The roads in the Swiss Alps are steep. We are talking long stretches of 10% grades. And we specifically mapped out a 7-day bike tour in September that included at least one pass per day. Our legs trembled with fear…
With 18 gears, we figured that we could just settle into a nice, low gear and enjoy our long climbs over the passes. To our dismay, our rented road bikes were equipped with ridiculously high gearing. So, we were forced to mash our pedals through the mountains, often only a little faster than walking pace. I will never trust the Swiss again.
Besides the unexpected leg workout of the century and the crazy expensive prices for anything (thank God you can drink water straight from the town fountains), Switzerland was amazing – the people, the scenery, the cute homes, the smooth roads, the cow bells ringing and echoing off the perfectly-shaped green hills, and the cleanest public bathrooms on the face of the planet.
We had our luggage shuttled from hotel to hotel for us, which were all pre-booked by the tour company. So, all that we had to lug around on our bikes were some extra layers and hunks of cheese, bread, and sausages to fuel our legs.
At the end of the ride, we dropped the bikes off at the Lausanne train station and then spent two nights with our friends Jamie and Matt. I think our performance of “Country Road” at the Karaoke bar was a high point for us and low point for the Swiss.
We left with a big dent in our pocket, but would happily do it again.