Crossing the Alps by bicycle In September 2018 I finally had the opportunity to do a longer bicycle tour again My last trip by bike was already over 3 years back and that’s why I was really looking forward to being on the road again I had a total of 3 weeks and thought about where I could actually go and because I kept my last tour through the Alps in good memories I simply decided to cycle across the Alps again On my last tour I was crossing the ten highest passes of the Alps on my loaded touring bike and that was from all the bike trips, which I had done until then probably the most beautiful You can watch all videos from my previous tours here on my channel on YouTube So it was back to the Alps and I started my tour in Stuttgart Actually, I’m from Dresden and I also live in Dresden But as I said, I had only three weeks available and I wanted to spend as much time as possible in the Alps and that’s why I decided to start closer to the Alps The first three days brought me from Stuttgart to Switzerland to the Klausenpass and from then on it was almost only uphill and downhill On my journey to Nice I cycled 1214km collected more than 20,000 vertical meters and crossed 11 alpine passes I am here in Nürtingen. I just left the bike path, the Neckar Cycle Route actually and cycle now as I said towards Lake Constance I have just done my first minimal climb maybe 30 meters in altitude, and that’s when I realized how it feels to cycle uphill with so much luggage I’m sweating right away. This is gonna be interesting I almost always stayed in my tent, mostly on campsites I also did some wild camping but that I actually try to avoid if there are cheap campsites. Every night I paid about eight to twelve euros for a campsite and in September, most of them were still open From the three weeks of travel I have only spent three nights in an accommodation So I have just arrived in Konstanz. Konstanz is now in front of me. I am here as you can see on a bridge Above of some kind of canal that connects the Untersee with Lake Constance So over there is Lake Constance and on this side there is the Untersee, where I started this morning and where I camped yesterday. But that is only 10km from where I am right now And as I said, over there comes the border in Konstanz Maybe two more kilometers and I’m in Switzerland In Konstanz I crossed the border and left the EU There was no control. I could just cycle through And because I should stay in Switzerland for a few days, I also needed Swiss francs of course So I went to a bank to get some money and I should actually need quite a lot of my Swiss francs because food was pretty expensive. So as an example: A kebab costs 8 Swiss francs, so about seven euros “Döner makes you more beautiful” (funny German saying), we all know that but kebab makes you also poorer, especially in Switzerland Whatever. The first little milestone was done I had made it to the foothills of the Alps and now the landscape started to become more and more interesting I mean the south of Germany is beautiful too but the Alps are of course something else Hmm, yummy yummy yummy So it slowly starts with the first ascents I’m still not on a pass, that will come tomorrow, the Klausenpass I am here somewhere between Constance and Wil in Switzerland About ten kilometers from Wil. Unfortunately, I had not been lucky throughout the trip to always cycle beautiful quiet, idyllic roads with little traffic and lots of space and so on Sometimes there were roads like this, with lots of traffic and little space to drive that’s the worst f****** street and so steep First big pass today. Fourth day
and it goes up to the Klausenpass It is already 1 o’clock and I have only done
30 km so far. Although I left at 8 o’clock because I had to cycle to the post office this morning I thought that I have to get lighter. I just carry too much stuff with me so I sent a total of three kilos back home. First I had to look for a suitable box. Went to a shoe store. Got a box there Then to the post office. Had to pay 46 Swiss francs. Well … But I’m three kilos lighter now There it is: Klausenpass. Here we go We are at an altitude of about 660 meters right now and it goes up to 1900 I think about 1950 Almost up on the Klausenpass. It shouldn’t have been any higher. I am exhausted. About 150m of elevation left. I am now at 1800m. I ate 3 proteinn bars today because I haven’t had anything for lunch It is already late today. I have to find something to camp. In the late afternoon I finally made it to the top Of course I did not forget to take the obligatory picture with the pass sign And then I went all the way down on the other side into the valley to Altdorf where I decided to take a day off There was a beautiful little campsite in Altdorf very close to Lake Lucerne, where I decided to go during my day off and the water but not as icy as I had feared The water temperature was about I would say 20 degrees, so very pleasant. In the evening I had an invitation for dinner from Karl and whom I had met shortly before my departure in the Facebook group called “Radreisen” And he wrote me that when I’m around I should just get in touch with him and that’s just what I did Today Day 5. I took a day off. I am here in Altdorf in Switzerland and I was lucky because Karl invited me to his home And he has a great apartment. I think you call it a “loft” apartment It’s basically one large room, pretty cool. And Karl told me that he sometimes even invites bands here and
