Author Topic: Cycling in Switzerland  (Read 1425 times)

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Offline ArmChair

Cycling in Switzerland
« on: August 01, 2011, 05:26:01 pm »
I have a cycling trip planned this September in Switzerland, were we will be flying into Geneva with our bikes.  I'm looking to see if anyone knows of a hotel in Geneva that will accommodate our bike travel boxes while we ride the alpine panorama  route.  My plan was to fly into Geneva Switzerland- go to a hotel spend a night, assemble the bikes then ride for 2 weeks, return to the hotel and package the bikes up and fly home. 

The problems is that I have not found a hotel in Geneva that will store our boxes.

thoughts and suggestions welcome

Offline kraftorama

Re: Cycling in Switzerland
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2011, 04:24:48 pm »
I suggest you kindly ask a warmshowers host to store your boxes for you. I've been on both sides of this question.

Cycling in Switzerland is bliss. Enjoy.

Offline raybo

Re: Cycling in Switzerland
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2011, 11:07:26 am »
I did a two-week loop in Switzerland in 2009 (journal here).  The riding is outstanding.  I have an S&S coupled bike and I stored the hardshell case (a big suitcase, in essence) at a friend's house.

I would suggest you look at couchsurfing.com.  I had several hosts off that site and I'm sure one of them would help you out.  A quick look on couchsurfing.com for Geneva shows hundreds of potential hosts.

A couple of suggestions:

1) Get the bike map of Switzerland and learn how the bike path signs work.  I didn't use any other map the whole time I was there.

2) Remember that you can take your bike on a train. There were some climbs that weren't really worth doing that were long and steep.  I often passed a train station at the bottom and top.  I eventually took a train from Interlaken to Gstaad to save a vicious climb out of the valley.

3) Switzerland's food stores have fresh bread delivered every day that is really good for biking fuel.

4) Choose your climbs carefully.  Switzerland has some incredibly steep climbs.



5) All the lakes I saw were stunningly beautiful.

Ray
Visit the on-line bike touring archive at www.biketouringtips.com

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Cycling in Switzerland
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2011, 11:20:31 am »
I have cycled the German-Austrian-Italian Alps.  Be prepared to climb? Yes! It was my only tour when I wished I had a chain ring the size of a thimble on the front and one the size of a garbage can lid on the back. The scenery is absolute tops. The air should be clean.
There was a nice hostel in Geneva in 1983. I'm sure Genevans would not give up their hostels. I have motored through the Swiss Alps. 

Offline tonupgilly

Re: Cycling in Switzerland
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2011, 07:37:42 pm »
I have spent many a holiday over the last twenty five years camping in switzerland with my husband and kids (it's only a ten hour drive from UK).   You'll absolutely love it.  You can buy a visitors public transport pass valid for the length of your stay which entitles you to half price fares on nearly all public transport - that includes buses, trains, lake boats and the majority of cable cars and rack railways.   The Swiss don't have it for themselves - only the visitors get it.  You can buy it at any train, boat or bus station.  As far as I'm aware, you can take bikes on all forms of transport.    I have done much cycling there too - some really tough climbs, but the scenery is gorgeous.  The Swiss are rightly very proud of their country, which is spotlessly clean.  Are you camping or staying in accomodation?  I can highly recommend a beautiful campsite on Lake Thun at a small place called Gwatt (south side of lake)with stunning views along the lake towards Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau.  If you fancy a day off the bike a good day out is to take a bus from Gwatt to Thun - look around Thun (don't miss the castle), then take a lake boat to Interlaken (lunch on board), look around Interlaken and then get a train back to Thun - a lovely round trip.  Anywhere in Switzerland is beautiful - you won't be disappointed.  If you want a nice hotel on Lake Thun, look for the Niesenblick on the North shore at Oberhofen.  It is the cheapest hotel on the lakeside with a nice restaurant too.  Rooms look straight onto the lake. Sorry to go on - but this area is in the Bernese Oberland and is spectacularly beautiful with nice riding too.  Some of the high passes may get a bit of snow in September - we have been turned back in august because a pass was closed due to a heavy snow fall - but it probably wouldn't last long.  We may be there ourselves in September - in a box on four wheels though.
Enjoy.

Offline BigPapaK

Re: Cycling in Switzerland
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2011, 11:54:58 am »
I did a two-week loop in Switzerland in 2009 (journal here).  The riding is outstanding.  I have an S&S coupled bike and I stored the hardshell case (a big suitcase, in essence) at a friend's house.

Raybo, can you please tell us how you had your Waterford set up? 26" wheels? What size tires did you use? Components? I'm enjoying your journal!

Offline chrisch

Re: Cycling in Switzerland
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2011, 02:47:44 pm »
Here is a description and profile of the Alpine Panorama Route.  There are some major climbs on that route:

http://www.veloland.ch/en/routen_detail.cfm?id=20808&tour=route&art=national

I live at the opposite end of where you're starting, so I regret I can't offer storage space for your boxes.  Have a great ride!

Offline raybo

Re: Cycling in Switzerland
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2011, 12:04:46 pm »
Raybo, can you please tell us how you had your Waterford set up? 26" wheels? What size tires did you use? Components?

My Waterford has 700cc Wheels.  I have to take the tires off the rims to get them packed into the bike box. I usually use 700x28s and I had no problem with the hard-packed dirt on the non-paved trails.

As for components, I'm not sure as the make of my components it isn't something I pay attention to.  I am using the same equipment that the LBS put on it. According to the sales receipt, I have 12-34 XT cassette (since changed several times but still the same cluster, I believe), XT derailuer (I think).  I'm not sure what other information you might want.

Ray
Visit the on-line bike touring archive at www.biketouringtips.com

Offline BigPapaK

Re: Cycling in Switzerland
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2011, 12:43:48 pm »
I thought the wheels looked to be 700. I guess in Switzerland there wouldn't necessarily be problems finding parts/tires for 700. Your tour looked wonderful. Thanks for the info.