Many thanks to all the people that have been checking up on me and offering best wishes. Just a short post to let you know that I haven’t yet retired from cycling up alps. I have been struggling with a leg injury that has baffled me, two doctors, and two physiotherapists. Very frustrating.

I am currently trying to not gain too much weight, while drowning trying to swim (I am the person on the left!).


Weight lifting is less boring that I had expected, but only marginally:


But this is definitely the best part of rehab:

The best part of rehab

And hopefully I’ll soon be back to doing what I love:

Col de la Croix Fry

About Author

Happiest while cycling uphill.


  1. Dear Chilly,
    I am so-o much hoping that you recover fully & quickly — it’s so sad that you’re in pain.
    But I’m glad to see MukMuk is a good weight-training buddy 🙂


  2. Dear Will

    Sorry to hear about the injury and the rehab. I always enjoy your postings as I worked in Geneva in 1989 and know the area well. Great city to live in also.

    I can sympathise with the frustrations of rehab as I am into week 2 of it after fracturing my femur coming down the col de Paillheres whilst doing the Raid Pyrenees. I think it was a blow out, as the front wheel just went with no time to correct it. So having done over 500 km and 11,000 m of climbing in 3.5 days I was one day short of the finish and instead of dipping my toes in the Med was having a screw put in my hip! That means no weight bearing for 6 weeks and I suspect at least 10 weeks off the bike. Next year is going to be a big fitness challenge and I can feel the muscles wasting away!

    I also know the other area you like down in Provence by the Gorge de La Nesque, as though I live in England we have a house in St saturnin les Apt and my local ride is up to Sault or around the Gorge. A beautiful area for training and cycling with some beautiful cols to go over as you go North into the Drome. with luck an early retirement is planned to get me out there in about a years time. I thought the dawn Ventoux climb was good, although currently not sure abut a night time descent. I did the Cingle this year which is a satisfying challenge and you are even rewarded with a plastic medal from the organiser in Paris.

    Hoping your rehab goes ok and looking forward to the more tales of your climbs.

    Kevin Gunning
    Cambridge UK

  3. Hi
    My sympathies and best of luck with the rehab – consecutive surgeries on a knee, a shoulder and then the same knee again had me off the bike for best part of a year and becoming the physio’s best customer. Here is hoping that you are back outside soon – I miss your accounts of climbs around the Alps.

  4. Will,

    Best of luck with your recovery and hope to read more posts of your adventures soon. They have a wonderful effect of re-uniting me (spiritually) with fantastic places……

    James Pascall
    Grenada, West Indies

  5. Dear Will,

    I’m definitely one of those that started to worry… I was asking myself myriads of questions. Have you left Geneva? Have you suffered an injury? Or, worst, have you suddently lost your passion for cycling? 😉

    Fortunately, you seem to be on your way to recover, being very serious with your rehab. I wish you best of luck with this process, which can be frustrating indeed (I went through this in an earlier life, when I was doing athletics).

    Most important, though: as Nietzche said: That which does not kill us makes us stronger. Bottom line: you’ll come back from this process with great mental and physical strength!

    Kind regards,


  6. Hi Will

    Am glad to hear that you are back on the road to recovery. Thought about you as I struggled up Col de la Ramaz Saturday afternoon.
    Since I started cycling up mountains 3 years ago your blog has been such a great source of inspiration and ideas.

    Thanks again and wishing you a very swift return to 2 wheels and cols!


  7. Thanks everyone for the kind messages.

    Nicholas: – I guess our 3000 metre summit expedition is delayed to 2012.

    Kevin: Ouch, Broken Femur! Best of luck recovering. You should really try the Ventoux at sunrise next year. Very friendly and well organized event – and the descent is after the sun has risen – so no worries.

    Barrie: Yoga, yep. Although Doreen laughs at me every time I strike up a warrior pose. 🙂

    Mazzok: 🙂

    fptruedas: gracias!

  8. Une année de vaches maigres (Moo!) pour toi.

    Il faudra certainement faire attention avec le ski de fond, si fond il y a… Pour revenir en forme en 2012 et grimper de nouveau les cols.

    Bon courage !

  9. Hi Will

    We need to talk! What’s your phone number? I made a lengthy reply but lost the whole lot despite copying and pasting.

    I’m worried that if the doctors/physios (who are baffled) recommend a course of swimming and weights, if the true nature of the problem inside the joint isn’t known, you could end up doing more damage.

    Better to go to an absolute specialist (like Roche did in 1988) have a scan done and know that there’s no chafing/cartlidge out of place etc etc. If you lose more fitness but trace the true root cause then in the long run it will be much better.

