Ken Roberts - - Bicycling

what's here

earlier in this year

see also:  more Europe stories | public discussion | more on Europe

sampling eastern Sicily island of Italy

what's here

see also:

overall reflections

Sharon and I both felt like we'd be glad to go back to Sicily again in November for bicycling -- even though it's not such a convenient place for us to fly to and back from. We felt comfortable there and it's got lots of nice farm-country riding.

  • farm animals near the roads

  • variety of farm plants (not just vineyards + olive trees)

  • variety of farm buildings

  • hill towns that look dramatic as we rode toward them

  • views of the sea on rides when we wanted that

  • mostly good-quality road surfaces for riding

  • large quantity of quiet farm roads, some not shown on our 1:200000 map -- felt much freedom in our riding, flexibility to modify routes to fit our energy and time for each day.

  • car drivers not unfriendly to us on our bicycle

  • heard very little English spoken

  • pleasant walking around in the old seacoast cities.

late November season:

  • still some green fields, some even with colorful fruit and flowers.

  • possibility of snow visible on Mt Etna (though perhaps February-March is a better bet for this)

comparing November visits to other places:

  • Provence: Prov was more modern, more English-language heard, more spectacular rock formations, more vineyards. Sicily much wider variety of agricultural plants, farm fields greener in November, culturally more different from northeast USA, has the big Mt Etna volcano, a little warmer on more days.

  • Corsica island / Isle de Corse (west + north sides): Corse had more wild scenery, goats + pigs on the road, maquis bushes with sweet red berries, more spectacular rock formations, more hills. Sicily more farmland and farm animals, and the big Mt Etna volcano, a little warmer on more days.

  • Rome + Naples: This area of mainland Italy had more hills, more people, more variety of city culture. Sicily had higher density of roads for freedom of gentle-moderate riding, wider variety of agricultural plants, Mt Etna volcano much bigger than Mt Vesuvius, warmer on more days.

  • ? Sardinia / Sardegna island ? : Never been there, though we've heard good reports about the bicycling. We were thinking of going there this year, but the air + ferry transportation schedules seemed inconvenient for our home airports and dates in November. Hope transportation will be more convenient for some other year: perhaps combine it with a visit to Corsica, and use the short ferry ride between the two islands.

our favorites on this visit to Sicily

  • Lipari island (and nearby Vulcano island crater hike)

  • Leonforte bike loop

  • southeast bike loop around Modica + Ragusa + Donnalucata

  • Taormina + Siracusa city walks

  • Dittaino valley bike loop by Sferro + Borgo Franchetto

our riding style

We normally ride in Europe pretty much like we do around home in the northeast USA. We have a "base" to stay in, then each day we drive our car with the bike on it to some place that looks interesting for bicycling. We ride a loop and finish back at our car, then drive back to our base. We also like to do non-bicycling things like walking and skating. On this trip the Hotel Borgo Verde on the west side of the city of Catania made a secure and helpful base for us. 

hills + sea southeast bike loop around Ragusa

rough map of our route: see Modica - Ragusa - Donnalucata loop map

We parked our car at the southern end of Modica Bassa near the station, and rode a loop counter-clockwise thru Modica, Ragusa, explored some farm roads south of Ragusa not on the map, then to the sea (with a side trip to Playa Grande beach) at Donnalucata, then Scicli, Modica.


  • great variety: hill cities + seaside + stony farms

  • lots of big views

  • pretty farms with stone walls and stone buildings.

  • long gentle descents

  • tough part: steep climbing thru city of Ragusa

see photos | rough map of route

Leonforte area bike loop

see approx location on map

We parked our car on the south side of Leonforte, and rode a loop counter-clockwise thru Leonforte and north, then a side trip to the hill city of Nicosia, then west toward Villadoro (but not into it), then east and southeast back to Leonforte.


  • big views out from hillsides (including view of Mt Etna)

  • close views of pretty farms with variety

  • variety of animals, esp. cows + sheep.

  • interesting descents

  • long moderate (pretty) climbs - (and don’t forget to include in estimating time and difficulty the final climb back up to Leonforte)

  • not sure we'd do the side trip to Nicosia again next time. Maybe that's because we didn't find the historic area of the city.

