PASSO MONTE CENERI

After I had conquered yesterday the Gotthard pass, today immediately the second highest pass of my trip by bike to Venice comes up to me: The Passo Monte Ceneri! The railroad and also the motorists on the highway have it again very easy and go down through a tunnel to the other side. I have of course chosen the way over the top! After the effort yesterday, the night was definitely too short.

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THE GOTTHARD PASS

On my trip by bike to Venice I come across my fear opponent today: The 2'106 m high Gotthard pass! Actually, the Gotthard pass should have been opened only next Thursday to Ascension Day. But because there was record-breakingly little snow this winter, it was already opened the day before yesterday on Friday, almost a week before. So I was lucky – or not, because then I would have had a good excuse to take the train through the Gotthard tunnel.

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TO VENICE BY BICYCLE

It has already become a tradition: Every year for the past ten years, we’ve taken a weekend city trip together. Even during the Corona pandemic, we had always found a solution. This year it was Venice’s turn. Thanks to a holiday it even became a long weekend. We, that is besides me Gabi, Gloria, Manu and Dani. With Dani I have already made some day trips by bike and for next year we are planning something huge together.

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AROUND LAKE LUCERNE

We are lucky, because today is Sunday and as it should be for a Sunday, the sun is shining! “We” means that I am not alone on the road today, but accompanied by three friends: Tina, Gunnar, and Daniel. At the beginning of the bike season, we meet almost traditionally for a rather leisurely, but quite challenging round around Lake Lucerne. Unfortunately not around the whole lake, because from Bauen up to Seelisberg there is no road, but only a steep hiking trail with 850 stone steps!

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FIRST HUNDRED

Exactly a week ago at the SlowUp in Ticino I completed the first tour with the new electronic shifting on my gravel bike. That was a very chill little round. Today it’s time for a “real” test, a big ride with a lot of gravel, a lot of forest, a lot of uphill and a long downhill. I start as so often directly from home in the center of Lucerne. But the ride out of the city is relatively relaxed, I’m on a quiet neighborhood road in a few minutes at the Reuss.

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ON THE ROAD AGAIN

Finally, the time has come: My beloved Gravelbike got his new shifting. It sounds so simple. Yet the list of replaced parts is really long (and correspondingly expensive): New rear derailleur New cassette New chainring New chain New brake and shift levers New front and rear brakes New brake pipes New handlebar tape After the first (not last!) Oiling (the chain) with DryFluid I could not wait to make a first ride and familiarize myself with shifting and braking.

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HELLO SRAM

The dice have been thrown. I have made my decision. The parts are ordered. The appointment with the bike mechanic of my confidence is made. After another problem with my rear derailleur and the subsequent decision to replace the rotor rear derailleur is now final that my beloved gravel bike gets an electronic shifting from SRAM. The conversion will be somewhat larger, since also the chain, the chainring, as well as the brake levers and thus also the brakes must be replaced.

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GOODBYE ROTOR

Last week the rear derailleur broke during my bikepacking tour from Lucerne to Brühl to attend the JavaLand conference, I had already written about it. I built my gravel bike almost two years ago to the day and this is already the second broken rear derailleur in two years. So slowly I lose confidence in my shifting. But what were my reasons for selecting a Rotor drivetrain, what problems I had and above all, what happens next?

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BLACK FRIDAY

Freezing cold at -2 °C but sunny - that’s how my Friday started. I was really in a good mood, because at least it was dry and the forecast promised for the noon even double-digit plus degrees. After a hearty breakfast I felt sufficiently strengthened and ready for the biggest climb of my four and a half day tour from Lucerne to Brühl near Cologne over a total of 700 km.

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REDESIGN & REBOOT

If you look closely, you may notice some changes on my website. The layout is now more dynamic and adapts better to smartphones and tablets. Besides the language, you can now also choose between a light and a dark appearance. But not only the design has changed, the biggest adjustment took place under the hood: Instead of Jekyll, I now use Hugo to generate this website from my posts. The configuration is easier and the directory structure is clearer for me.

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