On a beautiful Saturday last weekend I met a new riding buddy called Alain, a fellow resident of Villars and UCI Director of Global Development. With blue skies and a fair wind we headed to the Swiss Riviera through Montreux and Vevey and just before Lausanne swung up onto a climb Alain called Switzerland’s answer to the Poggio: “La Corniche”, a ten minute steady effort up through the UNESCO Word Heritage site of the Lavaux vineyards.
Starting in the lakeside village of Cully the climb cuts a dramatic angle through the terraced vineyards and winds its way through narrow streets in pretty villages. Working up towards the finish in Chexbres, Lake Geneva falls away to the right all the time framed by a mountain backdrop as far as the Grand Muveran, closer to home in Villars. Not that I got to enjoy a lot of the view with my eyes focused on Alain’s back wheel- with a couple of hundred metres to go before the top I sat up (or was that got dropped), way off fitness and suffering by this point. Of course had I known it was the top…
The view on a clear day is really something to savour, we took a detour in the car today to get a few snaps but the haze masks the mountains behind.
On Sunday I was determined to keep getting the miles in while the weather held, and went out with Graham Hills who uses his apartment in Villars as a great training base for periods in the year. We ascended both the Col des Mosses and the climb home, the latter of which saw me gradually deteriorate until I arrived in a heap having finally succumbed to a vomiting bug that has been doing the rounds at school.
The sun has been a real boon for keen cyclists, but the skier in me rues the fact it comes at the cost of well below average conditions. This week we are finally forecast some snow so it should be back on the touring skis ready for some uphill action with downhill reward, although there’s no denying it feels good to have nicked some cheeky winter miles !