained a few young mountain bikers. One of them, Lisi Osl, later won the World Cup. In the effort of bringing her to the international elite I was hired as the national trainer for Austria and did this job until the Olympic Games of 2008 in Beijing. I am still training a few top riders in Austria to increase their riding techniques (Gehbauer, Lakata, Foidl and Schemmel) and do some enduro racing myself.

When did you start with your company Bikeacademy and how did you come up with this concept?

I started in 1999, my work as a snowboard instructor inspired me to do the same in summer for mountain bikers.

Bikeacademy Kurt Exenberger pic by Michael Werlberger 02
Kurt on his favorite trail on the Kitzbüheler Horn. Picture: Michael Werlberger

Could you give a short overview of what you offer?

A short overview is hard, but I’ll try. First of all, you can book a private trainer who will bring your riding skills to a higher level. We also offer attractive bike tours trough the Kitzbühel Alps on a daily basis, as well as skills workshops in groups on Monday and Saturday. Besides that, we offer different camps like Enduro Camps, Kids Camps or Weekends for Women. Have a look into our website bikeacademy.com, you will find everything we have to offer over there!

What was the first response from your audience like? Did they see the benefit of skills coaching?

Of course we had to build the awareness of people to make them realize they needed coaching. But nowadays a lot of people have experienced the benefits of skills coaching and we don’t have to argue that much anymore.

Why did you choose for the Kitzbühel Alps as your home base?

Because I live there and the area has the perfect combination of high mountains and wide valleys. You can go extreme but there’s a lot of gentle terrain too.

Prefer more gentle terrain? Yep, that's possible too. Picture: Michael Werlberger
Great views over the valleys. Picture: Michael Werlberger

What’s the most common mistake you see made by bikers, looking at their skills?

Trying to slow down with their buttocks instead of using their front brakes more.

Can you give our audience one great piece of advice to improve their mountain bike skills?

Be active in the downhill, work more with upper body and arms and do some core strength training.

Anything you’d like to add?

A singletrail a day keeps the doctor away!

„A singletrail a day…“ We’ll keep that in mind! Picture: Michael Werlberger

Thanks Kurt!

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