A last gasp.

Despite some beautiful weather, riding The Alps in late October is pushing the season a bit.  Passes start to close and when the weather changes, it usually means snow instead of rain.  Despite this, I thought I’d make at another run through Switzerland, this time through the Simplon Pass (some other choices, like the Stelvio Pass where already closed). 

The pass starts as a very narrow gorge on the Italian side and is mostly covered by avalanche tunnels as it winds its way up.  For my ride, the pass also started with rain that slowly got heavier and whiter as I wound my up.  Watching the temperature drop and the snow slowly starting collect at the side of the road started to get me nervous- a wet road switching over to black ice on a mountain pass is scary thing.  I hadn’t crossed any bridges yet, but I knew some where on the way and with the air temperature hovering between 0 and -1C, they could be unpleasant.

Cresting the pass things got better- I passed a bike going the other way (we both gave big thumbs up as I guess they were as happy to see me as I them) and I had a fantastic view of The Stockalpers Hospice.

oct12 004

Passing down on the other side of the pass the weather improved immediately and the road became a series of fast sweepers- fun, relaxing riding.  It was hard to get a good picture, but if you imagine the bridge in the pic below as the apex of a valley wide turn on an already wavy road, you’ll get an idea.

 oct12 009

So, I was back in Switzerland and the weather wasn’t looking too bad at all.  Time to push my luck.

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