Gotthard Pass!July 17, 2017 in Switzerland
We had stayed two nights in Hospental (not realising what a beautiful picturesque little place it was) both to have a rest day and to avoid riding up the pass on the weekend. The extra bonus was that Monday morning was a little warmer and had blue skies. After an early breakfast we loaded up the bikes and headed up the hill. It is a very evenly graded climb from about 1490m at our accommodation to 2106m over 9km, or just under 7% grade. As we had hoped, the traffic wasn't too bad. We stopped for a coffee at a roadside restaurant after 4.2km. At that stage there was a quite strong and gusty cross/headwind threatening to blow us off the road in places. A vertiginous drop on one side, traffic on the other and a strong crosswind with panniers. That really makes you grip the bars and concentrate, but fortunately we were sheltered from it much of the time. After 6km there are two roads, the newer one which takes almost all of the traffic, and the old cobbled road, which goes for 3kms. After quite a few photo stops - the place is just so dramatic and beautiful - we arrived at the top in good shape and another cyclist took a celebratory photo of us at the pass sign.
After good coffee and cake at the restaurant at the top we rode out along the main road to a point that we had read about where you get a great view down over the switchbacks on the old cobbled road. Wow.Read more