Switzerland, the land of mountain passes, over 4400 summit peaks above 2000 metres, and now they are open exclusively for cyclists to enjoy.
You know the image, you know it well, you’ve seen it a hundred times, and every time in conjures up that yearning, that feeling of ‘FOMO’. It’s always the same, a lone cyclist in the far distance down below, with huge slate-grey mountains, big blue skies, and snow white clouds looming behind. The solitary rider is cycling up a perfectly smooth and uniform bitumen road about to encounter another switchback corner, in an endless series of zig-zags up the mountain pass. The edges are lined with tall trees, massive peaks and sheer cliffs dropping off to a wide valley below, filled with the brightest green grass you’ve ever seen. Welcome to Switzerland.
Cycling tourism has boomed around the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France for years but Switzerland’s Alps and Jura regions have always been a local’s favourite. A small country filled with infrastructure and support for cyclists and never-ending mystical mountain passes to ride, it’s almost unfathomable for an Antipodean that a country two-thirds the size of Tasmania could hold over 4,400 summit peaks above 2000 metres. Even one of our favoured islands within East Asia can’t compete.
Ride like Fabian
In true Swiss fashion they are taking this seriously, Ride the Alps showcases 14 of these mountain passes in a series of 14 events, between May to September 2018. Each one will see all traffic diverted and this spectacular tarmac open exclusively to cyclists. Included in the series will be the Chasing Cancellara events. Can you beat Fabian and Strava-chasing ex-professional Phil Gaimon? Phil is set to line up at one of Fabian’s events for cycling’s greatest showdown beyond the WorldTour, the Cookie Monster Vs. Spartacus.
Ride the Alps has committed to supporting these events and hopefully expanding on the 26,000 cyclists expected in 2018. The sole purpose is to attract and support cycling amongst this fabled alpine region, with many of the events remaining free. And we haven’t even mentioned the bike hotels, wines, cheese and chocolate.
We guarantee you’ll be hooked in the next 22 seconds:
Interested? Pick up our next issue of Cyclist for a full Swiss Rides guides, in a mammoth edition at 146 pages!