I’d like to thank the Steel Wheelers for a very warm welcome to their regular Wednesday evening ride up my home mountain.
It’s a social cycling club with a simple, well executed plan. They meet every Wednesday evening and cycle up the steep side of Le Salève via Le Coin. It’s a great, great road, with a bunch of wonderful hairpins. But tough.
Members can meet at pre-determined times either at a designated point in down-town Geneva, or at Le Coin, where the steep part of the climb begins. I joined at Le Coin.
From Le Coin, everyone rides at their own speed to Croisette. It’s four and a half very steep kilometres. At the Col, everyone again regroups: the speedy socialise and wait as the rest of us arrive in our own time. From here, everyone continues higher on a less steep road to Vue des Alpes (unsurprisingly with nice views of the Alps). Some members then headed home, and a few others – including me – stopped at the nearby restaurant at l’Observatoire for some food and a beer. Every Wednesday, same plan.
An old collage of some of the hairpins on this great climb:
Alfie, the club leader, kindly explained the club rules to me. They are simple, but very important:
- To be a member of the club one must cycle up the mountain, on a Wednesday evening, with the group. Once. That’s it. Woohoo. Apparently, I’m in.
- On your first ride with the team, you get a free beer (in fact I received two free beers).
That’s it. Nice.
These guys are pretty hard core. Meeting every Wednesday for as much of the year as possible. Well into December for example, which means not just descending home in the dark, but actually starting up after sunset.
Again, these guys made me feel very welcome. Much appreciated. I enjoyed the company (and the beer). Before it got too dark, the others all headed home by descending the Annemasse side. Me? I doubled back down the Le Coin side, and then just a few kms home. Much fun. Thanks.
I am not usually, atop the Salève at sunset:
For details of all five road bike routes up Mont Salève see here.