then the stage is just over there There were once about 30 to 40 people here So it was like a little concert going on here Out here is the terrace, pretty nice. I would like that have that too actually. With a view of the mountains. Nice. And because Karl himself loves to ride a bicycle, we were talking a lot about cycling during dinner Of course it’s always nice when you meet people who share more or less the same interests You connect quickly and share your stories And I have to say, I really envy Karl for the fact that he basically lives in the middle of the Alps. Everywhere mountains and fantastic passes It’s like an eldorado for every cyclist On the same evening when I headed back to the campsite I met someone else and that was Marcel from Aachen and just like me he was travelling by bicycle Yesterday I met Marcel, who is right behind me, at the campsite He is cycling, as you can see, on his fatbike from Aachen to Rome Right now we are already at an altitude of about 1600, 1700 vertical meters We’re gonna croos the Gotthard Pass today Actually, I wanted to cycle another pass, the Susten. But to be able to travel together a bit longer I decided to take the Gotthard Pass and we’re gonna camp together tonight. Tomorrow we will cycle the Nufenen Pass into the Rhone Valley. It’s not steep enough, way too easy, right? A long day is slowly coming to an end. We went down from the Gotthard pass and are now looking for something to camp somewhere There are no campsites And now we are a bit off the street and try to find a place somewhere So we found something. We have asked
the people over there I do not know if you can see that. There’s a house in the back and they said they agree. We will set up our tents somewhere over here Look who is there I don’t want to. It’s so wet out here. A late riser It’s dripping Yes, everything is wet After the rainy night the sun was already shining again the next morning and then Marcel and I left for Nufenenpass Up to 2,478 meters And the pass was really tough, it was very exhausting I may still be about 100m short of elevation, then I’m on the Nufenen Pass At just two, five thousand … err I don’t know how to speak anymore, I’m so exhausted today. That was hard. That was the most brutal pass I ever cycled I think I’ve now cycled about 15 kilometres with a more or less constant 12% gradient I know that from no other Alpine pass When I finally arrived at the top, Marcel had been there for a long time already waiting for me I just needed more time because I kept pausing for photos and videos We drove to Brig that day and camped there again And the next day, unfortunately, our ways parted again because Marcel was heading for Rome and my destination was Nice. So it was back to solo again and that day was a really relaxing one I had a flat stage from Brig to Martigny 100 km approximately but no altitude difference I also took a look at the map to see what was coming next From the moment I had entered the Alps I had already three big passes behind me. The Klausenpass, the Gotthardpass and the Nufenenpass and as I said before I was in Martigny at the moment and from here on I continued over the
Col de la Forclaz, the Col des Montets the Col du Télégraphe, the col du
Galibier, the Col d’Izoard the Col de Vars, the Col de la Cayolle and just before Nice a small pass, the Col de St. Raphael So I took a deep breath relaxed a bit in Martigny. I’ve recharged my batteries. to be ready for the final spurt to Nice I am here now on the Col des Montets in France and if I am not mistaken that’s the Mont Blanc over there. That must be it As high as that looks and with all the snow on it. The scenery was really impressive in the Mont Blanc region. Unfortunately just in this area I had a broken spoke. Of course in the rear wheel, where I could not change it myself because I did not have the appropriate tool to remove the cassette But I was just in Chamonix-sur-Mont-Blanc, a small touristic town and there I got the necessary tools in a bike shop to replace the spoke I also took a room for the first time on the tour At that moment I was on the road for almost two weeks and of course it felt very good to sleep in a bed The price I could negotiate from 45 euros per night to 30 euros and then it was okay I have to go down to the valley and then,
let’s see, I have to go to Albertville direction Albertville. I think I have to
enter this valley over there Today a rather a flat stage. I’ve had knee pain since I climbed up the Nufenenpass That one was brutal In the right knee and then I remembered that the seat height can actually be a reason for that This morning I got up after camping and it hurt even more I just lowered my saddle a little bit by half a centimeter, maybe a bit more I had cycled 20 kilometers and felt no pain anymore. It was gone immediately So I was probably stretching my leg
a bit too much while cycling It is 3:30 in the afternoon. I’ve already done about 75 km from Albertville to here. I am now in Saint-Michel-de-Maurienne, at the foot of the Col du Galibier I will not be able to do the Galibier today I am here at 700 meters altitude. But up there on the Col du Télégraphe I will go today You can see it from here. That’s up there The tip up there. This is where I am going now The last meters of altitude now and also the last meters to the Col du Télégraphe. I still have 5km to the campsite There was just a short rain shower. I actually felt really good. I was hoping it would not take that long. And that’s just how it was. May have rained for maybe ten minutes And now I’m almost up there If you have to cycle up a steep hill for 13km after you have already done 75km with all the luggage. That’s tough At the top of the pass I quickly took a picture with the sign of the pass and then I pedaled the last 5km to the campsite in Valloire, where I met Yuichiro from Tokyo I am here on a campsite with Yuichiro. Yes, Yuichiro And my name? What’s My Name? We are here in Valoire. I would not have
