Switchback is ALPSinsight's road cycling and gravel biking hub. The rides featured here are a collection of our own personal favorites in the Alps and beyond. They are a mix of classic loops and hidden gems we discovered by riding with local friends.
With Switchback, we want to take you on narrow roads meandering through green pastures and sleepy villages with dramatic snowy peaks in the background. Quiet forest roads away from the traffic. We want you to forget about watts and stop for pictures. We tell you where to take a break and taste the best apple pie around. Because this is what we like to do when we are out on the bike.
Some so called iconic climbs will never be featured on Switchback because they are on busy roads or we find them uninteresting. That will lose us positions on search engine rankings but we won’t send you to a place we think you should not spend your time in. There are lots of digital platforms out there that feature « the best rides ». Some are great, but many are click baits invented by some SEO geniuses from their office chair or « user generated content », a buzzword that often equals garbage. Just google your favorite cycling destination and you’ll understand.
We are also into gravel biking, a trend that we believe is here to stay. Why? It’s fun, even for lousy mountain bikers like us; there is zero traffic on the trails - it's just you, your bike and the birds. No distracted drivers looking at their phones. It also opens a world of new riding possibilities, down in the valleys or (very) high up in the mountains. What’s not to love?
Yes, we like to go on the occasional BIG ride (Alain is a Transcontinental Race finisher) but most of what you’ll find here is achievable by any well trained cyclist. We believe that you don’t need to go beyond your limits to enjoy yourself on a bike: the word ‘epic’ is banned from this site. Sure, more than once we start riding at sunrise and finish at sunset, wasted and euphoric. Not because we covered heroic distances or climbed the equivalent of Everest. Rather it's to enjoy the glorious morning and evening light, and because we stopped for too many photos, espressos and the occasional nap. We might have bonked more than once during the ride too. We just forgot to eat as we were too busy chatting and enjoying the scenery.
We will add new rides to Switchback as we keep exploring and shooting. Please comment, make suggestions, start conversations on social media, disagree. This is a platform for passionate cyclists who want to have a good time on their bike and share it with their peers. You can also visit the blog on ALPSinsight, the place where we tell stories from our life in the mountains.
But most importantly, stop staring at your phone, get out and ride your bike. Take a break from your everyday life to enjoy the mountains.
Alain, Kim, Dan and Janine