It all started while I was reading the November/December issue of RoadRUNNER Magazine back in 2011. I had already ridden in the Alps a few times before but as I read Uwe Krauss’s article, it sounded like those Alps were not exactly the same ones I had ridden. You see, it’s always a matter of perspective and I needed someone to help me change mine!
Now this summer, after many years of dreaming, I find myself sipping a late afternoon beer in Castellane’s main square with Uwe. The rest of the group went for a walk in the village. We are staying at Ma Petite Auberge, right across the street and that is where we will be having dinner once they are back.
We will ride in Southern France for a few days, after having ridden in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. And Italy is coming a bit further on. For days now, we have been riding on the backroads of the Alpine Range. And it will be like that for the next few days.
We stop here and there for a coffee, or a viewpoint, or both like we did at the Refuge Napoleon on the way to the Col d’Izoard. It is warm and toasty down in the valleys and 20 minutes later we are at a pass up in the mountains where it is way cooler. The air is so pure and the sky is so blue! At the end of the day, we ride into a little village. Our hotels are always ideally located and we are almost always welcomed by the owners themselves. They take pride in their accommodations and in the food and wine they prepare for us.
As peaceful as the evenings are, the days on the road are very technical and sometimes physically demanding. The first switchbacks were surprising, now we keep looking for the next challenges which are always rewarded with breathtaking views and scenery. This was my second time riding with Blue Rim Tours, and I will be back again, in a year or two.
Hope to see you in the Alps!