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Venice to Geneva, Day 11: Thonon Les Bains to Geneva Airport

Alpine Alps Bike Packing Cycle Touring France geneva Mountains Switzerland

Venice to Geneva, Day 11: Thonon Les Bains to Geneva Airport

With the knowledge that all the hard riding was behind us, a huge meal the night before and a celebratory beer or six, the sleep in the local Ibis was particularly comfortable. It seemed to be the comfiest bed I'd ever woken up in. Even with a late breakfast agreed it proved hard to drag myself out of bed but I eventually made it down and enjoyed a good feed with a view of the lake. All very civilised. Ahead of us lay about 40km of lovely relaxed riding along one of the main cycle routes that surround Lake Geneva. Initially...

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Venice to Geneva, Day 9: Zermatt to Plateau D'Assy

Alpine Alps Bike Packing Chamonix Col de la Forclaz Col des Montets Cycle Touring France Mountains Plateau D'Assy Switzerland

Venice to Geneva, Day 9: Zermatt to Plateau D'Assy

Col de la Forclaz (1,527 m), Col des Montets (1,461 m) Last night potentially the worst mechanical of the adventure struck Phil's machine... Snapped rear gear cable. For those uneducated in the dark arts of derailleur setup, when a rear shifter cable goes, the chain is put straight into the smallest cog, which obviously, is not great if you're planning on doing 3000m of climbing that day. Phil turned to the most generous, dexterous, mechanically minded, methodical, strongest, handsome and humble member of the group and pleaded for help. I was only too happy to oblige.Rising early, I sorted Phil's bike. The...

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Venice to Geneva, Day 8: Andermatt to Zermat

Alpine Alps Bike Packing Cycle Touring Gotthard Pass Mountains Nufenen Pass Switzerland

Venice to Geneva, Day 8: Andermatt to Zermat

Gotthard Pass (2106 m), Nufenen Pass (2478 m)Upon clipping in and setting off, we pass a town sign that causes me to recall a joke Justin made the evening before, I went along the lines of “Could I have a beer please… Andermatt”? A play on words that entertained me (probably too much) and took my mind off the feeling that my legs felt heavy and lacked any lustre at all; imagine “café legs” and times it by ten. Onwards to the first major climb of the day, Gotthard Pass. Frankly speaking, I do not recall much of the steady ascent, after...

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Venice to Geneva, Day 5: Ponte di Legno to Chiavenna

Alpine Alps Bernina Pass Bike Packing Mountains Passo Aprica

Venice to Geneva, Day 5: Ponte di Legno to Chiavenna

Passo Aprica (1,176m), Bernina Pass (2,328m)After possibly the hardest day I have ever had on the bike the day before I was slightly dubious about how I would feel today when I got up in our characterful hotel in Ponti di Legno. We rolled out after forcing down some bread for breakfast and started the gentle decent to the bottom of the smaller climb of the day, the Aprica. I paced myself up this one bearing in mind we had a 35km giant to ride later in the day. It was already warm when we reached the top from the...

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Venice to Geneva, Day 2: Conegliano to Pescul

Alpine Alps Bike Packing Cycle Touring Dolomites Forcella Franche Forcella Staulanza Italy Mountains Passo Duran Passo San Boldo Veneto

Venice to Geneva, Day 2: Conegliano to Pescul

Passo San Boldo (706 m), Forcella Franche (990 m), Passo Duran (1601 m), Forcella Staulanza (1773 m)First day in the Dolomites and four mountains to contend with. First up was the Passo San Boldo, which at 706 m wasn’t particularly high, but was certainly one of the most interesting and picturesque. Our route up included 18 hairpins, 6 of which were hidden inside narrow one-way tunnels controlled by traffic lights. The red lights providing a welcome excuse to stop, have a rest and take photographs. We met a couple of Italian cyclists at the top who took a team photo for...

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