One of Hanna Lutz's craziest adventures was her trip from Geneva to Nice on a fixed-gear bike. Not so much because of the distance of "only" 500 km, but because along the route she had to overcome 15 Alpine passes, for a total of over 10,000 meters of altitude difference.
In this adventure, however, Hanna Lutz was not alone, but in the company of 9 other cyclists, 9 other crazy lovers of two wheels and stuck sprockets, all coming from Stuttgart.
An exciting story for those who love hard work and great landscapes.
“Speechlessly I stop next to Marc on the summit of the Col du Galibier. We look at the valley and follow the winding road with our eyes. It runs gently against the mountainside. Below us, our friends slide on hairpin bends that seem to have been drawn in watercolour. Like little ants in red, blue and black jackets, they advance on the asphalt. The road is covered in white paint, almost indelible signs of the legendary stages of the Tour de France. it's like cycling over your favorite tattoo, you read the story in those brushstrokes, you remember the attacks, the challenges and the emotions that only cycling can offer.
Virtually no other hill on the tour takes cyclists higher than 2642 m. During the many sleepless nights that preceded the departure of this trip, we asked ourselves several times: "can we really manage to climb the most famous climbs of the Tour de France with a fixie?"
None of us were really sure we would reach the Mediterranean Sea, because we saw so many difficulties and unexpected events ahead of us. But we had a secret weapon: the power of friendship and teamwork. We were 10 cyclists from 2 different clubs, but united by a common passion and heritage. We met at the Rad Race Events and the streets of Stuttgart kept us together, sometimes in the true sense of the word (those who do fixed-line racing can understand).
The “Stuttgarter Velohelden” is more like a group of old friends who have known each other all their lives rather than a team. The Heaven and Hell Cycling Club is exactly like its name, a melting pot of candid and restless souls. An unpredictable mix of borderline characters is its greatest strength and at the same time its greatest weakness.
We were inspired by other fixie teams and, intrigued by the famous Alpine passes, we designed this challenge: starting from Geneva and arriving at the Mediterranean, passing through the Col de la Madeleine, the Col du Telegraphe, the Col du Galibier, the Col des Champs and the Col d' Allo. In practice, we did half of the climbs that a cyclist dreams of climbing at least once in his life in 5 days, for a total of 10,000 meters of altitude difference over 500 km.
As our companions from Velohelden and HHCC pass the highest point of the climb they are all smiling, each with a different smile and a dream in their head. I was smiling too as I set off downhill. It was the smile of someone who knew they had made it because we were at the highest point. What could stop us now? The day before it was the Col de la Madeleine that made us tremble. Scorching heat and an average gradient of 9% pushed us to the limit. However, conditions on the Galibier were instead ideal for 29 kilometers of climbing. 29!
Goosebumps, that's how my body reacted. I'm not sure if it was the cool wind or the view of the switchbacks below. More likely, the long descent that awaits us will be as exhausting as the climb, because in a fixie you don't have brakes, the only way to slow down is to continuously resist the pedals.
Two days later we arrived literally exhausted in Nice. We went straight to the beach to celebrate what we had accomplished together, as a team. Sometimes all it takes is one stupid idea and ten wonderful people to join together to find happiness!”