An amateur cyclist from London took on the daunting Haute Route Dolomites, a 900 km ride over some of Europe’s most intimidating climbs, on a retro single speed bicycle.
“I’m in awe of the largely forgotten cycling heroes of the early part of the 1900’s who tackled these climbs on old, heavy single speeds.” -Mike Gluckman
The Haute Route Dolomites is a challenge under the best conditions. The 7 day sportif includes a whopping 21,000 meters of climbing through the Swiss Alps. That wasn’t enough for Mike Gluckman, who wanted to experience what it was like for cyclists in the early 20th century, who rode single speeds.
Gluckman loaned a Bianchi L’Eroica from Bianchi fitted with a 48×23 gear combo, and hit the road.
Cyclist Tackles Swiss Alps on Vintage Single Speed Bicycle
Makes my 39×25 climbing gear look positively wimpish! Nice going Mike!
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Let’s face it, sprinting is fun, descending is thrilling, but the real action in cycling happens in the hills. When the road turns skyward, the gloves come off. If sprinting is a duel, over in a flash, climbing is a vicious, bare-knuckled slugfest that intensifies the agony and drags on, leaving everyone battered and bruised, even the victor.
And yet this brutal battle takes place not in a back alley, but in some of the most spectacular places on earth, heightening the drama and the spectacle.
We have a great selection of climbs here in the US, from the short and brutal, to the longest paved climb in the world (34 miles).
Courtesy of GCN, here’s the Top Ten Climbs in the US.