«Wheels of Motion» at the Swiss Cycling Alpenbrevet

“Wheels of Motion” is a symbolic bike tour for people who might not be considered capable of such a tour. After its successful launch in 2022, it continues this year with a special highlight: the organisers of the Swiss Cycling Alpenbrevet bike marathon are dedicating a special ride to the social welfare organisation Brüggli.

350 kilometres, 7053 metres of altitude, 4 passes, 3 valleys, 3 gorges in 6 days: Brüggli is once again setting out to push the boundaries. The route leads over Gotthard, Lukmanier and Schwägalp through several cantons. The daily stages along picturesque and challenging routes cover up to 70 kilometres each and 1965 metres in altitude.

Ten individuals are currently preparing for the big tour, accompanied by five support crew. A well-rehearsed team that mastered 400 kilometres and 6,000 metres of altitude at the inaugural “Wheels of Motion” in 2022 – including over the Grosse Scheidegg and the Brünig – is now training for the next tour, starting on 2nd September. The schedule includes regular spinning sessions as well as vitality and mental training at the karate school. In addition, there are joint rides as well as private, individual preparation.

Breaking down barriers

People with mental, social and physical difficulties live with limits imposed on them not only by their situation but also by society. They are told what they cannot do. In the worst case they eventually believe these limits. “Wheels of Motion” is the recipe for an experience that leads to the realisation: more is possible if you are given the chance and if you prepare yourself conscientiously for it. We try, we dare, we make it happen.

This approach resonates with the organisers of the Swiss Cycling Alpenbrevet cycling marathon. 3000 cyclists from 28 nations took part in the Alpenbrevet 2022. Within the shortest possible time, they conquered passes such as the Gotthard, Susten, Grimsel, Oberalp, Nufenen and Lukmanier. Two of them, Gotthard and Lukmanier, are also on this year’s “Wheels of Motion” itinerary. This happy coincidence of common goals was an oppotunity to join forces.

Alpenbrevet Hero Tour

Alpenbrevet organisers commend the Brüggli participants on conquering two passes that are part of the Alpenbrevet, and for also covering a total of around 7,000 metres in altitude. “It is a great achievement in both the sporting and social sense,” says Patrick Huber, Project Manager of the Alpenbrevet, “and it deserves recognition.” To this end, the Brüggli team will be riding the Alpenbrevet Hero Tour, which has been created especially for them. “The name of the tour is no accident. In our eyes, the “Wheels of Motion” participants are heroes in that they are willing to push their limits,” says Patrick Huber. At the start in Andermatt they will receive special starting numbers and be kitted out with an Alpenbrevet jersey.

Naturally in it together

In the midst of all the cyclists, complete with their carbon racers and the latest kit, the colourful Brüggli squad will take their place, find their own rhythm, and ride the same serpentine roads and mountain passes. “It is a simple yet powerful gesture,” says Michael Haller, initiator and project manager of “Wheels of Motion”. For the Brüggli participants, he says, this is another sign of trust and support: “That experienced cyclists, and the organisers of one of the most popular and toughest cycling marathons in Europe, can see and understand what we are doing: that’s good for everyone.”

The social welfare organisation Brüggli is the driving force behind “Wheels of Motion”. Brüggli supports people with psychological, social and physical difficulties on the path to training and integration. 230 apprentices prepare for employment in more than 40 different professions. At the same time, Brüggli employs 300 people who are not (yet) able to enter the workforce. Additionally, the Romanshorn-based company is committed to helping clients deal with the challenges facing them after an accident or a crisis: Various assessment and support methods facilitate a gradual return to as independent a lifestyle as possible.