thought to meet anyone here at all at this time of the year, at the end of September and then there is a guy from Japan cycling here He is travelling from Geneva to Rome And right now we are watching football together And Yuichiro is drinking more beer than me He has three beers Two and one And I only have two And here we are watching Liverpool against Paris. And at the moment the score is 2:1 Yuichiro Hi Good Morning Good Morning Luckily you have a stove and thanks to you I can drink a nice hot coffee And what are you eating? What’s this? No, this. That’s a soup, right? Soup Soup Soup That’s all Japanese After the night at the campsite in Valloire, I continued my way up to the Col du Galibier, at 2642 meters. And in the summer of 2015, I’ve already cycled up to the Galibier for the first time Last time I met Luca from Italy and Thomas from Holland on the way And this time I cycled up the pass on my own, and you could say literally on my own There was very little traffic on the day and that was great, of course It’s so silent. Na car has passed me for the last 5 minutes and no car came towards me either That’s fun Ok, now I’m here That’s it As you can see, I’m going to climb the Col d’Izoard I have found a nice spot here to take a break Nice picknick table, beautiful spot Perfect The road is down there. I am coming from there going up that way towards the Col d’Izoard I have my bike in sight. It’s right there. Really nice spot here These are the last meters to the Col d’Izoard That’s it. On the left there is that big stone. That’s it. Col d’Izoard. Another pass in my pocket After the descent from the Col d’Izoard
something unexpected happened to me You can see a car behind me and the driver of the car was waiting for me on the roadside a couple of minutes later, after he had overtaken me He was waving me down. I stopped and wanted to know what was going on I just got recognized. Rafal from Poland stopped me here on the road He asked me if I have a YouTube channel and he recognized me I only want to say that this guy was my great great inspiration to do my own journey through the Alps Of course I was glad that somebody actually recognized from my videos on YouTube. That was somehow surprising I liked that, of course. There were only two more big passes ahead of me the Col de Vars and the Col de la Cayolle and so my destination in Nice was slowly but surely within reach Sometimes I just feel like to stop and to just go to sleep somewhere But that doesn’t bring me further to Nice.
So I just keep going And how did Oliver Kahn (famous German football goalkeeper) always say. “Just keep going! Just keep going!” My arm will fall off any moment. The farther I extend the selfie stick, the heavier it gets I made it Now the obligatory photo with the pass sign And then all the way down to Barcelonnette. And tomorrow it continues with the next pass My pass, Col de la Cayolle is open, as expected with that beautiful weather Here now you can decide which pass to take Turn right to Col Allos Or Col ‘Allo’, do not know exactly how to pronounce it Or the Col de la Cayolle. We take the Cayolle. What does it say? 27km? Yes, 27km to the top of the Col de la Cayolle Here we go The climb to the Col de la Cayolle is
not really a difficult one I had a quick look at the profile yesterday.
The elevation gain is about 1200 to 1300 meters but spread over 27km with a relatively even increase You can make the calculation. That’s maybe an average 4% increase At the end it will be a bit steeper But I think it should be one of the category “easy” I don’t mind at all. I have already suffered enough on that tour I have to say that this is how I enjoy bicycle touring the most If the conditions are like they are right now. Col de la Cayolle. Road without crash barriers, without road marking It’s almost like a bike path actually. Very few traffic. Beautiful landscape Wonderful The last meters of altitude from the Col de la Cayolle. Another 2 to 3 meters, then I’m there There is the sign to take a picture Wow, look at that. We are clearly above the clouds. Back there is the Mediterranean Sea That’s a nice arrival. Now I’ll zoom in a bit, so you can see it better There are the clouds and just above there is the sea Sweet After arriving at the top of the Col de la Cayolle, I cycled another 50km downhill into the I was camping one more time and then it was already the last day of my trip Last stage today Because I wanted to take a shortcut I somehow ended up on this path that brings me on a castle or something But theoretically this path should lead me back to a road. But it’s funny where you aresometimes getting when you are off the beaten track I’m here in Entrevaux in France and this is probably the old town Yes, nice Fancy The last day of my tour today. Today I’m arriving in Nice. and from the starting point this morning in Entrevaux, where I camped again, there were 70km left And I had two options. Either the easy one. That would have been down there Maybe you can see that. There is
a river and a road that goes there I could have taken that road. Down there I had already cycled 10km. I came from back there But then I drove over the bridge that is there and then all the way up this slope. It continues till up there where the sun is shining over the ridge The reason why I did that is simply because it’s way more beautiful to cycle along the Southern side of this mountain
with a nice view of the sea than to take down this monotonous, maybe busy road down there And from the whole tour this must be the last meters of climbing that I am doing right now And all the sudden it was over. I arrived in Nice and my journey came to an end However, I stayed in Nice for another 5 days and did a little relaxing holiday. The city is like a second home to me I used to work here for 7 years and of course I still have friends and acquaintances who can offer me a place to stay So I enjoyed my last days in Nice. And just as during my whole 20 day tour The sun just kept on shining also Nice That made relaxing and recovering of course even more beautiful Of course, I also used the time to prepare my departure by airplane to Berlin I organized a big box in a bicycle shop to be able to take my bike back with me. So I got everything organized and packed All in all it was an adventure, which I will remember for a long time On a journey like this you experience so much in such a short time.You have highs, you have lows You meet interesting people from different countries and you are active outdoors in the nature I think traveling by bicycle is for me just the perfect possibility to escape and to do something good to your mind and body In this sense: The next journey will come for sure. If you want to stay updated then simply subscribe to my channel If you enjoyed the video, then please give me a Like and Share the video You may also have friends who
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