For the last two years, we have been working with the Swiss cycling apparel brand Assos on a project to document the finest road biking in Switzerland. The project started during our 2012 Swiss CrissCross, an idea that came about as a result of selfishly wanting to spend more time riding bikes. Together with our great friend Alain Rumpf, we dreamt up the idea to criss cross Switzerland by bike. First, by a difficult road bike route, followed by a grueling mountain bike itinerary back through the Alps, via singletrack. The project included 13 days of riding, one broken finger, two broken ribs, one knock out, 15 stitches, and thankfully, eight features in magazines around the world. Besides the broken body parts, heavy bruising and multiple lacerations, the project was a huge success.
The road biking segment was sponsored, in part, by Assos, a brand both Alain and I have used for years. And so one day, fitted head to toe in Assos, we entered a dimly lit tunnel on the summit of the Lukmanier Pass. Inside, I heard Janine yelling. I knew she was around as she was driving support and making photos of our progress. Then we realized she was shooting inside the tunnel from where she had climbed up into a window. It turned out she had been waiting for us for two hours in the dank crawlspace, while Alain and I, after a cold descent on our previous pass had opted for a little sunning & caffeine time at a cafe on the bottom of the pass. Janine didn’t have cell service so just waited…… what made her stick it out was that thanks to some road work going on, a water truck was spraying the inside of the tunnel, creating a reflection of the window light.
Our arrival came just in time, the road was drying out and Janine was becoming concerned. Thankfully, we rolled through and she made the shot that was the one Assos fell in love with, used on their catalog cover, and sparked the idea that has led to two years of shooting the best road biking that Switzerland has to offer.
When Assos decided to do the project, there was a catch. I was the model they wanted. Yes, I fell out of my chair too… But, truth be told, I am a purebred roadie with 20+ years of experience training & racing in the US and Europe, plus I have the “look” and body type that makes me a candidate. I had a new job, to explore locations on my bike, and then ride for Janine, who has made every one of these images.
It’s been a great project that truly represents what Switzerland has to offer a road biker. Perfectly paved roads with stunning scenery. I hope that you’ll be rolling through these landscapes soon.
You can see more of our Swiss CrissCross story here.