Swiss Summer Cycling

Nov / 9 / 2023

I’m looking outside with a touch of sadness. The first snow has fallen and settled at the Grand Tours Project office. Don’t get me wrong, it is very pretty on the autumn coloured trees and it heralds the soon to start ski season. BUT I’m not ready to put away my bike and kit. I still have plans to ride cols (not any more!). I still want to enjoy the magnificent long summer and warm autumn in Switzerland - it has been astounding! I should have ridden more while the weather was warm and sunny.

No matter, I did manage to rediscover many rides in Switzerland this summer. It's so easy to forget how beautiful and challenging they are. I also discovered new routes and parts of Switzerland - my Instagram posts were not welcomed by friends stuck at work or home.

There were a couple of highlights. Grosse Scheidegg ALWAYS blows me away by its beauty, challenges, the popularity and friendliness of cyclists and hikers plus the entertainment value of the Swiss Post buses navigating the roads with tourist vehicles, cyclists and hikers. It’s an adventure as well as a challenge and I love it.

Another was discovering the superb riding in the north east corner of Switzerland. Undulating quiet winding lanes and cycle paths in the countryside alongside streams and rivers, past farms with dairy cows and the ubiquitous cow bells. And the odd challenge of a short steep climb along tree lined roads. I stayed in a characterful low ceiling creaky stairs of a 250 year old crooked family gasthof. I was in Switzerland and yet I felt like I was in another country - the dishes were different and other tables were of men who played Jass, a Swiss card game. The wine was from Vaud and Valais!

And finally a real surprise - a stupid steep ascent from Dallenwil, and doubts about the wisdom of riding to the untested Aecherli Pass late in the day; then a road closure (major road rebuilding) but the workmen waved me through (phew). The steep eased and the views, the green rolling sides of the mountains, the farms and villages …did I say the views already? I could not stop taking pictures! I reached the pass and the otherside was …well here is the picture!