This video of Mike Cotty’s 1,012km ride to Chamonix is well worth it, if only to add a whole bunch of climbs to your bucket list and take in the extraordinary views.
Mike’s no stranger to epic rides, having completed a 666km monster ride from Evian-les-Bains to Nice last year. That ride took in 17 cols on its way to the sea but this monster route packs in 21, many of them well in excess of 2,000m, and a total of 21,250m of climbing. Or 2.4 Everests, since that’s the universally accepted height gain unit of anything like this.
A 1000km non-stop journey across the Dolomites, Eastern Alps and Swiss Alps.
Exploration is as much about overcoming the unknown challenges of the road ahead as it is about learning of one’s own physical and mental capabilities. On August 4th 2014 Mike Cotty faced the longest and hardest ride of his life, a personal challenge to see if it’s possible to cycle over 1,000km and 21 mountains non-stop across the Dolomites, Eastern Alps and Swiss Alps from Conegliano, Italy, to Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, France. Thunderstorms during the darkest depths of the night, a bitter cold dawn on the Passo dello Stelvio, punishing headwinds and the will to overcome adversity and sleep deprivation from over 50 hours on the bike and 21,250 metres of elevation make this journey an inspiring test of human reserve.
The mighty Stelvio (2,757m) was the highest point en route and Mike didn’t have it all his own way this time, having to endure some heavy rain on the first night. That’s when having a full Mavic backup car is a good idea…
The total riding time was 50 hours and 29 minutes, with just over three hours of breaks. Two and a bit days, then, at a riding average of just over 20km/h, over some pretty substantial terrain. The cobbles of the Gottard Pass, some 43 hours in, must have been a whole lot of fun.