Today marks my first cycling day in this years marathon ride which, hopefully, will take me to Les Gets to visit my apartment and maybe meet Euan for a walk or two. I hope to cycle over to Zurich to see my neühew then onto the start of The Danube River at Donoueschlingen, cycling down it’s full length of 2886 km (1,800 miles) to The Black Sea. Not sure what to do then but maybe go down to Istanbul.
The first day was with Sally on her lightweight racer with me lugging two panniers (hastily emptied a bit to allow the saddlebag to fit). Coming to a hill felt like someone was hanging onto the bike the descents are cool although above 22mph it gets a bit of a shake.
Here are the stats (note I’m wearing a Polar bluetooth H7 heart monitor & the bike is now fitted with the Wahoo SC bluetooth cadence & speed monitor all hooked into the iPhone5. Today I used the Strava app.
Now for the fish & chips lets hope they cost a bit less than the local PH drinks.
The photos are up on Google+
As most people know by now 🙂 I’m back in Cambridge after my mega bike trip.
I managed to bring my bike back, from my apartment in Les Gets, where I left it after last years ride out there.
To fit in with this years theme I decided to follow the Rhine (from its source near the Oberalppass) to the sea (near Rotterdam with its convenient ferry back to East Anglia). However, to get to the Rhine from Les Gets you have to follow the Rhone to its source as well. I managed to cycle from Les Gets down to Lake Geneva and then up the Rhone valley to Martigny but then decided to hop on the train to Andermatt where my Rhein-Radweg books start.
The overall trip was just under 1100 miles which I did in 14 days at about 10mph, 12 days of which was following The Rhine.
My Dawes Galaxy Tour worked perfectly standing up to the rough off road bits equally well as the super smooth bike paths. The gear ratios are all perfect 🙂 and Thierry adjusted the derailleurs so they clicked through effortlessly. After having it fitted with straight handlebars and click gears last year. This year I added the Altura drylined handlebar bag which worked perfectly. The new handlebar ends were disappointing and led to my rib damage! I need to find the ones like in Holland or that Gail has!
I fell off once with some damage to a rib which is still making me feel as though I’m having a heart attack a week later! However, it is improving.
I didn’t find the Germans or Swiss particularly friendly whilst riding so maybe the next trip will be to France / Spain or maybe New Zealand (A couple on a tandem had just come back from 6 months of touring NZ which they enjoyed).
Here is a table of all the various blog posts, Everyttail’s and Picasa pictures:-
||Day (Link to My Picasa pictures)
Trip Leg (Link to blog post)
|Miles (Link to trip on Everytrail)
||Thursday 8th July 2010
|Les Gets to Martigny train to Andermatt
||5 hr 30min
||Friday 9th July 2010
||Andermatt to Zizers
||7 hr 40min
||Saturday 10th July 2010
||Zizers to Rorschach
||6 hr 42min
||Sunday 11th July 2010
||Rorschach to Ellikon
||Monday 12th July 2010
||Ellikon to Basel
||Tuesday 13th July 2010
||Basel to Ottenheim-Schwanau
||Wednesday 14th July 2010
||Ottenheim-Schwanau to Maximillansau
||Thursday 15th July 2010
||Maximiliansau to Oppenheim
||8 hr 15min
||Friday 16th July 2010
||Oppenheim to Spay
||6 hr 35 min
||Saturday 17th July 2010
||Spay to Cologne (Köln)
||Sunday 18th July 2010
||Cologne (Köln) – Xanten
||Monday 19th July 2010
||Xanten to Wijik bij Duurstede
||Tuesday 20th July 2010
||Wijk bij Duurstede to Hook of Holland
||Wednesday 21 July 2010
|Harwich to Cambridge
||Total miles cycled
|1072.69 (Everytrail misses Day1 and Day 14)
Thanks to Joost and Chris at GlobalMotion I have a complete Everytrail of The Rhine part of the trip (hang on it takes a while to download):-
Cycling the length of The Rhine at EveryTrail
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Before leaving home I had carefully plotted and loaded into my GPS a Harwich to Cambridge route on Bikely, avoiding all towns and main roads.
It proved an excellent route, although one part was down a track, but I was used to that by now!
What a pleasure to have fellow cyclists, passers by etc to smile, wave even say hello! It certainly brightens up your day to have a cheery smile rather than the ‘expressions’ you get in Germany & Switzerland which give you the uneasy feeling that they would mow you down rather than recognize your existence! I think life over there is VERY serious! I cannot say that I felt the same way when cycling in France last year. Although it has to be said the futility of marking cycle lanes on the roads which disappear when you actually need one is extremely frustrating for all road users.
This is a very pretty route if quite hilly, taking me past many of the places I have walked with Sally on the Cambridge Rambling Club walks. In fact I had a lunch break in one of the pubs we have used on our walks!
The ride was 67.6 miles which I cycled in 6hr 3min
Total ridden miles since leaving Les Gets was 1072.69 🙂 No punctures or breakdowns just one painful cracked rib!
Heres my Everytrail off the trip :-
Harwich to Cambridge at EveryTrail
Plan your trips with EveryTrail iPhone Travel Guides
Total distance: 143853 m
Total climbing: 891 m
Total Time: 10:29:14
Today was the final Rhine day where The Rhine meets the North Sea, although a long time ago it met the River Thames and wound its way through what is now The English Channel to meet The Atlantic.
I did 90.5 miles in 8hr 13min making a near record 11mph! The smell of the sea beckoned!
For the first time I met a local cyclist who chatted to me on the Wijk ferry 🙂 , telling me about how their royal family’s home was in Buren, home of William of Orange which I was about to bike through! Not quite as glamorous as Windsor but very pleasant place.
I dashed on past the intriguing barns where the roof moves up and down on pulleys. Past the poignant memorial of Sylvia who never made it to her 16th birthday, yet another road death.
I crossed the river again in Gorinchen, a very pleasant place full of canals. Eventually making it to Rotterdam where I had the first experience of taking my fully laden bike down a long elevator to cycle through the long cool tunnel under The Rhine (Nieuwe Maas) then to hang onto the bike for grim death on the up elevator!
It was then, in what seemed like an eternity cycling down an endless path to the ferry! The lady at Stena said that only Comfort 2 berth cabins were available at €156 no breakfast but you could empty the mini bar! To wrecked to argue (apart from the additional €6 they wanted for the bike!) I sailed at 10.30pm with the big surprise of free open WiFi.