It's a bit like bike trips, isn't it. Life.
There's baggage to drag along. Things get lost. You feel like you're on top of it all before you get smacked in the face by reality, and your are racing against time and it's dark and you slept too little and you shouldn't have had that bourbon and you lose essential gear and the shops all close in 15 minutes and brake shoes cost you 90 franks and you almost get run over by a train and all you can think about is food, even if it's a cardboard Golden Arches burger.
Sorry, I think i drifted a bit.
So Switzerland. She may seem like a grand old lady that has her affairs in order. Never running late, always meticulously dressed, impeccably behaved. A bit on the safe side. Maybe even slightly boring, in a miss Universe kind of way. Pretty, yes. But not one to take out on an all night bender with your friends.
But don't have her fool you. She's majestic, without a doubt. But she's not afraid to get a little dirt on her hands either. She sure showed us. But not before Aigle tried to stop us first.
Aigle. The epicenter of cycling if you'd ask the UCI. Where we almost didn't get to ride, until we got saved by the mechanic of the local bike shop. The one that charged us 90 franks for brake shoes, but that was the grand old lady's fault, not his. He also happened to know the guy who knew John who told us the Col de la Croix was just a snow-plough away from being passable. So of course we tried.
The guys peed when we reached the top. Might be a territorial thing, come to think of it. Yellow snow is still snow though. We dismounted our bikes and took it by foot for a few miles. It sure looked all downhill from there.
But a real lady knows how to exit a party. She saved the grand gesture for the final descent home. By trying to keep things together, we ultimately got split up. Jon, Frank and myself ended up on a steep gravel section that led us to an unforgetable backstage tour along the gritty parts of this mountainous beauty.
I'm certain the postcard version of Switzerland is a reality. But what she showed us this time must have been her cheeky side. The stuff that isn't cut out with an army knife. The parts she only shares with close friends. Those turn of events that form bonds with the ones you're with, as you are in it together. And, not to forget, some amazing places to pee.
Yes, she gave us a hard time. But who needs perfect anyway.
I loved her for it.