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Old 22.08.2007, 14:30
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Road cycling in mtns this wknd (day-trip from Zurich)

Anyone interested in road cycling up a mountain pass or two this weekend? (Aug 25/26) My husband and I are interested in trying out what is available for a day-trip (via train) from Zurich... either Saturday or Sunday (weather looks great for each).

I know there are a lot of websites and maps available, and I am still trying to digest them all (thank you ChrisW for organizing the info so well in your post). But it would also be nice to go with someone who has figured it out already, plus it's always great to meet other cycling addicts who love the mountains too. I will be sure to pay the favor forward to other newbies in the future...

As for pace, we both have ridden competitively but also appreciate an "enjoying the view" pace at times, so we're flexible.
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Old 22.08.2007, 14:40
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Re: Road cycling in mtns this wknd (day-trip from Zurich)

Here's a good starter to get in to swing of things.
http://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path...o-Ziegelbrucke
Train to Fluelen, ride, train from Ziegelbrucke.

Won't be able to join you though!
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Old 22.08.2007, 19:13
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Re: Road cycling in mtns this wknd (day-trip from Zurich)

Thank you for the quick response, Yokine. That looks like a great idea! So I think we will give it a try this Sunday.

If anyone wants to join us just let me know and we can agree on timing for Sunday.

Sorry you can't join us, Yokine - Hopefully next time!
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Old 22.08.2007, 19:23
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Re: Road cycling in mtns this wknd (day-trip from Zurich)

I hope you enjoy your ride, the weather forecast is looking good for Sunday. We drove over that pass last weekend - it is pretty nice. I won't be able to join you though, because a friend and I are doing the Gruyere Cycling Tour on Sunday - 165km and four mountain passes.
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Old 06.09.2007, 13:32
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Re: Road cycling in mtns this wknd (day-trip from Zurich)

We ended up doing a different route, but with the same idea as you suggested, Yokine -- We did Pragel Pass since we heard that it is closed to through traffic on Sundays:
http://climbbybike.com/climb.asp?Col...ountainID=5535
Train to Schwyz, bike up pass (very steep at first!), train back from Ziegelbrucke.
Perfect since you don't need a car - Actually it was nice to do a one-way ride anyway!

Thanks for your tip on that area, Yokine. We'll have to go back sometime to do Klausenpass - When we do I'll post it so maybe you and others can join us.
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Old 06.09.2007, 13:56
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Re: Road cycling in mtns this wknd (day-trip from Zurich)

Another great day-trip ride we discovered last weekend is up to the Kaunertaler Glacier from Landeck in Austria:
http://climbbybike.com/climb.asp?Col...ountainID=1317
Incredibly beautiful, so I would recommend it if you haven't tried it already.


To keep this thread title appropriate , here is the info on this weekend's planned ride in case anyone would like to join us:
http://climbbybike.com/climb.asp?Col...yMountainID=39
We've heard it's one of the best climbs in the Alps, so can't wait to see if it's true! May be a bit far for a day-trip, but still working out the travel details.
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Old 06.09.2007, 14:59
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Re: Road cycling in mtns this wknd (day-trip from Zurich)

I hope that you're ready for the altitude of the Stelvio pass: when doing multiple kilometres of 8%+ gradients you really start to notice the lack of oxygen up there if you're not used to it.

Last year, my wife and I did the Umbrail pass from Santa Maria to Bormio, which runs into the Stelvio pass. It was the toughest pass that we've done, although the effects of altitude were compounded by the fact that we had fully-loaded touring bikes. In fact, we kind of cheated by starting the pass in the evening, camping halfway up, and finishing it the next morning.

Anyway, if you're not feeling quite as strong as you'd hoped when you get closer to the top, then you can just blame it on the altitude.