    It took me two years to solve a knee problem and I encountered plenty of doctors/physios along the way who didn’t know the cause but were confident the could help me recover (and take my money). They all say the same stuff ‘swimming’ and give you leg straightening exercises, to ‘even out the tension on the quads and tendons’. It wasn’t until I got a referal to a knee specialist and had an arthroscopy that the problem was solved. Might sound scary but thats better then going out on the bike, gradually getting further and further but having the onset of pain come on regardless (and further damage being done while i did it).

    Once the problem is nailed I’d get a new set of pedals and have a bioracer/specialized fitting to make sure you position is optimal (on the video of your ride that went up Joux Verte and finished at Avoriaz, described at time as being one of your hardest rides, I thought your saddle looked set quite high. I know that’s personal preference but I think it could be a bit lower – think Cancellara!)

    Incidentally visualisation will help to reduce muscle wastage because the brain send a reduced strength message to the muscles. You have plenty of material to draw on so just lie back and picture yourself riding up those cols! (help for Kein Gunning, get well Kevin!). There’s a good book called Sporting Body Sporting Mind that gives a good procedure for doing this.

    I don’t suppose sitting in a jacuzzi will do much harm though! Best of luck with your recovery.



  10. Yes, Will, our 3000m expedition will indeed have to wait until next year. It shouldn’t be a major problem: we will be all the more happy to do it then! Cheers,

  11. Will,

    Hi. My first post on your site. Live near Gex and have found your website totally invaluable. Did (most of) the Baudichonne ten days ago, an amazing find thank you. Totally car free as you said and wonderfully steep so great training.

    Get well soon.


  12. Stephen …. well done.

    So many quiet, steep climbs in the Juras near you. La Barillette and Col du la Vattay (Combe Blanche) are equally good.

    thx for the note


    Glad the route planning discussions we had have helped. As usual I expect you to send me pics of your trip. 🙂


    thx for the offline emails

  13. Hey Will,

    You went MIA some months ago from DM, I see that you have knee issues. What is it? Will we get picture and posts again on DM soon? Hope you get better soon! Alain

  14. Hi Will,

    been followin your site for a while now. Had been wondering where you were spending the summer, since there were no updates… now I know.

    Courage! I’m sure you’ll be pacing up and down our beloved Alps sooner than you can imagine!
    And well, simply enjoy the spas and pools in the meanwhile…



  15. Dear Will,
    Have you been checked for Arterial Endofibrosis? It is an affliction that affects 2% of all cyclists with chronic overuse injuries. Symptoms include severe leg pain, fatigue, etc. Dx made via BP taken in feet, bike till leg seizes up, take foot BP again (little to no blood pressure in an affected extremity). Specific diagnosis made with CT angiogram. I got this info from a friend who has recently been diagnosed with this and who it sounds like cycles as much as you.
    I came upon your website to enjoy photos of the Sella Loop as we just came back from there last week. A really beautiful place with incredible cycling. I do hope that perhaps this information will be helpful

  16. sad to hear this.
    I’ve had knee troubles in the past. I visited three different docters and none of them found the cause of the problem. In the end an osteopath discovered what was wrong. Sometimes you need several opinions…

    Get well soon!

  17. Hi Will,

    Sorry to hear about your setback. If you are still dealing with a vague diagnosis, what I’ve seen to be useful is to find a doctor who specializes in bike related injuries and is active in the sport him/her self.

    Thanks again for your posts, which are both informative and inspirational, and hope you have a speedy recovery.


  18. Hi Will,

    Hope your progressing with your rehab. I am writing to thank you for all the info on you site. I used this site a lot in my preparation/motivation for our holiday

    I have just returned home from 6 weeks riding in Europe. We did 2 weeks in Switzerland – where your site really helped in narrowing down the list of what to do, although I do have some unfinished business on Susten Pass, so I guess I’ll just have to go back. Then we did the Grand Route des Alps from Leysin to Menton, then 2 weeks in Andalusia, which include an ascent of Veleta. I went as far as I could on my road bike but the sealed road finished a bit before the top. There were heaps of people who went to the top on mountain bikes, but I still managed to get to about 3200m.

    I have to recommend to you a loop I did from Leysin to Sion then up Col de Sanetch, down the cable car over the back then back to Leysin via Col de Pillon. Just the thing for fat middle aged Australians from the flat lands.

    Keep up the good work, as I need more info for my next trip in 2 years time.

    Thanks heaps


  19. Eduardo, Congrats on your trip.

    Yes, that tiny cable car is a great way to build a loop.

    Believe it or not my friend Eric once carried his bike UP that stretch. 🙂

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