Do you think it’s possible to ride from Geneva to Nice on a fixed gear bike? Two Stuttgart bike clubs have dared to find out. Did they make it? Read their experiences here.
“Dude… that’s so nice. “Speechless I stand beside Marc on the summit of the Galibier. We stare down into the valley and follow the winding road with our eyes. It nestles gently against the rough flank of the mountains. Below us, our friends drag themselves up the switchbacks. Like little ants in red, blue and black jerseys they crawl along the asphalt. The painted street holds memories of legendary stages of the Tour de France. Hardly any other pass of the tour takes riders higher than 2642m. During many a sleepless night, we have repeatedly wondered: Can we conquer the most famous pass roads between Geneva and Nice on a fixie?
Not one of us is sure if they will make it to the Mediterranean, with so many uncertainties in front of us. But we have one salvation – the strength of friendship and teamwork. Our two clubs are welded together by a common passion and heritage. We got to know each other at Rad Race Events, and Stuttgart’s roads have kept us together. “Stuttgarter Velohelden” is more like an old, trusting friendship than a team. A harmonious group compared to the Heaven and Hell Cycling Club. Their unpredictable mix of characters is their biggest strength, and simultaneously their biggest weakness.
Inspired by other fixie crews, inspired by the challenge and intrigued by the famous alpine passes, we plan a joint tour: From Geneva to the Mediterranean via the Col de la Madeleine, Col du Telegraphe, Col du Galibier, Col des Champs and Col d’Allos. 10,000 meters of climbing spread over 500 km, a single gear and ten riders.
We leave the view of the valley behind us as Velohelden and HHCC riders pass the highest point of the climb, each with a grin on their face. What can stop us now? Yesterday it was almost the Col de la Madeleine. Burning heat and hills with a 9% average incline had pushed us to our limits. However, the conditions today were ideal for the 29-kilometer climb.
Goosebumps cover my body. I’m not sure if the cool wind or the view of the switchbacks below is responsible. The long descent ahead of us will be just as exhausting as the climb.
Two days later we arrive exhausted in Nice. We head straight to the beach and celebrate what we have achieved as a team. Sometimes it only takes a stupid idea, and ten wonderful people to join in!