It’s been far too long between blog posts and I hope I am not jinxing myself writing now.
After lots of map plotting and planning and we have a big, hairy, audacious goal.
This time in three weeks we will be in the air (hopefully) on our second leg of three flights – on that dreaded Melbourne to Dubai leg. After three flights and some 32 hours we will arrive in Zurich, catch a few trains and arrive in Stein, a village in Switzerland on the Rhine River.
My son Ben and his wife Sharon live there and we have not seen each other for nearly three years. Long overdue catch up.
After a few nights we start what is currently planned as a 3000 km, 25,000m ascent ride, starting and finishing in Stein.
We will cross over the Rhine and head into Germany to avoid the busy Basel traffic, then crossing into France, where we will follow the Doubs River for a few days, before reaching the Loire River and following the river until it spills into the Bay of Biscay on the French west coast.
This first section is technically easier as it is not as hilly as later in the trip. But we have solid days. In fact our trip average is 114 km per day and around 900 m ascent.
Chateaux, castles, and history abound. Our route weaves around following the meandering Loire valley. We will reach Beaugency a town we stayed at in 2015 when we rode from Calais to Narbonne.
At the mouth of the Loire, Saint Nazaire we turn south for two days until we reach La Rochelle and ride to Il de Ra and island joined to mainland France by a long bridge.
Heading east we pass through many old and historic villages including Montlucon. It’s getting pretty lumpy now.
At Annecy we circumnavigate the lake before resting in town. Next day it’s off to Morzine, where Tony spent a few weeks in 2018.
Down to Lake Geneva, around past Chillon castle. I rode around this area in 2018 with broken ribs.
The Freddie Mercury statue and the IOC headquarters are a little further around the lake, and then we climb out of Lausanne and up to Lake Neufchâtel.
Getting hillier, we head towards Interlaken where we stay at Wilderswil near the famous Jungrau. If weather permits we will do the Kleine Scheidegg loop.
A brilliant loop under the face of the Eiger that is predominantly closed to traffic with the exception of the local postal service and school bus. We will only attempt this ride if the weather is good as it is some 1900 m climbing at altitude.
Luzern is next for two nights, providing another opportunity for riding around lakes and maybe a return ferry trip to Luzern.
Then back to Ben and Sharon for three nights where I hope to be for a significant birthday with a zero on it. Ben and I share the same date and it was planned to be together in 2019.
Of course Covid could stuff up our plans but I guess that’s why we have the very expensive travel insurance.
So I harbour great hopes that I can get to see my son. Three and a years is a long time not to see someone you love.
My fingers are crossed xxx