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  #21  
Old 03.05.2011, 11:44
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Re: Weekend Cycling Groups

In 2009 I did Zurich to Cugnasco - close to the Lago Maggiore - starting at 5am at Bellevue - and ending at 8pm in my local pizzeria down there.

Around 200km + crossing Gotthard. Not fast, but we had a killer headwind that day coming off the top. When we stopped at the bike shop in Altdorf the owner said he would suggest staying overnight and trying tomorrow. "Only a fool would cycle up the valley today"
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  #22  
Old 03.05.2011, 16:08
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Re: Weekend Cycling Groups

Anyone knows if Grosse Scheidegg is open? That's below 2000m so there should be a bit less snow up there. Those who haven't had enough after that can ride back down to Meiringen and check for themselves how far up towards Sustenpass they can go.
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  #23  
Old 03.05.2011, 17:02
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Re: Weekend Cycling Groups

You are all making me a little jealous (or is it y'all). Anyhow, also, in addition to veloland, the following two sites are good at getting info on climbs. cyclingcols.com and climbbybike.com. Not CH specific but good data there on all climbs, gradients, distance et al.
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  #24  
Old 03.05.2011, 18:09
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Re: Weekend Cycling Groups

Today I came across this site www.bikemap.net and it looks really cool and useful.
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Old 03.05.2011, 18:14
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Re: Weekend Cycling Groups

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Anyone knows if Grosse Scheidegg is open? That's below 2000m so there should be a bit less snow up there. Those who haven't had enough after that can ride back down to Meiringen and check for themselves how far up towards Sustenpass they can go.
I don't know but if it is this trip could also be a possibility.
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  #26  
Old 03.05.2011, 18:43
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Re: Weekend Cycling Groups

Grosse Sheidegg is one of my favorite routes (from Meiringen side though). I think I wrote about it in the Road Cycling Thread
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  #27  
Old 03.05.2011, 18:45
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Re: Weekend Cycling Groups

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I don't know but if it is this trip could also be a possibility.
This looks fantastic. If I don't know if I'm fit enough for the climb does it mean that I'm not?

This is my first cycling season here and I'm not yet sure what to make of the climbs.

I may give it a shot.
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  #28  
Old 03.05.2011, 21:36
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Re: Weekend Cycling Groups

I understand the attraction of the high (Grimsel/Furka/Susten) passes, especially if they're not open to car traffic, but only a little imagination and research is required to find plenty of alternatives. At this time of year, the 1600m (road) passes are rideable, though I found myself pushing through patches of snow in the shade on my MTB around the Gurnigel at 1500m two weekends ago.

A great source for passes and routes is http://www.quaeldich.de/

Last weekend I rode two (one-way) passes with wonderful scenery in the Bern/Fribourg Oberland (Gross Schwyberg and Salzmatt), with a total of 6 cars between the two of them, and good 3,000m of climbing in the 115km round-trip from Bern.

-Wayne
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  #29  
Old 04.05.2011, 21:10
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Re: Weekend Cycling Groups

Keen to get out on Sunday - will be coming from Zurich if anyone wants to meet at the main station.
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  #30  
Old 04.05.2011, 22:18
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Re: Weekend Cycling Groups

According to this, the Grimsel and Furka are opening from 08.00 on Saturday

http://www.tcs.ch/main/fr/home/verke...e_tunnels.html
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  #31  
Old 06.05.2011, 15:48
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Re: Weekend Cycling Groups

I am really in doubt about this one, as I have no experience in doing mountain passes.

Has anyone decided to do this ride on Sunday (8th.)?

Is it a stupid idea this time of the year given the fact that the passes (Grimsel and Furka) have been closed until tomorrow?

Is it "risky business" or just damned hard work?

Any input from experienced riders are very welcome?

Cheers.
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  #32  
Old 06.05.2011, 16:14
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Re: Weekend Cycling Groups

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I am really in doubt about this one, as I have no experience in doing mountain passes.