  • next time perhaps might try instead the more southerly road from Villadoro to Leonforte (although from the map it seems like that's a little longer with more climbing).

see photos

Dittaino valley bike loop near Sferro

see approx location on map

A fun mostly-non-strenuous adventure thru farm country

The Dittaino river runs thru the midst of eastern Sicily west to east in a broad valley from Enna to Catania, roughly following the A19 autostrada. There's also a branch extending southwest toward Caltagirone (which some organized bike tours like to visit). The TCI and Michelin maps did not mark many scenic roads in this valley, but from driving thru it on the autostrada we thought that even if it lacked the obvious spectacular scenes which car drivers might seek out, it might have many smaller discoveries better experienced at the pace of a bicycle.

We parked our car by Sferro (which is pretty near to an exit on the A19 autostrada), first a little ways south, then a loop clockwise, first east on dirt road, then south to reach the S288 and go west on it. Next south on the road back toward Sferro, but turned off west and southwest to Borgo Franchetto, then north over the ridge, then east on dirty and sometimes dirt road back to start of loop, then south a little ways back to Sferro.


  • small villages

  • variety of plants: oranges, cactus, olive, artichokes, etc.

  • animals: cows + sheep

  • structures: farmhouses, irrigation aqueducts, windmills

  • both dirt roads + smooth pavement

  • some big views

next time might try the Borgo Franchetto loop in the opposite direction (counter-clockwise intstead of clockwise). Looked like the climb might be steeper, but it gets the dirty and dirt road sections over with first, and saves the nice moderate descent thru Borgo Franchetto as a reward.

see photos

Cefalu - Gibilmanna bike loop

see approx location on map

We parked in the city of Cefalu in a parking garage a block or two south from the main street west to east. We rode a loop clockwise thru Gibilmanna and Lascari. Going south thru Cefalu to Gibilmanna starts steeply with lots of car traffic, then right turn (sign for "Gibilmanna", not Isnello), then a jughandle left and after that a long moderate climb with less traffic. Then the final climb up to Gibilmanna is a side-trip. The road west and northwest past Grammeti to Lascari was delightful, first some ups and downs thru crags, then a long moderate descent to the sea. Finally rolling on the coast road east back to Cefalu (vehicle traffic didn't seem too bad, perhaps because there is a parallel autostrada thru this section).


  • nice variety of terrain: big climb and gentle rolling, populated coast and remote interior leading into the Madonie mountains.

  • some big views of the sea.

  • Sanctuario di Gibilmanna was a satisfying objective for the long climb.

  • city of Cefalu is not easy to get thru on bike or car.

  • climb from Cefalu to Gibilmanna could have used more open views higher up, with fewer telephone + power lines: perhaps works better as a descent (to get thru the non-view parts quicker)

  • walking around the city of Cefalu in the evening after the ride was rather pleasant, we started south on the main street, and then west along the seashore.

next time:

  • I'd consider trying it in the counter-clockwise direction (instead of clockwise): because looks like the section between Lascari and Gibilmanna had more open views, so going slower would offer more time with them. Also could hope that taking the difficult section on the south side of Cefalu in the downhill direction might be easier.

  • Might also consider skipping the city of Cefalu entirely. There is a bypass road. Which for bicycling I suspect works better in the overall counter-clockwise direction -- not as good in the clockwise direction.

Lipari island loop (and Vulcano island)

see approx location on map

We got up very early and drove out car to arrive in Milazzo before 7:00, then took the hydrofoil ferry from Milazzo to Lipari. Ken skated (on inline skates) the 25km (15 mile) hilly loop road around the island in the counter-clockwise direction while Sharon explored Lipari town by walking. Then we took another ferry boat ride to the island of Vulcano, and hiked up to the crater (following instructions in the Lonely Planet Walking Italy guidebook).

It did not seem likely that we would have been permitted to bring our bicycle on the hydrofoil ferry, but we saw signs for bicycle rentals on Lipari island -- and there are also slower ferries which carry cars.


  • Ken found the loop road very spectacular for views of the sea and other volcanic islands -- thought definitely Sharon should rent a bicycle next time so we could do it together.

  • Sharon enjoyed walking around the town -- thought definitely we should have more time next time so we could walk it together (since most of it did not look promising for skating).

  • Vulcano crater hike was very spectacular and worthwhile.

