Monday 25 May 2015

Mountain Biking Verbier, Switzerland

I stayed a long weekend with Phil and Lucy of and had an amazing time being guided around some awesome Swiss singletrack.  It was all wildflowers, glaciers, snow-capped peaks, wildflowers, wildflowers and some more wildflowers.

Day 1: Col du Tronc and Martigny

On day one I thought this singletrack through a field of dandelions was impressive.  Little did I know what was to come :)

Lunch in a Roman ruin in Martigny

Descent through a vineyard (really, through the middle of it).  Never done that on a mountain bike before.

Looking over Martigny

Day 2: Val Ferret traverse, climb to Lac de Champex

Phil took this just before I hit that rock on the uphill section and put a foot down :(

Cool rock sculpting by the glacier

Lunch (and a coffee at the cafe) at Lac de Champex

Did I say wildflowers already?

Day 3: Verbier

Dropped off in the van by Lucy at 2140m, it was chilly!  Watched a paraglider take off and then jumped on the bikes to warm up.

Some pushing through a couple of snowy sections :)

Looking at Mont Fort (3329 m), lost in the cloud

Some more visibility would have been great, but getting 3 dry days in a row in May was amazing, so I'm not complaining.

Today was a bit muddier...

Sunday 17 May 2015

Road climbs around Zurich

With some great tips from a friend I set out to do the biggest road climb I'd ever done.  I caught the train to Zug, rode around the edge of Zugersee, up Balisberg, around the edge of the Zugerberg summit, and down through Sihlwald to Langnau-Gattikon.  50km, 1km elevation.

Passing through Walchwil, views over Zurgersee

Good spot for lunch!

Very little visbility at the top, but at least it didn't rain...

Cows sitting in dandelion fields, like they do in Switzerland
And since I had another day available I beat my 24h-old climbing record by climbing Ibergeregg pass the next day.  Starting in Arth-Goldau and ending at Biberbrugg it was 50km, 1.6km elevation.

Cute church in Arth-Goldau


Starting the climb up

Pretty forest along the way. Also lots of other road bikes, sports cars and motorbikes for company.  Road was fairly quiet though, not scary. 

Golden dandelion fields

Awesome, this must be the restaurant at the top...wait...1000m....dammit 400m more altitude.  Noooooo!


Yes, that is a woman pulling her kid up the pass.  I am weak.  She was followed by a 12yr old girl on her own bike who was literally crying with pain as she reached the top, screaming at her brother in German.  They start them young here... 

Even more yellow fields down the other side

I was sitting in a bus stop trying to collect together my will to keep pedalling, and wishing I'd brought more food when this crazy cow parade appeared amongst deafening bells.  AFAICT it was Inalpe, the opposite of Désalpe