Has anyone decided to do this ride on Sunday (8th.)?
Yes, I have decided I will be riding my bike somewhere in the mountains on Sunday (8th). I am still a flexible regarding the details but I like the Meiringen -> Grimsel -> Furka -> Andermat -> Luzern option.

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Is it a stupid idea this time of the year given the fact that the passes (Grimsel and Furka) have been closed until tomorrow?
No, it is not a stupid idea. The fact that the passes are now open (or soon to be) means that it will no longer be an "adventure" to ride up to the top of the passes. The road will be open and it will be just a matter of pushing on the pedals. The downside is that there will be motorized traffic. Exactly how much is hard to say, but there will be some. My guess is that it will be way better than any other weekend in July or August when many people are on holidays and crisscrossing the Alps.

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Is it "risky business" or just damned hard work?
It's not risky (unless you're terrified by the descent). "Dammed hard work" is very subjective. Riding a bike up a pass is very much like hiking with a rucksack up a mountain: small efforts repeated over a long period of time. Providing you have the right equipment (in particular, you need appropriate gears on your bike), it's only a matter of endurance.
But like for hiking, it's usually good advice to start with something moderately easy before moving on to something more difficult/strenuous.

What is the longest/hardest climb that you rode on your bike? How did you feel during and after that?
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  #33  
Old 06.05.2011, 16:28
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Re: Weekend Cycling Groups

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Riding a bike up a pass is very much like hiking with a rucksack up a mountain: small efforts repeated over a long period of time. Providing you have the right equipment (in particular, you need appropriate gears on your bike), it's only a matter of endurance.
I agree. I have hiked with him and I think 1-2 passes are well within his ability without specific bike training.

But if you have never ridden a decent sized pass/height gain closer to civilization, I am not sure it is a good idea to experiment in the Alps proper at altitude and he is not exactly a young dude. In the unlikely event of getting caught in a situation (weather, bike problem or plain hunger), it would just be more difficult to get to safety...

And have to admit, for me the descents are scarier than hanging from a rope on a cliff.

I would have joined the ride if I didn't have climbing as my first love
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  #34  
Old 06.05.2011, 17:36
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Re: Weekend Cycling Groups

I quite agree with the start with smaller hills/near by thing. Can anybody suggest something near Zurich? Last time I did the Buchegg and Albis Pass (From west to east - towards lake side).

Anybody in for something closer/smaller this weekend?

Cheers
Pankaj
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  #35  
Old 06.05.2011, 22:29
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Re: Weekend Cycling Groups

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What is the longest/hardest climb that you rode on your bike? How did you feel during and after that?
Born, raised and biking in Denmark I do not have any significant climbs in my belt. I participated some years ago in various races and twice in a 320 km race and afterwards I felt tired.

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........he is not exactly a young dude. In the unlikely event of getting caught in a situation (weather, bike problem or plain hunger), it would just be more difficult to get to safety...

And have to admit, for me the descents are scarier than hanging from a rope on a cliff.
Argh...c'mon TT......age has really nothing to do with this. If I am fit, my chances for not getting into trouble has no relation to my age and should anything happen, I do not think that a 47 year old dude is in a sh!ttier situation than a younger person.

When I feel challenged by doing a mountain pass it is all about the ride up and not the descent. I do not mind going down more slow than the average rider.

That said, I am not too worried by my physical condition. I do 200+ km every week and have done so since August last year. Also during the winter.

However, I would be dumb not listen to advices given to me so I think I will start with something "smaller". I believe Furka, Grimsel, Klausen and all the other passes will stay put and be there when I decide to go.

This Sunday I will either do this or this.

Let me know if you wanna come along. Route can naturally be adapted to your needs.
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  #36  
Old 06.05.2011, 22:47
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Re: Weekend Cycling Groups

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Argh...c'mon TT......age has really nothing to do with this. If I am fit, my chances for not getting into trouble has no relation to my age and should anything happen, I do not think that a 47 year old dude is in a sh!ttier situation than a younger person.