  • Glad I did the loop in the counter-clockwise direction, so I could enjoy the mostly-moderate descent around the south side of the island on mostly-smoother pavement -- instead of going down a long steep hill on mostly-coarser pavement.

next time:

  • consider spending an overnight in the Aeolian islands (Isole Eolie) and visit some other islands for hiking. Salina island and Vulcano island also have roads, but they're shorter than the Lipari island road, and do not form a loop.

see Lipari island photos | Vulcano island photos


  • map: Touring Club Italiano 1:200000 map (actually we used pages from the "Sud" volume of our TCI three-volume road atlas for all of Italy)

The Michelin maps we had were helpful for planning and identifying scenic roads, but we did not find them detailed enough to rely on for navigating out on our bicycle tours in Italy. (On the other hand the Michelin maps for France are more detailed, and we do rely on them for navigation when touring in France).

  • cycling guidebook: Sizilien per Rad, by Carmen Fischer and Helmut Walter, 2006 (German language only).  [ Sizilien-Rad website ]

  • cycling guidebook: Lonely Planet Cycling Italy

  • hiking guidebook: Lonely Planet Walking Italy

  • general travel guidebook: Authentic Sicily, by Touring Club of Italy -- contains city maps in color, plus helpful suggestions.

see also: photo pages | overview map

tags: isola Sicilia isle Sicile Sizilien

completed the Route des Grandes Alpes of France

October 2007

I finished all the climbs over the high road passes from the Mediterranean Sea to Lac Leman (Lake Geneva) -- rode every kilometer from the sea to the lake. I did not do it in one continuous ride -- instead I rode different sections on different months in different years.

Also I did most of the sections as part of single-day loop rides, each of which usually included crossing one or two other passes in addition to the pass on my main Route des Grandes Alpes.

I've also finished doing every climb and every kilometer from the Mediterranean Sea to Martigny, Switzerland, following what I think is a more proper "grand" northern section for the Route than the official one -- see discussion + report.

(but as of October 2007 I have not yet finished my "grander" northern section all the way to Lac Leman.)

list of passes

This is my primary sequence South to North:

  • Col de Castillon

  • Col de Turini (1604m)

  • Col St Martin (1500m)

  • Col de la Bonette (2715m): with optional side trip to Cime de Bonette.

  • Col de Vars (2109m): though I liked better the Lac de Serre-Ponçon alternative.

  • Col d'Izoard (2360m)

  • Col de Montgenevre (1854m)

  • Col du Mont Cenis (2084m)

  • Col de l'Iseran (2764m)

  • Cormet de Roselend (1967m): short side trip up and down east side of Col du Pré (1700m) is recommended.

  • Col des Saisies (1650m)

  • Col des Aravis (1486m)

  • Col de la Colombière (1613m)
    . . . with optional crossing of Romme (which I'm not recommending)

  • Col des Montets (1461m)

  • Col de la Forclaz (1526m) (alternate is Finhaut and unpaved path in Gorges du Trient)

  • Pas de Morgins (1371m) - [ but I haven't crossed this pass yet as of October 2007, because I first finished the "official" northern section to the lake, and so far stopped my grander version in Martigny]

official route between Col St Martin + Col du Vars:

  • Col de la Couillole (1678m)

  • Valberg

  • Col de Cayolle (2326m)

official northern section between Colombiere + Lake Geneva:

  • Chatillon-sur-Cluses (735m)

  • les Gets

cyclists might consider two possible alternatives to les Gets: (a) TdF 2006 took Verchaix - Samoens - La Combe d'Emeru - Col de Joux-Plane; (b) Col de la Ramaz (1559m) - Col de Jambaz (1027m) (or easier to bypass Chatillon-sur-Cluses and Ramaz and take D26 from Scionzier to Jambaz) - (might also consider Col de Terramont (1096m) + Col de Cou (1117m) or Col des Moises (1123m)).



I think the mountains are prettier with snow on them, and the earlier in the summer you ride, the more snow. But there's also the risk of a pass being closed because of snow. And perhaps our legs are in better condition for lots of days of climbing later in the season.


I like South-to-North better, mainly because

  • it's a crescendo of grandeur and "alpine-ness" leading to Mont Blanc (especially if doing the unofficial "grander" northern section over Col des Montets).


passes and sections which are better going North-bound

  • (if doing "southern gorges" variation) perhaps Gorges du Cians: to spend more time viewing the interesting rocks and cliffs.

  • perhaps Vars, especially early in the season: with a view of snow on the Ecrins mountains toward the north. And the descent of the north side seemed decent.

