Cycle the Alps Traffic-Free: Here's How


Photo by Will: Happy strangers near the top of a carless Col d'Izoard

With the Giro just over and the Tour about to start, I imagine it's a time when many start dreaming about booking a 2013 or 2014 cycling vacation to the Alps. Here's an idea on how to make a trip better.

Many big and famous passes in the Alps hold days where they close the road to motor traffic. This can vastly improve one's enjoyment on the bike, especially on a weekend on a famous climb. And especially to avoid hordes of touring motorcycles in August.

At all these events you will find riders of all levels, drink/ food stands, and an unbelievably high level of cheerfulness. These are not cyclosportives/races. No obligatory start times.

Here's a short list of closed climbs in 2012 - darn good list of climbs too. Could I ask people to add any other links they might know?

Savoie-Mont Blanc Region (my back yard)

16/06 : Montée du relais du mont du Chat (Will: REALLY HARD!)
24/06 : Col des Aravis (Will: they sell cow pelts at summit !?!)
30/06 : Col des Glières (Will: famous for National french resistance monument)
08/07 : Col de l'Iseran (Will: highest paved pass in Europe)
10/07 : Col de la Croix-de-Fer (Will: site of my avatar)
27/07 : Col de Pierre Carrée (Will: huge but never steep - good for debutants)
29/07 : Col de Joux-Plane (Will: bad for debutants, haha).
04/08 : Col du Glandon (Will: In 2012 TdF with Frinking Hairpins)
19/08 : Col de la Ramaz (Will: in 2010 TdF)
23/08 : Col de la Madeleine (Will: in 2012 TdF)
25/08 : Col de Champlaurent & Grand Cucheron (Will: in 2012 TdF)
02/09 : Montée du Cormet de Roselend (Will: graffiti marking where Bruyneel went over cliff)
16/09 : Montée du Semnoz - Col du Châtillon (Will: biggest climb near Lake Annecy)

Hautes-Alpes (France further south)

Lundi 2 juillet de 9h à 12h : Montée de Risoul (Will: hmm don't know it)
Mardi 3 juillet de 8h à 12h : Col d'Izoard* (Will: the land of Coppi / Bobet)
Mercredi 4 juillet de 10h à 13h : Col Agnel (Will: huge, Yeehoo's cycled it)
Jeudi 5 juillet de 8h à 12h : Col du Galibier* (Will: The Granddaddy)
Vendredi 6 juillet de 9h à 12h : Col du Granon (Will: 2nd highest ever TdF finish after Galibier)

Sella Ronda Bike Day (Dolomites)

June 24 & Sept: 23rd

Will: A 55 km high-altitude loop plus roads leading up to it all closed. Loop crosses four of the most beautiful Italian Passos: (Gardena, Pordoi, Sella, and Campolongo) as it circles the Sella. Truly awesome.

Stelvio Bike Day

Sept 1st

All three sides - including the Swiss side! Stelvio - enough said.

EDIT: Haute Alpes thx @gear_ratio

I don't know these, but a beautiful area:

Lundi 6 août de 9h à 12h : Montée de Chabre (Will: août = august)
Mardi 7 août de 9h à 12h : Col d'Espréaux
Mercredi 8 août de 9h à 12h : Mont Colombis
Jeudi 9 août de 9h à 12h : Col de Moissières
Vendredi 10 août de 17h à Minuit : Col du Noyer**

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Podium Cafe

You must be a member of Podium Cafe to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Podium Cafe. You should read them.

Join Podium Cafe

You must be a member of Podium Cafe to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Podium Cafe. You should read them.




Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.