When I feel challenged by doing a mountain pass it is all about the ride up and not the descent. I do not mind going down more slow than the average rider.

That said, I am not too worried by my physical condition. I do 200+ km every week and have done so since August last year. Also during the winter.

However, I would be dumb not listen to advices given to me so I think I will start with something "smaller". I believe Furka, Grimsel, Klausen and all the other passes will stay put and be there when I decide to go.

This Sunday I will either do this or this.

Let me know if you wanna come along. Route can naturally be adapted to your needs.
No offense mate; on a public forum if someone I know to be in the late forties and apparently not ridden passes before asks whether it is a good idea to debut by riding up some of the biggest passes on the opening day, my advice would remain as above. But then cycling is not my sport really, you have such a load of experience and fitness as you have detailed above, and at your age you surely know what is prudent specifically for you

Sorry if I sounded demotivating, have fun either way
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  #37  
Old 06.05.2011, 23:16
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Re: Weekend Cycling Groups

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No offense mate; on a public forum if someone I know to be in the late forties and apparently not ridden passes before asks whether it is a good idea to debut by riding up some of the biggest passes on the opening day, my advice would remain as above. But then cycling is not my sport really, you have such a load of experience and fitness as you have detailed above, and at your age you surely know what is prudent specifically for you

Sorry if I sounded demotivating, have fun either way
No offense taken. Maybe I should have put in a smilie or two

I agree that care should always be taken, but my point was simply that fitness level and experience should be the determine factor - not age.
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  #38  
Old 07.05.2011, 07:21
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Re: Weekend Cycling Groups

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I agree that care should always be taken, but my point was simply that fitness level and experience should be the determine factor - not age.
Just do it. There are so many houses, buses, and other people there that you are never far from anything if you have a problem.

I rode over the Furka pass on a whim one sunny Saturday. No special hill training, just lots of riding in advance, like you.
Give yourself time and enjoy the day!
It's only 4 to 5 hours from bottom to top when you take it easy. I hit the top at midday and had lunch in the restaurant.

And doing it early is especially nice because of the snow banks on the side of the road.

And if you get tired and want to stop and do not want to continue, there is an easy way out. Turn around and go back downhill, no pedaling required.

The only special steps I took was ensuring my rims were clean before the downhill, so that my brakes had max grip.

As for supplies, I recommend:
Puncture repair kit
Muesli bars
2 x drink bottles
Windbreaker for the downhill

Do it and enjoy it!
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  #39  
Old 07.05.2011, 07:54
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Re: Weekend Cycling Groups

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Born, raised and biking in Denmark I do not have any significant climbs in my belt. I participated some years ago in various races and twice in a 320 km race and afterwards I felt tired.



Argh...c'mon TT......age has really nothing to do with this. If I am fit, my chances for not getting into trouble has no relation to my age and should anything happen, I do not think that a 47 year old dude is in a sh!ttier situation than a younger person.

When I feel challenged by doing a mountain pass it is all about the ride up and not the descent. I do not mind going down more slow than the average rider.

That said, I am not too worried by my physical condition. I do 200+ km every week and have done so since August last year. Also during the winter.

However, I would be dumb not listen to advices given to me so I think I will start with something "smaller". I believe Furka, Grimsel, Klausen and all the other passes will stay put and be there when I decide to go.

This Sunday I will either do this or this.

Let me know if you wanna come along. Route can naturally be adapted to your needs.
I am sorry, I didn't realise you had already done so much cycling in your life. You sound more than fit enough to ride up Grimselpass (and Furkapass or any other big mountain pass for that matter). Unlike mountaineering, road cycling never take you too far away from civilisation and (in Switzerland) from public transports.

And of course you're perfectly right about TT: my dad is twice his age and I bet he would kick his ass

Last edited by sylvain74; 07.05.2011 at 07:55. Reason: forgot the smiles...
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  #40  
Old 07.05.2011, 08:41
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Re: Weekend Cycling Groups

So...would anyone care to join Sylvain74 and me ....?
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