Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Three Swiss Cols

Three cols in  Switzerland just over the border in Martigny promised us a gentle start to a Summer of cycling. What a silly fool I was to think it would be gentle! 10% gradients non stop for nearly 7 miles. If you wonder what 10% is on a bike, think the easiest gear and still struggling. But with  quiet roads through beautiful Swiss mountain scenery, I didn't mind!!

Martigny a patchwork quilt below with vineyards adorning the slopes above.

Up through the forest with Deers, Hares and Golden Butterflies for company.

Wild Cowslips, Gentian, Forget me nots and Orchids line the route up the Col des Planches at a mere 1411metres high.

 The tarmac disappears and the going gets rougher, but the scenery more than makes up for the rough ride.
I noticed a wooden sign ' Petit Paradis'

Up through the Alpine pasture and at last Col du Tronc is conquered and then a few miles onwards along a more gentle rutted road to Col  du Lein 1658 metres. For those like me that still work in feet, it's just short of 4000 feet that we cycled up from Martigny. Think Ben Nevis!!

We now have to decide which route to take back, downhill for me.

The manicured fields and wild flowers of Switzerland made this an epic and stunning ride. 

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