  • Izoard: spend more time in the interesting "desert" section on the south side, and more time in the gorge lower down, by climbing that side. Also I found the north side to be an interesting descent.

  • (if doing Mont Cenis variation) Montgenevre: fun descent of east side, and more generally downhill riding on the main road in Italy connecting east to Susa.

  • (if doing "official" Galibier version): I think the views from the road from Briancon to Lauteret are nicer going northwest, and the north side of Galibier is more interesting as a descent than the south side. Also the lower part of the north side between St-Michel-de-Maurienne and Col de la Telegraphe is mostly just a long slog thru the forest as a climb, so better to get thru it quickly as a descent.

  • Iseran: many people find the south side prettier because almost no ski lifts, so climbing that side spends more time on that side, less time looking at ski lifts.

  • (if doing "grander" northern section): the climb from Sallanches thru Passy and Servoz to les Houches is often pretty and pleasant, so better to savor it in uphill direction.

  • (if doing "grander" northern section): Col de la Forclaz on its northeast side is sustained steep with lots of traffic, so likely most cyclists would prefer to get thru it quicker. The alternative Gorges du Trient has a 600 meter tunnel on its northeast side, which goes quicker in the North-bound direction.

passes and sections which are better going South-bound

  • perhaps Turini, since the climb from south is not that interesting.

  • perhaps Cayolle: spend more time in the pretty gorge on north side.

  • (if doing Mont Cenis variation) Mont Cenis: fun descent of south side.

  • (if doing "official" Galibier version): Getting thru the less-spectacular road between Lanslebourg and St Michel de Maurienne is quicker going southwest, and getting thru the high-speed traffic on the road from Lauteret to Briancon is quicker going southeast. Also the north side is more interesting high-mountain terrain, so climbing up thru it allows spending more time savoring it.

  • perhaps Aravis, since the descent and views from north side are not so interesting, but seemed to me like descent of south side might be interesting.

  • (if doing "grander" northern section): perhaps Montets, since get more views of Mont Blanc massif while riding if going south-bound, and climbing up thru Vallorcine is pleasant, while climbing up the south side has steeper curves sometimes with vehicle traffic to thing about. Also the high-traffic section between Argentiere and Chamonix goes quicker south-bound.

  • (if doing "grander" northern section): unpaved section of Gorges du Trient between Salvan + Finhaut is too steep to be a fun downhill, so might as well hike up it.

Route choices (south to north)

  • Southern gorges versus higher passes: If you are looking to ride the highest cols (and "Grandes" in French does mean big) then there is no question: You must go over Turini, which means starting in Menton (or possibly Nice or Ventimiglia). A different approach is that the middle and northern parts of the route have no shortage of high passes, and in the south perhaps the gorges are more interesting than the passes. So some people start toward Grasse and the Gorges du Loup and then the Gorges du Cians. This choice also fits well with doing Col de la Cayolle instead of Col de la Bonette.

  • Bonette versus Cayolle: No doubt Col de la Bonette is higher, and Cime de Bonette has a bigger view than Cayolle and is the highest paved road in France -- but what you can see from Bonette is not as dramatic as from some of the passes further north. Many riders think the gorge on the north side of Cayolle is pretty and interesting, and Cayolle is the "official" Route. Bonette is more directly connected with the high col of Turini, while Cayolle is more direct with Gorges du Cians.

  • Col du Vars versus Lac de Serre-Poncon: Vars is obviously higher and harder. Lac de Serre-Poncon is obviously prettier and more different from other sections of the Route, so adds bigger variety.

  • Galibier versus Montgenevre - Mont Cenis: Col du Galibier is higher and it's in France and it's the "official" Route and it's one of the famous cycling passes of France. Lac du Mont Cenis is more different from other passes on the Route. For me what's decisive is that Galibier is part of the Marmotte loop route, which makes sense as a separate "grand" mountain cycling tour of its own, therefore no need to duplicate it on this route. Also, Mont Cenis is a more direct route to Col de l'Iseran, and going over Montgenevre is more interesting than some of the connecting roads to Galibier.

  •  Romme versus not: Romme is a pass north of Col de la Colombiere. It does have an interesting view, both back toward Colombiere and north toward some other crags + mountains, but the view does not include much more "grand" or "alpine" than what was already seen of the northern Aravis in descent from Colombiere. I found the descent of its north side mostly too steep to be fun. I suspect climbing to it from the north would be pretty hard.

