Lakes and Hills…

Crikey.  Its been a while.  Despite having finished this trip months ago, I wanted to post something about the final week heading across from Lac Leman to St Gallen… more for my own memory than anything else.  So here are some notes from that week, as well as some photos. Day 1 – New brake […]

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Psssssffffftttttt…..

Well, it had to happen eventually. After one thousand, one hundred and thirty something miles, I had a puncture. What kind of hardcore terrain did this, I hear you ask. Was it some kind of hardy alpine plant with vicious thorns? Or perhaps a nasty bit of jagged Jura rock? Errr…. No. I somehow managed […]

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The Beginning of the End…?

So after getting up early for sunrise views of / from the Creux du Van, a quick coffee and breakfast (muesli pour moi, two carefully fried eggs for Uwe, the yolks of which he took great pleasure in wolfing down in one) we headed off back to the trail. I was feeling good as it […]

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A Daily Beasting

Each day on the Jura route seemed to follow a similar pattern. Head off and fairly soon hit a hill. Pedal upwards slowly. Try to avoid cows. Follow the route as it peels off the roads onto forest tracks or rocky, slippery ascents. Push. Sweat a lot. Cross the plains on the top through forests […]

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What a Load of Old Bull

The Swiss farmers seem to like their electric fences. They use them to keep these guys under control (although given the Swiss love affair with all things bovine, perhaps the fences are actually there to keep us from bothering the big fellas) and are pretty much everywhere. [This guy is not your (my) friend] The […]

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Back to Square One?

Staying in city hotels makes you weak. That’s now my considered opinion. I’d been feeling a bit under the weather in Basel, just like I was coming down with something but needed a couple of nights of good sleep. But somehow with four nights of a double bed, proper pillows and a duvet I didn’t […]

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Hills, Hills, Hills

So, I’ll try to keep the word count down, but the next few days kind of built on the first only getting better all the time! On day 2 I had intended to head off down the river to get some miles covered but took the wrong turn as I headed out of Nagold and […]

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I Found Some Singletrack!

[Lovely smooth singletrack] So partly feeling demoralised that I’d failed at the first attempt with the mountain bike route, I headed off down the river valley, secretly happy to be on flat tarmac. Every so often I would come across little signposts with distances to all manner of places pointing up footpaths. Cyclists use these […]

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Never Underestimate The Germans

aka: never underestimate the weight of a loaded bike aka: a plan never survives contact I’ve struggled to write this as it feels like a lot has happened in the last week – first hills, first proper off road, first riding off-map/route. I’ve failed with the ‘little and often’ mantra that is meant to make […]

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Another Day, Another Big City Negotiated

Heading down the Rhine, I’ve now had the dubious pleasure of cycling into, through and straight out of some of Holland and Germany’s major cities: Rotterdam, Dordrecht, Arnhem, Duisburg, Dusseldorf, Bonn, Mannheim, Koblenz, Mainz, Karlsruhe. The experience normally goes something like this: – hit the city boundary and buildings (often industrial estate) with slight surprise; […]

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Wine on the Rhine

A resting couple of days in Koblenz was great, drinking too much coffee, reading and bike window shopping at Canyon’s factory shop which happens to be there (which I really didn’t know about in advance!). [Hero lives here: This tent and bike belongs to a Japanese guy I met who has spent the last two […]

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Baggage, Baggage, Baggage

I rode my bike today for the first time in a couple of weeks without any bags on it. What a revelation. How smooth! How quick! How light! How agile! How bloody difficult to steer and keep going the way you think you want it to. No longer weighed down and laboriously heading in the […]

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What a Difference the Sun Makes

After an uninspiring couple of nights in Duisburg I then had a glorious couple of days in the sunshine heading down 60 miles to Koln for one night and then another 65 onto Koblenz, passing through Dusseldorf and Bonn on the way. Both Koln and Koblenz are lovely. The route is now leaving the agricultural […]

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Ein Bitter Bitte

There is something about using the word bitte in a sentence asking for a beer that makes my brain want to actually ask for a bitter. The above sentence hasn’t yet popped out of my mouth but I’m sure it’s only a matter of time, intentionally or otherwise. [The border] Its been a slightly frustrating […]

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Drizzling in Dordrecht

To be honest, this could have been called ‘Hammering it down in the Hague’, ‘Raining in Rotterdam’ or ‘Pissing it down in Pannerden’. Let’s just say that it’s been rather wet. Some first few days statistics: – Thunderstorms endured on day 1: 1 – Sets of bike shorts currently wet: 2 (out of 3) – […]

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And We’re Off…

Somehow it has taken the best part of a week after finishing work to sort out my flat, gather my things and get myself ready to head off. I seemed to spend successive days trying and failing to tick the same things of my list(s). Because I’m heading off a couple of weeks later than […]

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Udderly Smooth…

  I’ve never used this kind of stuff before, and it’s always seemed a bit weird. But I am led to believe that over the next two months, this will become my best friend: Originally made for cows. Moo.

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Finally, a Route!

Well its all been a little quiet on here on account of the last month or two being pretty much taken up with buying a flat & moving in, moving out of the old one, trying to finish up my work, and sorting the bike out. Plenty of things to do, no time to write […]

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Bike Shop Zen

The relatively new gears on the bike had been pretty slick until I was trying to fit the new mudguards and racks. Keeping the bike upright without a stand whilst working on it is a bit of a pain so I ended up having to prop the bike up against a bench, and where it […]

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Rollin’ Rollin’ Rollin’…

So, some decisions have been made… 🙂 Brixton Cycles kindly provided and fitted a nice set of rigid steel Surly 1×1 forks which are lighter than my old ones and contain the right fittings for both disc and v-brakes (the v-brake fittings are used for attaching my pannier racks – more on those another time). […]

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A Wandering Path

It’s probably about time that I actually looked at a map in detail.  It sounds as if navigating by cycle in France is as easy as finding a little road on the map that heads in roughly the right direction, and pedalling off.  Lovely!  However, I do want to end up heading in roughly the […]

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