Winging it

I studied maps and weather forecasts over my massive breakfast. The weather looked best in the west so I decided to head to Neufchâtel  my destination the day I fell. Unfinished business!

I trsvelled to Bern by train and then a second to Neufchâtel. Bikes are well catered for.

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Mine is the one on the right.

I had no maps for today, but my idea was to ride around Lac du Neufchâtel, so keep the lake to my left, within sight, and all should be cool.

The train station is at a much higher level than the lake so I just headed downhill.  It was when I was at the bottom and started pedalling and trying to change gear I realised my bike had not come out of my accident unscathed.  I was pretty sure I had a rear derailleur issue.

I found one bike shop but it was closed, they were attending that Bike Expo I saw being set up in Solothurn yesterday.

So I did what I knew would work…I went to the main road and found a BMC lycra clad cyclist at the lights. He spoke no English but with finger pointing and  face pulling we understood each other.

He took me to another bike shop…back up that hill and he even carried my bike for a fair distance as with his fiddling, it had jammed the back wheel.

Fortunately for me Kenny from Cyclerc was willing, despite being fully booked, to look at it, and he even had the spare part ( I do carry derailleur spares with me so my spares are intact).

Kenny had spent three years in Australia.

Off I peddled later than planned ( now after 11 am) but at least I could pedal. Back down the hill.

Views from my waterfront track are below…there are not many across the lake as it was so hazy and smokey looking.

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I found a cycling track along the lake, through a caravan park. It turned towards below. I was meet by a boom gate, but could tell many  went around it. But have a closer look…..

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Yes’m the cycling path crossed Neufchâtel Airport runway…THE runway…

I stood, looked and contemplated, not really sure what to do. I thought there is no way a cycling path would cross an airport runway.

A car came up behind ( dual purpose track!), pressed a button and the boom gate opened…so I followed him, giving a good look  to my left and right, and skywards!

That was a new experience!

I arrived at this lovely village with stone walls and a cute sign.

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Lots of grapes grown all along my ride today
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One of my tracks

And another track through forest.

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I climbed up a hill providing some scenic rural views.

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More pretty fields and walls.

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I eventually arrived in Yverdon les-Bain’s, a spa town. It sits at the south west extremity of Lac du Neufchâtel. It is an old Celtic settlement that later became a Gallo-Roman camp. The focal point is Château d’Yverdon.

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The plan had been to follow the lake back to Neufchâtel, but I changed my mind and decided I might as well ride to Lac Lucman ( Lake Geneva) and Lausanne.

In one town, Chesaux (?) there was a huge festival on. They had covered up direction so gns ( handy NOT!) so I stopped and had a glacé ( signage that does attract me!)

There were street performances including this one with guns and a rope tied wench who got tossed into the dray pulled by two donkeys.

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I desperately needed a water refill. Plenty of alcohol for sale, but water was hard to find until I found the local fountain.

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From here I had a few hairy moments en route to Lausanne. Small country roads I could not find, major ones I could including an 800 metre tunnel….I held my breathe and hoped for the best…

Lausanne is also having major roadworks currently with lots of deviations. Eventually I found my way down to the foreshore and lake.

The city was founded in the first century as a Roman lakeshore settlement, but for safety reasons the inhabitants moved to higher ground on the hills above the lake.

The city is the home to the International Olympic Committee and boasts an Olympic Museum and countdown clock.

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The museum entrance

This hotel would suit me right now with my rib discomfort.

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Hotel Ouchy

The lake foresaw is incredible as the backdrop of mountains is jaw dropping, but camera does not do justice given haze, my abilities etc.

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What to do? Well it was a nice day, let’s keep riding around the lake towards Vivey and Montreaux.

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Nice views

There was a cycling lane too on the road.

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I love the way they grow grapes anywhere. Quite steep slopes.

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A small vineyard winery jammed in with a waterfall adjacent.

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Vevey is pretty, and this day boat cruised by.

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A nice building interrupted by the yellow tent and sun angle.

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Montreaux is a busy city, the weather was nice, just keep riding. Château de Chillon loomed, and was my latest destination.

It is set on a rocky spur on the eastern lake shores, and is heavily visited. It was built for the Dukes of Savoy and later used as a prison.

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It was now 6 pm and I was a fair distance from Bern…and the trains on this line not that regular. I decided to call it quits and dash the nearest station to wait…..Fortunately it was not too long.

The first part of the train trip back to Bern was magnificent as it was high in the hills overlooking the lake with the mountains now very clear. Photos through train windows rarely work so they are etched in my memory.

These are a couple of the less crappy ones.

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A great ride, great weather. I knocked up 117 km no maps.

Here is my route.

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Tomorrow I head to Basel as I am having supper with friends. If the weather is ok, I’ll take my bike and do some riding.

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