  • northern section "official" versus "grander", Col des Gets versus Col des Montets: The official route over Chatillon-sur-Cluses and les Gets is shorter and easier and stays entirely inside France, but avoids the Mont Blanc massif. The grander route is much longer and harder and partly passes outside of France, but gets up close to the most "grand" and most "alpine" mountains of France: Mont Blanc, the Aiguilles de Chamonix, and the Aiguille Verte (also the Dents du Midi of Switzerland) -- see more discussion.

One-way versus Loops

I was glad I road it as separate loop routes: (a) I got to see roughly twice as much distance of roads thru the French Alps and ride across twice as many passes; (b) I got to ride each section in good weather; (c) It gave me an excuse to come back for multiple trips.

Loop routes

These are loop routes that correspond to the different passes of the primary south-to-north route passes above:

Col de Castillon + Col de Turini

I rode over these passes as part of this loop counter-clockwise: Nice -> Menton -> Col de Castillon -> Sospel -> Col de Turini -> Levens -> Nice.  See report.

I kind of doubt I'd ride this again. Instead just enjoy riding lower roads in the mountains north of Nice.

Col St Martin

I rode a loop counter-clockwise thru La Tour sur Tinee -> Utelle -> St Martin Vesubie -> Col St Martin.

Interesting adventure to ride once, but I doubt I'll try riding it again.

Col de la Bonette

I rode this loop clockwise: Jausiers (1213m) - Col de Larche / Colle della Maddelana (1991m) - Vanadio(IT) (900m) - Col de la Lombarde / Colle della Lombarda (2350m) - Isola 2000  - Isola (875m) - St Etienne de Tinee (1150m) - Col de la Bonette (2715m) - Cime de Bonette (2802m) - Jausiers (1213m).  See report.

My rough estimate is that it was +4350m of climbing over 161km of distance.

A big challenge to take on, and it was satisfying to complete it once -- but I didn't feel that the scenery and riding quality were sufficient to make me want to put in the large time and effort needed to do it again. What I liked: (a) descent east from Col de Larche; (b) upper section of Col de la Lombarde climb on east side; (c) descent of north side of Col de la Bonette. The peaks were not all that dramatic, so better to do it in early season with lots of snow.

Col de Vars

I combined the Col with lots of riding above and along the Lac du Serre-Ponçon. I rode a loop counter-clockwise thru Barcelonnette - Jausiers - Col de Vars (2109m) - Guillestre - Embrun - D9 west up to Les Truchets above Lac du Serre-Ponçon, descended D841 + D641, then D954 along the lake.  See report.

My rough estimate is that it was +2400m of climbing over 135km of distance.

I'd like to find a loop that would give the nice views of the Lac du Serre-Ponçon but without going over Col de Vars. I've heard there's another higher col west of Vars which is not fully paved (? Col du Parpaillon - 2637m - with a tunnel ?) -- that might be interesting to try once. Or perhaps some loop with lots of views of the lake without doing any big climb.

Since the view of the high Ecrins peaks from Vars is of their south faces, they're more likely to still have snow on them if cross Vars in early season. When I did in September I did not notice any snow visible, which disappointed me.

Col d'Izoard

I combined the Col with riding along the other side of the river Durance valley, and a little ways up into the Pelvoux mountains.

I rode a loop counter-clockwise thru Briancon - St.Blaise - N94 - D4 - l’Argentiere - D38 - Pallon - Champcella - Guillestre - D902 gorge of Combe du Queyras - Arvieux - Col d’Izoard (2360m) - Briancon.  See report.

Great variety and views: I'd be glad to do it again.

Col de Montgenevre

I included Col du Montgenevre in a loop with the city of Briancon and with Col de l'Echelle.

I rode a loop counter-clockwise thru Briancon - Col de Montgenevre - Cesana Torinese (Italy) - Oulx - Bardonecchia - Col de l'Echelle (? Italian = "Scala" ?) - Nevache in Vallee de la Claree - Briancon. See report.

Interesting enough to ride again (especially descent of east side of Montgenevre), but not the top of my list.

(I also rode a counter-clockwise loop over (unpaved) Colle della Finestre, between Sestriere and Susa.  See report.  But I'm not doing that again, or including it in my sequence of passes.

Col du Mont Cenis

I did not ride this as a loop, instead up and back from Susa (including over down to Lanslebourg and back).  See report.

