My 2015 Cycling Challenge

Happy New Year!

Believe it or not, this blog turns ten years old today. I suppose proving that I like to make New Year resolutions. I’ve had distance challenges, ascent challenges, number of Cols challenges, etc. and these big targets have all kept me motivated. But this year, I’ve decided that a challenge with several little goals will keep me the most happy (and busy).

2014 was a great year for cycling. See links for favourite road bike and favourite mountain bike climbs. See here for a quick 2014 Challenge wrap up.

As always, I must first thank my truly wonderful wife Doreen, who always supports my silly cycling addiction – and has bravely joined me on many fun adventures.

Doreen and Passo Sella

My 2015 Cycling Challenge

Cycle 25 New Cols/Climbs

It gets harder every year to find new climbs. But the Alps are a big place. And finding new climbs can be very rewarding:

In 2015 I finally rode Colle del Nivolet
Cycle above 2,000 metres at least 25 Times

And above 2,500 metres at least 10 times.

This will motivate me to visit some old friends:

Cycle in Austria

I have never cycled in Austria before. Some likely candidates: Grossglockner, Kitzbühel, and Timmelsjoch. But I am open to any and all climb suggestions.

As you can see, I sadly have no photo for this section.

Take Doreen Touring in Italy

Somewhere NOT in the high Alps – I promise. 🙂

Passo Pordoi with Doreen and Fausto Coppi
Cycle to 3,000 metres altitude at least once

I have twice made it to 3,000 metres on the bike. Both were truly special experiences. Colle del Sommeiler and Col de la Montée du Fond.

Lead candidates: Col du Jandri, and/or Mont Chaberton. Other suggestions welcome.

Colle del Sommeiller
Ride the Ventoux Night Session

Held every second year, this super fun and well organised event climbs Ventoux in the middle of the night to see the sunrise from the summit. I had a blast in 2011 and 2013. I am already registered for 2015. Limited space, so hurry if you want me to buy you a beer there.

Ventoux Night Session 2011
At least 183 Very Active Days

Local climbs, cross-country skiing, giant hikes, basement trainer, etc. Anything that gets me moving.

Self Portrait – Col de Joux Plane XC Skiing
and of course More Hay Surfing

Happy cycling to everyone in 2015!

Doreen Hay Surfing with Style

Happiest while cycling uphill.


  1. Hi Will,
    I love to read your adventures, so it’s great to hear you want to ride in Austria.
    In Vorarlberg I can recommend to go up the pfänder. Beautiful view over the lake of konstanz.
    Also cool: Hochtannbergpass up to Warth, then head over to Lech and the Arlberg.
    Silvretta Hochalpenstrasse from Bludenz up to the Bieler Höhe.
    From Vaduz up to Malbun
    In Carinthia: Nockalmstrasse

    And of course everything you’ve mentioned above.

    Good luck in 2015.
    Don’t hesitate to email me if you have any questions about the climbs I’ve written.


  2. I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned this one to you in a comment earlier: But re: Austrian climbs: Bielerhöhe is fantastic, on Silvrette Hochalpenstrasse. From the east it’s not so steep, but stunning. From the west there is a nice hairpin section.

  3. Beau programme ! Si tu fais le Jandri, fait moi signe…
    Permet moi de te dire, malgré tout, une chose. Tout comme avec le TDF qui, chaque année, déçoit dans son parcours (j’attends par exemple depuis des année un enchainement Biche – Colombier avec arrivée au sommet après avoir pris la directissime + CLM le lendemain Chambéry > Mt du Chat), tu ignores complétement, voire tu snobes, le centre de la France !
    Voilà un objectif pour 2016 : “Explore Auvergne” 🙂

  4. Salut Bastien, Bonne Année. Pour Landri, peut-être en août, pour être certain que la route soit degagée ? Pour Mont Chaberton, je vais bien sûr utiliser votre blog comme un guide. Oui, tu as raison. J’ai honte que j’ai ignoré l’Auvergne jusqu’au maintenant. Vos cols favoris là ?

  5. As Stefan pointed out, Nockalmstrasse is great fun! Another great and scenic ride in that area starts in Arnoldstein, Austria crosses into Italy (Passo Predil), then into Slovenia (Vrsic Pass) and back to Arnoldstein across Wurzenpass (70 miles, 7,200 ft). Here a few more fun rides in Austria:
    Nauders – Kaunertal
    Soelden – Glacier Road
    St Gilgen – Postalm
    Sterzing – Pfitscher Joch (the 100+ drainage ruts crossing the road are a PIA on a road bike though – better take a mtn bike!)

  6. I’ve been reading your blog about for my 2015 tour planning from Vienna to Geneva and finishing in Nice the hard way.

    If you want to visit Colorado, all of our climbs will take you over 2500 meters and most are well over 3000 … you can top out at over 4000 ! Good luck.

  7. bonne année!
    et maintenant que tu parles l’italien, bon courage pour l’apprentissage de l’Allemand 😉

  8. Just signed up to Mont Ventoux Night Session on your recommendation !!! Also, as I Iive in Vevey in Switzerland, I’m organising a cross Switzerland bike ride in the summer for some friends. Do you have any recommendations on routes ? (I’m thinking of taking the Route 9 via the lakes as well as some cols/passes to make it interesting!!!!)

  9. Hi Jon,

    Great, you will love Ventoux Night Sessions. Look forward to seeing you there.

    I think following any of the 9 Swiss National routes is a great plan. They are so well signposted and do their best to follow the best (quietest) roads.

    If you’re doing route 5 then probably the two best “detours” to see big, beautiful roads/mountains would be during stage 4. As you pass Interlaken, consider a different route to the stage end at Meiringen. Head to Grindelwald and climb Grosse Scheidegg, one of the beautiful big climbs anywhere. It will descend down to Meiringen.

    Then while in Meiringen, instead of heading on stage 5. Stay a day or two and climb stuff like Grimselpass – can make a big loop with Furkapass and Sustenpass – or descend back. The more interesting side of Susten also starts near Meringen.

    Best of luck.

  10. Really enjoy your blog, have been following for about 5 years from the other side of the world in Australia. Found your site very helpful when planning cycling trips to the French Alps. Enjoy your challenges.


    • Thanks Ian,

      (yep, Spain on radar). Now that my Italian is almost mediocre, though, I need to learn some a few words in German 🙂

  11. I guess for being over 3000m I recommend the mighty Haleakala. I bet your wife wouldn’t mind a few days at Maui. You have the advantage that you start right on sea level…Have you done Liechtenstein? The climb up to Malbun is nice.

  12. Felice Scapin on

    Hi Will
    How are you. Check out the web site, that is how I have planned my Austrian part of my trip.

  13. Hi Will,
    Thank you so much for your amazing collection of rides! Your website is a real inspiration!
    May you have many more decades to enjoy cycling and please keep posting them.

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