Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Bikes: True North tourer (www.truenorthcycles.com), 2004; Miyata 1000, 1985
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The hardest part is the Gotthardpass, but you can skip that and take the train from Goschenen (or earlier) to Airolo. From Airolo to Biasca is one of my favourite routes. It's 40km downhill with the most spectacular views.
I biked from Zurich to Como via the Gotthard Pass in 2004. It was a pretty ride, although I found the pass itself extremely challenging. Aside from a few kilometres of plateau about half way to the top, it is uphill all the way. Unless you are in top physical form and have a light load, count on two full days of climbing.
(I pushed too hard, lost the ability to climb, and in the end, spent five or six days resting in Bellinzona in southern Switzerland. The muscles in my legs simply gave out. If I were to do this trip again, I would take three or four days for the climb.)
In general, car traffic along the route was light. Traffic was somewhat intense as I neared Como. There are several tunnels on the Gotthard pass, so bright lights and a reflective vest are good things to have.
If you have the legs, check out the delicious mountain roads between Airolo and Biasca. After passing Airolo, head north into the hills, and follow the network of bucolic roads that parallel Route 2. Ahh!!!!