St Gotthard

The Feel Good Factor

One of the features of the four days of cycling was the incredible changes of scenery and surroundings.

German speaking, sausage eating, alpine Swiss mountain folk one minute, chic and trendy Italian lakes the next. Freezing cold high altitude passes one minute, balmy lakeside temperatures, only hours later. These transitions all made within one cycling day, only made the whole thing more surreal. Or so I am told. Personally, I spent four days looking at the rear wheel of whoever I was following, praying for them to slow down.

My main memory though, is of looking up at what can only be called the summit of the Grimsel Pass and seeing a distant glint of light somewhere in the stratosphere, where the sun was dancing on car windows. Already three hours into climbing that endless pass, the recognition of what I still had to do, was a bit of a moment.

To put Day 2 into perspective, regular readers of Cycloblog may recall that I set a target of 20 ascents of Holme Moss, in the remaining couple of weeks of training. That seemed like a big ask at the time. Last Monday, after cycling 90 miles the previous day, including the Col du Pillon, I cycled up the Grimsel Pass which equates to roughly 20 times Holme Moss in one day, and then I cycled up the St Gotthard which is like 6 times Holme Moss. All in all, 26 times Holme Moss – plus approximately another fifty miles in between.

I will be posting a few pictures when I can get my hands on them, but Cycloblog will soon return to doing what it does best – which is offending people. But before that, one last heartfelt thank you to all my sponsors (I have made my target), and to the organisers of such a unique event, all in a good cause. The feel good factor really does not get much better than this.