This was the first ever Jeroboam Switzerland, organised by Boldair Sport, 3T’s partner in the Jura region. It kicks off the Jeroboam season, with Italy, Czech Republic and Spain following in the next months. And all I can say is, try to participate in at least one of them.
Vincent Muhlethaler, one of the Boldair Sport owners, was the perfect host for Jeroboam Switzerland, and 5 staff members from 3T decided to accept the invitation and take part in the 150 km event with 4,000 m of elevation (thinking we’d save the 300km challenge for next year!)
The day started out a bit foggy and cold, so to be honest, there was a bit of a discussion on whether to do the 75 km (+1.900 m elevation) or the 150 km but at the end, we are cyclist and we like to suffer.
Remember this, if we start together, we arrive together.
The ride starts with a flat bike path section for about 5 km, enough to warm up before the climbing starts. 1.500 m of elevation gain happen within the first 20km, all of them on small roads and well packed gravel paths. The perfect combination for the Exploro, but not for all the riders! During the climb each one rode his own pace, reaching a beautiful plateau full of gravel paths. This area alone would be great to spend a few days exploring but we have to move on and follow the route.
Next 20km are all up and down in this gravel paradise, perfect to enjoy the new type of cycling that gravel bikes have brought. And in this case, we are not carrying any bags, so we and our bikes are light and we can push hard.
Does the gravel pro cyclist exist? We made ourselves believe we were, with the feeling of riding over 35 km/h on a gravel path, up and down. Feeling the bike light and reactive is priceless and still, after all these years, I love this about my Exploro. Gravel bikes with different characteristics also have their place, but I love how the Exploro is different, so focused on fast, even when I’m going slow.
Then it was time to leave this “gravel pro cyclist” trance, as one of our colleagues who was suffering pain in his foot since the departure and started to struggle more and more. As we agreed before; if we start together, we arrive together, and with many riding days still to come, we didn’t want to make his injury any worse.
At that point, we decided to not continue with the 150 km but come back safer on the 75 km with the 150 km challenge waiting us for 2020 (or that 300km of course).
Cutting the ride short wasn’t all bad, we got to enjoy the festival atmosphere at the finish for a bit longer that way!
After riding in the Jura, we are sure the Jeroboam Switzerland will continue for many years as we discovered one of the hidden gravel paradises in the world. I hope to see you there too next year!
And if you cannot wait that long, there are a few more Jeroboam events in September. See them all here.