50 Years in the Alps – April 22, 2008

bicycleoutfittersmDave Prion, Bicycle Outfitter shop manager, introduced Jobst Brandt at his 50th anniversary slide show of the Alps and summed it up best. “There are three legends in cycling, Fausto, Eddy, and Jobst.” If you know Jobst, you’ll agree.

He’s ridden more miles in the Alps than many cyclists have ridden in a lifetime. Consider this: well over 100,000 miles in 50 years; 50 pairs of tires; 52,500 ounces of Pepsi (410 gallons); more than 1,000 hotel stops. The list goes on.

At what seemed more like a family reunion, Jobst took us through the Alps (Switzerland, France, Italy, Austria, Slovenia), one pass at a time. He’s ridden all the classics – Gavia, Susten, Grimsel, Stelvio, Furka, Gotthard, Tende, Izoard, Galibier, the list goes on.

He peppered his talk with well-worn suggestions, at least for those who have ridden with him – pack lightly and sleep in hotels, bring a waterproof, hooded jacket, and it can snow at any time in the Alps. He showed photos of snowy white landscapes to prove it.

For those of us in attendance who accompanied Jobst to Europe, it was a trip down memory lane. Over the years, the long miles have been forgotten, replaced by memories of luxury hotels overlooking glaciers, fine meals and tall beers, spectacular mountain scenery.

Much like the swallows that return to San Juan Capistrano annually, Jobst goes back to the Alps every year for a three-week ride. We wish him well.

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