MySwitzerland July 2018
Scrap your bucket list and start again.
The last couple of weeks have been some of the most memorable since I started travelling and guiding.
I’ve been looking for somewhere different and new for the Sommet Cycling schedule for sometime, the whole point of what I’m trying to achieve is to show people places that aren’t that obvious or maybe they haven’t considered before. Switzerland has been on my radar for a while, back in 2015 I visited some clients and hung out in Andermatt for a couple of days, spectacular doesn’t even come close. It’s funny, there is a standard Stelvio photo, we all stand on the same corner and take a shot of the same view down the valley, there’s huge prints from various photographers in numerous cafes and you see people gushing over it. Andermatt has similar views but many people wouldn’t know Tremola San Gotthard, Furka, Grimsel, Nufenen all as impressive, arguably more challenging and even better all rideable out of the same town. Almost eight thousand metres of climbing in a weekend?
It’s not just about the iconic climbs of Switzerland though. Head out of Geneva to Gstaad, routes for all in all directions, lower alpine climbs, bike friendly hotels, immaculate roads, what more could you ask for? I spent three days here, I expected to get buzzed by hyper cars and motorbikes but this wan’t the case, even on the weekend the roads were quiet and I felt safe. I travelled to Ticino and stayed in Locarno, an Italian speaking and influenced town on Lake Maggiore. I managed two incredible cross border raids, I found a new favourite descent heading up and over Alpe di Neggia, a beautiful twisting climb out or Lombardia and switchback heaven back into Switzerland.
Switzerland isn’t as obvious as the Alps, Dolomites or Pyrenees but it should be. I guess people assume it’s expensive and yes there is a “Swiss premium” but it’s not as much as you’d think and with careful planning and research you can bring it into line with other destinations……as you’ll see when the 2019 trips go up on the Sommet Cycling schedule. I’ve fallen in love with Switzerland and you will too.
Thanks to Adriano Spiccia, MySwitzerland, Ticino Tourism, Gstaad Saanenland Tourismus and Luzern Tourismus.
Images are my own and Adriano’s