I liked the views of the lake and the descent of the south side, but I wish the climbing were shorter.

It would be interesting to try the loop thru Modane and Bardonecchia using the bus thru the Tunnel de Frejus.  See report.  Not sure which direction I'd want to ride it -- I'm leaning toward clockwise, to take the south side going downhill.

Col de l'Iseran

The loop for this pass seemed me to be too long to be worth it. So I just rode both sides of Col de l'Iseran as up-and-back routes -- the south side from Lanslebourg and the north side from Lac de Chevril. Another time Sharon and I rode the north side up-and-back on our tandem starting from Val d'Isere (see report) -- (we both though we'd to that again). I'd guess more riders prefer the quieter south side, and I would ride that again starting from Bessans. 

Cormet de Roselend

I combined this with the (unpaved) Cormet d'Areches.

I rode this loop counter-clockwise:   Areches (1050m) - Cormet d'Areches (2008m) - Aime (700m) - high D86 (Versant du Soleil route) (1000m) - Bourg St Maurice (810m) - Cormet de Roselend (1967m) - Beaufort - [ Col des Saisies loop ] - Areches (1050m)

short side trip up and down east side of Col du Pré (1700m) is recommended.

My very rough estimate (excluding Col des Saisies loop) is +2600m of climbing over 100km of distance.

Lots of fine scenery on this loop, but too much distance on too much gravel on the crossing of Cormet d'Areches (especially its south side). Since I now know that the Versant du Soleil route can be done as a rather nice loop with the Isere river bike path -- and without the Cormet d'Areches gravel, I doubt I would do that loop again. Instead I'd try this alternate way to do Cormet de Roselend and Col du Pré. 

Col des Saisies

I rode this loop counter-clockwise: road junction near Beaufort -> Col des Saisies (1650m) -> Flumet (925m) -> balcon road on west side of Gorges d'Arly - north side of Ugine (? 400m ?) -> Col de la Forclaz (871m) -> Quiege -> road junction near Beaufort

My very rough estimate for this loop is +2100m of climbing over 75km distance.

I doubt I'll ride this loop again. I was forced to ride the balcon on the west side of Gorges d'Arly because the main road was closed for construction. There are views across the gorge from the "balcon" road, but those views were mostly of distant trees. An alternate might have been something thru Crest-Voland.

Col des Aravis + Col de la Colombière

I rode this loop clockwise: Flumet (925m) - Col des Aravis (1486m) - D12 junction (865m) near St Jean de Sixt (950m) - Col de la Colombière (1613m) - [ Romme (1297m) ] - Cluses (485m) - Sallanches - old road to Combloux - Megeve (1113m) - Flumet.

My rough estimate for this loop (omitting Romme) is +2400m over 107km distance.

Not convinced I'd ride this again, unless it were early season with snow on the Chaine d'Aravis mountains. View of Mont Blanc from the old road between Sallanches + Combloux was nice. Next time I might try the southeast side of Aravis as out-and-back. Romme had decent views, but the north side was too steep for me to have an enjoyable descent. 

Col des Montets

The loop for this pass seemed me to be too long to be worth it. So I rode the south side up-and-back from Sallanches (thru Passy + Servoz + les Houches + Chamonix) -- and I would do that again. I rode the north up-and-back from the Switzerland border and the Gorges du Trient - Col de la Forclaz loop -- and I would do that again.  See photos + report.

Col de la Forclaz and/or Gorges du Trient

I rode both of these as part of a loop clockwise: Martigny (Switzerland) - Col de la Forclaz - Switzerland/France border - [ side trip in France to Col des Montets ] - Finhaut - Gorges du Trient - Salvan - Martigny.  See photos + report.

I'd ride this loop again, but next time I might try riding this loop counter-clockwise, and I might add another side trip to the Lac d'Emosson.

Looks like from the France-Switzerland border climbing the southwest side of Col de la Forclaz is about +450 vertical meters of climbing. Climbing from the main road north and west to Emosson might something like +900 vertical meters of climbing.

The lower section of the Gorges du Trient road goes thru a tunnel roughly 500 meters long -- see more details in report.

Pas de Morgins

I have not ridden this pass yet. I'm considering a loop with Evian-les-Bains, Monthey, St Gingolph.

My rough estimate for this loop is +1500m of climbing over 100km distance.

more . . .

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