Yesterday’s practical pilgrimage day got me thinking about crossing the Alps again. The Via Francigena crosses the mountains at the Great St. Bernard Pass. The Eurovelo 5 crosses at via the Saint Gotthard Pass. I have just found a useful website all about cycling in the Alps. Its called Cycling Challenge and has a section for each of the big climbs, including of course the St. Gotthard Pass. Quoting from the website:
If you like cobblestones then I have the road for you. The St Gothard Pass (2108m, 6915 feet) is in central Switzerland and an important link between the German and Italian parts of the country. There is an autoroute through a tunnel and another paved road over the pass to handle all the considerable motor traffic. And for cyclists, the old/ancient cobblestone road has been perfectly preserved. This is truly cobblestone heaven. The last 3 kms of the north side is cobbled, but it’s the south side that is truly amazing. Almost traffic-free, well-maintained, hairpin heaven – and cobbled for most of the 14 kilometres and 1000 metres descent to Airolo.
Cobblestones? It will be like cycling back in Yorkshire! The bike in this picture looks suspiciously like a Ridgeback Panorama….