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London to Switzerland - 4 days
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London to Switzerland - 4 days

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London to Switzerland - 4 days

Page Type: Trip Report

Location: Switzerland, Europe

Lat/Lon: 46.92026°N / 6.54785°E

Date Ridden: Nov 30, 1999 12:00 am

Activities: Paved

Season: Fall

 

Page By: RayMondo

Created/Edited: Oct 20, 2009 / Mar 4, 2011

Object ID: 272711

Hits: 3480 

Page Score: 78.27%  - 9 Votes 

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Crossing France

Well, despite that the full tour is now lost to memory and the sands of time, I can recall much of this great trip.

There I was at yet another Badminton tournament, this time in France, with lovely French and Swiss women around. It's maybe why I frequented so many events. I'd rode over from the North coast and played for the weekend, when at the dinner party, my accompanying friend engaged himself with this lovely French girl and I trying to get somewhere with the Swiss. Whereupon, I received and invitation to play in Switzerland. The idea appealed to me, for obvious reasons. A few ales had passed my lips and I said I'd cycle over, from London to La Chaux-de-Fonds, 450 miles, or so. And they thought I was joking!

With my cousin, we prepared over the coming months with long country rides and plenty of Badminton. Now ready, with the bags loaded, and the rackets, we set off, taking the ferry from the UK coast, arriving in Dieppe on a chilly Autumn morning. Money was short, so accommodation, apart from the one, in-reach, hostel would have to be found as we went. Skirting around Paris we headed south on good roads through Beauvais, Compiegne and Soissons for our first night at the hostel. And on next day through Chateau Thierry, the Champagne region and the Massif Central to, Chaumont. The roads now long and straight, with gentle long inclines across endless wheat fields and glorious sunshine.

Evening found us still remote in the countryside, interspersed with the occasional country village, though no barn found to doss down in. After taking a nighttime hot chocolate at the local "Bar", we set ourselves down on the church steps and without sleeping bags. A chilly and hard surfaced night dragged on, awaking to sore and stiff limbs and ready for that elusive big breakfast. Dawn riding led us to a cafe' stop with more hot chocolate drink and the road to Bescancon. Our 4-day target now becoming harder to achieve with less accumulated miles than required, and then to be tooted by some maniac in his car, and making gestures at us. I thought we'd need to get the rackets out and do some practice on him. Though, the gestures were in fact an invitation for roadside coffee, no less, as there he was a couple of miles up the road with stove out and the coffee on. Such charity, a Dutch guy and fellow cyclist. The several cups and the heavy shots of caffeine sped us on our way against a headwind, and into 35 miles of darkness, to arrive in Bescancon, where I slumped into a feather bed at a cheap hotel and slept like a log, ending a 135 mile day.

Into Switzerland

With the meagre croissant and coffee starter, for our last day we traversed up and over the increasingly mountainous Jura Mountains, and after 90 miles arrived at La Chaux-de-Fonds. Now searching for our hosts, we hauled our way up the mountainside and arrived at 18:55, all of 5 minutes early and Paolo's Pizza Mama beckoning us up for one of the many fabulous dinners she prepared for us. And I never ate so much pizza and spaghetti nor drank so much red wine. Well, after the 4 days and 450 miles, we needed it. Still, the evening wasn't over and we duly the spent the rest of the evening down at the Badminton Club, hobbling around with rubber legs. I extend my thanks to Paolo and his family for the wonderful hospitality.

Swiss nights

After much touring and Badminton, we rode the 60 miles to Lausanne via the spectacular climb on the View des Alps, and to train with the Swiss Badminton Team. After which we toured the surrounds and I found myself on a delicious date, whereupon Ellen described her parent's log cabin up in the mountains, and my thoughts turned to mixed doubles. So much said, and in the early hours I scampered back to the now locked Chateau hostel, and snuck back in by climbing onto the terrace and stacking several chairs on the table to reach the balcony railings of the dormitory. Ellen was there at the station next day to bid me farewell with a big smacker of a French kiss and fond memories. Man what a ride!

Images

The plane and the second long haul

Comments


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junodirtriderMixed doubles!!

junodirtrider

Voted 10/10

Oh, geez, Ray!! Sounds more like your own version of one on one!! Lucky you weren't climbing those chairs with Swiss rubbery legs too. I can just see you teetering on one foot to reach the balcony's railing and getting it one handed as the whole stack gives out from underneath leaving you dangling!! Love it!!
Posted May 20, 2012 11:38 am

RayMondoRe: Mixed doubles!!

RayMondo

Hasn't voted

Ha ha ha, yup, the chair stack was pretty dicey. Could have landed hard on the tiles - after a night out on the tiles. Ha ha ha !
Posted May 20, 2012 5:07 pm

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