"Bergkoenig" means mountain king. Gstaad (Switzerland) was the perfect location to host this two-day event. Gstaad is a famous ski resort in the Alps with out-lying villages at altitutes ranging from 950 to 1300 meters above sea level. Nearby peaks rise to over 3,000 meters.
This year, for the first time, a vintage cycling event was hosted here, August 26 and 27. As the name of the event suggests, it was all about hill climbing on vintage cycles. Approximately 200 entrants took part. There were five routes of varying difficulty. The main event--the Bergkoenig--compromised 103 kms with an altitude differential of 2400 meters. It would take about 8 hours to complete. The course traversed some of the most spectacular scenery the Alps have to offer. The steepest grade was 21% (up!).
For less adventurous participants, there were four additional routes, Pedaleur de Charme, each leaving from and returning to Gstaad, with climbs ranging from 300 to 500 meters, each route compromising about 20 kms. The four routes were chosen so that one could ride as many or as few as one desired, in any order, and complete them all in one day if desired.
Below are some scenes from three of the less-difficult routes, of the center of Gstaad, and of some of the bikes and their riders.
The organizer, Alex Beeler, put on a very fine event indeed, and we look forward to being there again in 2018.