Gravel Culture: Gravel riding in Switzerland

Posted By Gravel Union On 27 January 2021

During the last year, world events have meant gravel riders have often been forced to ride from their door, rather than heading to distant lands for their gravelly adventures. If, like Andrew Terker and his wife, you are fortunate enough to call Switzerland your home, then gravel riding from your door looks absolutely stunning.

It is not very easy to come up with a definition of gravel cycling and how gravel riding differs from road cycling and mountain bike riding. In Switzerland that is even more difficult.
In Switzerland, we do not have the gravel roads that you can find in the American mid-west or in Tuscany. Here almost all cyclists differentiate between road bikes and mountain bikes. My wife and I were tired of having to switch between the two and were ecstatic when gravel bikes began to appear a few years ago.
We quickly discovered that we could cover all of our cycling needs with one single bicycle by having two sets of wheels for each bike: 700c for road and some gravel; 650b for serious mountain bike trails.
When you put wider knobbly tires on the 650b wheels and use gearing resembling a mountain bike, you have the perfect do-it-all machine.
In previous years, we have ridden in Tuscany, the French Alps and elsewhere every year. But, because of Covid19, 2020 was very different. We stayed at home in Switzerland and began to discover our own “backyard” much more intensely.
What we discovered was really beyond words in terms of natural beauty and wonderful cycling challenges.
These images are from our outings in our own “backyard” in eastern and central Switzerland.
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