I climbed the Ruppen pass by bike as part of a tour with Bike Switzerland whom I highly recommend. Starting from Altstatten we set a medium pace just managing to stay ahead of an elderly swiss couple on electric bikes. We enjoyed the views out over the Rhine valley and into Austria and the easy gradient as well as the relatively quiet road. There is no pass sign at the top but we, as most people do, turned left at Landmark where there is a rustic cafe and went on to a highpoint called St Anton on the top of the ridge. From here we enjoyed spectacular views and a welcome cup of coffee before making our way down to Bodensee. The are many alternate routes and the whole area is a paradise for cycling. Blog item
Ideally one would have two bikes to climb the Col de Crozet by bike: a nice light carbon road bike for the paved section and a cross country mountain bike for the second section of bone jarring limestone track to the top. I did it on an old rigid steel mountain bike with tyres pumped up hard to 4 bar. The forest track is brutal with two very steep and difficult ramps to the top where one is rewarded with a fantastic view. I continued on to Faucille and descended by road to make a fantastic loop. Highly recommended. Blog item
Do not be fooled by the average gradient! Riding from Servances the Chevreres proper only starts once you get past Miellin. That makes it short (3.5k) and extremely sharp, with average gradients of 11+ and 10+ in the penultimate kilometres. The gradient is pretty variable too, with some seriously steep, sustained sections. Put plainly, it''s a little beast, but it''s also a useful link for Ballon and Planche loops, so something of a necessary evil. Forewarned is - as so often - forearmed. Take it gently and it won''t bite you: but get a little bit cocky and it''s steep enough and long enough to hurt - badly! Blog item
One of my favourite climbs in the area, starts right from the roundabout. The first bit always seems difficult to me, as you wind away from the village. Fairly soon you''re into nice forest and it sttepens then flattens off a bit. Just as you start to get some views a long series of hairpins start. The climb here is lots of fun and not too steep. 80% of the way up you can head off right to Albiol or carry on up to the top, this last bit fairly straitforwards. Good views towards the Med and of the surrounding hills. You might catch the Delta on a good day. The stats don''t look that bad but for me I''ve always found this a fairly tough climb. Takes me about 45 mins (I''m 46). Blog item
Small climb, just north of Horsham. At the very beginning of my daily commute. Very quiet road, although you have to be careful coming down, as there''s a blind corner at the bottom, and there are cars that race up the road. Road surface is typical for a single track country road, however it can be uncomfortable on the way down, due to very bumpy road surface, and lots of loose gravel. A nice way to end a commute, and gets the blood pumping first thing in the morning. Blog item
Hardest climb I have ever done on a custom Holland HC with compact and 30. Did it from Bormio with Stelvio Experience and a bunch of Australians as well as my wife Laura and best friends Bill and Sumi. I am 62 years old and ride with the Swami''s Club and Solana Beach Clubs. Great weather and little traffic with perfect road. Starts out nice but then jumps to over 20% with only release at 11% or so. I was in he red zone far too long and was thankful that my cycling buddy had to take a dump 1/2 way up as it allowed me to get back into the right zone during the 1 minute break. Unlike the Giro, I decided to wait and not press on. The wives did it 20 minutes behind us and we were only out
Aced by a few much younger Ausies and an amazing Equidorian, Estoban Blog item
This is a brutal climb, long stretches at 10% +. Lower down road was good condition, as you turn off from main road condition deteriorates, and a bit hairy when descending. Nearer the summit is new tarmac and gradient levels off a bit - very beautiful scenery. Had to turn back near top - deep snow on the road, in May!
Easily compares to climbs like Tourmalet for difficulty and endurance, I think surpasses in toughness as some stretches much steeper and road conditions also challenging. Blog item
This climb is usually part of my longer Jura tours, although most often I continue on the main road through Septmoncel.
The first part from St Claude until right after the Lacets des Septmoncel (D436) is quite heavy with traffic. After going through some smaller towns the climb gets interesting as you enter the Gorges du Flumen. Especially in summer this gorge can be sweltering hot so be sure to start the climb with a good supply of water! But you will have a nice view for sure. After a few relatively straight km''s you enter the highlight of the climb: the Lacets de Septmoncel. Nice hairpins throught the rocks with a special reward in the form of the "Chapeau de Gendarme" (Be sure to look up not to miss it). After the Chapeau the lacets continue but less steep. Once you negotiated the Lacets take the right exit onto the smaller D25. Here, traffic is usually minimal and you can recover a bit on the more gentle slope and under the cover of the forest. Occasionally you''ll be able to see through the forest and have a breathtaking view on the gorge below you. After about 2-3 km''s there is the sharp left turn onto the even smaller D292 where traffic is almost non exsistent. The last few kilometers are typical Haut Jura landscape. Enjoy Blog item