If you head down into Bormio from the Stelvio pass then be prepared for a very twisty descent - there is a sign near the top warning of "21 tournantes", so we started counting and quickly found that they were telling the truth - 21 full switchbacks. Enjoy!
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Old 06.09.2007, 16:00
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Re: Road cycling in mtns this wknd (day-trip from Zurich)

@ hillseeker..I and my girlfriend might join you for this weekend but I dont know if I am physically up for this pass..looks like hell of a ride..there are two sides from which u can climb the pass, the southern ascent looks easier, which way will you take??...I will keep you informed
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Old 06.09.2007, 16:36
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Re: Road cycling in mtns this wknd (day-trip from Zurich)

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We've heard it's one of the best climbs in the Alps, so can't wait to see if it's true! May be a bit far for a day-trip, but still working out the travel details.
This certainly is quite the climb. I did the Umbrail last year (between Switzerland and Bormio), which is about 200m lower but shares some of the same roads. I have three prominent memories of the ride:

1. It is damn cold on the descent. Two kilometres (vertical) of downhill creates a hell of a windchill. Even though I rode it in the middle of a heat wave last August, and had the protection of a jacket, gloves, etc. on the descent, my teeth were chattering uncontrollably by halfway down, and I had to stop periodically to warm up a bit. My advice is to bring along extra clothing to keep you warm on the way down, even though it will mean a bit of extra weight on the way up.

2. The roads/galleries/tunnels in Italy are in rough shape. Most tunnels are unlit or poorly lit, leak from the ceiling, have potholes, etc., and the roads aren't quite as maintained as you might have become accustomed to in Heidiland. For the tunnels and galleries, it's a good idea to put some effort to making yourself a bit more visible in the dark (lights, reflectors, etc.), seeing as the Italian drivers like to exceed the posted limit by at least 30 km/h. Making it home alive at the end of a day of riding takes extra effort 'south of the border'.

3. It's a hell of a ride (in the most excellent way). The switchbacks are awesome, the views spectacular, the descent totally adrenalizing (if that's actually even a word), and the feeling of accomplishment that comes from climbing a hugeass mountain is hard to beat. Make sure to take the requisite photo at the top next to the elevation sign so you can brag to the folks back home (and provide photographic evidence). Roads like that are one of the reasons I think this is the best area to live in the world.

Happy trails,

HeatherM

Last edited by HeatherM; 06.09.2007 at 19:08. Reason: Spellign prboelms...
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Old 06.09.2007, 18:51
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Re: Road cycling in mtns this wknd (day-trip from Zurich)

Thanks for the great descriptions - Now I'm really getting excited about it! You are right, Heather, it is places like this that make us feel soooo lucky to live here. And we've only just started!

ChrisW, that is impressive you and your wife did that with touring bikes. If you haven't already done the Kaunertaler Glacier climb that I mentioned, I think you would love it -- It is interesting to compare to Stelvio (starting from Prato). The altitude is almost the same (2750 vs. 2758 - and you're right, I felt it!). We had 29 numbered switchbacks up to the glacier. The average grade is higher for Stelvio though, from Prato.

Rahul, it would be great if you are able to join. We are planning to do the pass starting in Prato - the description is that it's tough, but the "most spectacular" route, so can't pass that up! Seriously though, it could take a long time and we do need to make sure we're all prepared. We might consider going Sunday, in order to give more time to get there - and to give a little time to rest from the workweek before tackling this challenge!
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Old 14.09.2007, 11:43
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Re: Road cycling in mtns this wknd (day-trip from Zurich)

So is any road biking happening from Zurich this weekend.
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Old 14.09.2007, 11:57
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Re: Road cycling in mtns this wknd (day-trip from Zurich)

I would like to do a road ride this Sunday - The weather looks like it will be fantastic. I am open to suggestions if anyone has them and/or would like to join us! I'm still learning the best places to ride around here.

My preference would be to meet somewhere close to home (Rueschlikon for us), and not too early (e.g. 10 or 11am would be good)... and to explore some of the roads out from the city (i.e. not around the lake - once is enough for this hillseeker! ).
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Old 04.10.2007, 21:16
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Re: Road cycling in mtns this wknd (day-trip from Zurich)

any interest in cycling up a mountain pass on this Sunday? I am thinking of Klausen, will it be too cold already? Alternatively, can go to Sattlegg?

I am in reasonable shape but a slow climber, a little big for a mountain climber (80kg) , completed most of the Etape this year (mostly due to mechanical difficulties not port de bales). Let me know if anyone wants to give it a try.
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Old 05.10.2007, 07:43
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Re: Road cycling in mtns this wknd (day-trip from Zurich)

The weather looks great for this weekend! Wish I could go with you, but have already committed to mountain biking - I would invite others, but this is the first real outing for me on the non-paved stuff

If you have questions about Pragel Pass I'd be glad to share our experience (just email me). Or if you do Klausen Pass I'll look forward to hearing all about it.
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