“Ride the Alps Vaudoises”

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“Ride the Alps” is a series of non-competitive bike days in Switzerland sponsored by Switzerland Tourism and a sporting goods company. Yesterday I attended the “Ride the Alps Vaudoises” day (Vaud is a canton is the western, French-speaking part of Switzerland). See here for more of their upcoming events.

The route was a short but scenic 47 kilometre loop reeking of Alain’s local knowledge: tiny paved roads, three cols, avoiding traffic, and beautiful Swiss views. I had never ridden the featured climb: Col de la Pierre de Möelle (1657m), so I was excited to visit.

Given the current heat-wave, I decided an early 7:30am start would make sense. I had the great fortune to bump into an old friend, Alain Rumpf, who had designed the route. In fact we would ride most of it together. Unexpected fun.

A Swiss With A Pulse is Alain’s cycling focused web site.

Alain as we cycle above the beautiful dam/lac de l’Hongrin.

See here for a brilliant loop from Aigle that climbs to and rides alongside Lac de l’Hongrin.

Lots of cattle grids, but fun, tiny Swiss roads

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Alain is a very, very strong cyclist but he cheerful rode my pace (he would ride a second lap later on). Of course, we chatted the entire time. Brainstorming ride ideas, sharing favourite routes, planning future adventures, etc.

And of course, stopping to take the occasional photo:

As we approached the finish, I saw a field full of hay bales. I yelled at Alain to stop. He knows my twitter account and how I enjoy #haysurfing.

He laughed, stopped, and was a VERY good sport and agreed to make his hay surfing debut. Wooohoooo!

Bravo Alain, expert form.

An enjoyable little loop on super quiet Swiss roads with the unexpected bonus of Alain’s company. Excellent.

Note: As the map profile below shows, we also traversed Col des Mosses (1445m) and climbed past La Forclaz (1261m; a geographic col according to the experts at Club des Cent Cols).

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Happiest while cycling uphill.

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