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  1. #1
    Full of holes
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    Swiss ride report: Tour du Lac Léman

    It's a road ride: so shoot me.

    Scott is a sceptic tank* colleague of mine who is more roady than mountain biker. He's always been keen to ride around Lake Geneva, but in the two years he's been here, we've never managed to get the time out to ride this classic tour. This weekend, both his wife and Mrs SwissBuster were away visiting their respective families, so when the cat's away...

    Becase we had no-one to feed us, we met up on Saturday night for a pasta frenzy at my local pizzeria. Departure time was set for 9AM, following a weather check at 7:30. On Sunday, although everything looked a little grey early on, the roads were dry so after a short phone check, the ride was one. Scott rode the 15 minutes from his house to meet me in Coppet where we started, just as the sky cleared to a perfect weather day.

    Lake Geneva is Central Europe's second largest lake; it's a neat 100 miles around the shore, assuming you take the shortcut at the top end of the lake. We opted for the traditional route of Swiss-side-first, meaning a route though the cities of Lausanne, Vevey, Montreux, Evian and Geneva.

    5 hours 40 minutes of riding time later, I stumbled back into my driveway. We rode relatively easily to the half-way point and then for whatever dumb reason put the hammer down on the French side. We were both pretty toasted by the time we free-wheeled into Geneva.

    Some photos:


    Scott coasts through Coppet.


    The Chateaux de Chillon, just after Montreux.


    Scott rides through the vineyards near the top end of the lake.


    Scott crosses the Rhone at the North end of the lake.


    We made it to Geneva (that big building in the background is the UN).

    It's funny, but because this is a flat route, every small hill seems to gain a disproportionate size. The faux-plats into a headwind approaching Geneva seem interminable, but even a small hill was exasperating; I kept asking 'what the h3ll is a climb doing here?'. Never was this better demonstrated than on the final 50 meter climb up to my home, which has now been christened the Col de Commugny.

    Anywho, it's done; Scott's made his peace with this body of water and I've got my riders medal for 2007. Because we had no-one at home to cook for us, we met up post-ride at my place for a BBQ, a couple of cheeky beers and the tape of today's Tour stage. Good Sunday!


    * Cockney rhyming slang for yank, i.e. American.

  2. #2
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    Looks like a fun ride!

    OT: I poked around your site...
    I am on my 3rd 951

  3. #3
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    Cool.

  4. #4
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    More please!

  5. #5
    desert dweller
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    Awesome! A couple of years ago my buddy and I did a Tour of Lac Neuchatel and Lac Morat. Our ride was a little shorter (only 125km). But my buddy was riding a 10 year old mountain bike with knobbies and couldn't keep up with me on my Litespeed roadie.

    I was in heaven and he was just trying to survive the ordeal. I'd love to go back with both a mountain bike and a road bike (or live there for a few years) so I can explore more of the country via bicycle.

    mbb

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