Barcelona Day 1 from Lucerne to Fribourg

What a day! More precisely, the first day of my bike trip from Lucerne to Barcelona. I left a few hours later than I had planned. That’s what happens when you repack all your luggage at the last minute. This is my first trip with my new Radical Design trailer and I had to figure out how to make the most of the available space. When I stood in front of the door, ready to leave, it still occurred to me to stop by the hairdresser and have a summery short hairstyle - after all, I’m going to the Mediterranean Sea to warm Spain! So instead of at 8 o’clock, I left shortly before 11 o’clock.

Today I will go from Lucerne via Bern to Fribourg. Most of this route is known to me from my trips to Lake Thun. That’s why I already knew what to expect on this part – and it’s got what it takes! After a relatively relaxed 15 km (9 mi) with a moderate gradient of 2% on average for warming up, the hammer of the day is on: “Rises 1’150 m irregularly for 26 km” (3’773 ft for 16 mi). So it says on the inconspicuous little red sign at the beginning of the ascent up to Rengg. Already on the first meter, my trailer tells me clearly that he wants to go back. It’s so steep and the trailer pulls so strongly that I can’t hold the combination with the front brake when stopping, it starts to slide back on the asphalt. I need both brakes to stop on the incline. But giving up is not an option and so I climb the hill to Rengg meter by meter. It is now 20 degrees but fortunately, the clouds are so dense that the sun does not shine directly on the ground. I sweat even without the sun as if I was in the shower! It’s already half past two when I arrive at the top. Almost 970 meters above sea level. Whew!

From Rengg I went down in a fast descent over serpentines to the village Entlebuch. This is the name of the whole area here and it is also a UNESCO Biosphere. From here it goes mainly along the main road. With a light headwind. Passing the factory outlet of the Kambly-Guetzli - if you don’t mind the bustle, you can take a break in the café and try your hand at the factory outlet. You can try all Kambly-Guetsli for free and test them extensively.

Since I started very late, I minimized my breaks and take only very few photos and hardly any video recordings. I would like to arrive in Fribourg in daylight and have time for dinner. So I pedal hard and arrived in Bern after about 6:30 h driving time. Typically big city a lot of hustle and bustle. I make sure that I get through quickly. Making the distance is more important to me today than sightseeing. Behind Bern, I am mainly on side roads, i.e. much less traffic and more pleasant driving.

Shortly before Laupen a little shock: The road is closed. Several kilometers detour would be due. I decide to overlook the sign and drive around the barrier. Mentally, I prepare myself to encounter an impassable construction site behind the next bend. But there won’t be any. Not at any bend. And suddenly the town sign of Laupen shows up and I am in the middle of the town. I was lucky, I saved a detour!

Only a little bit further one notices then that you are in French-speaking Switzerland. All signs and inscriptions are now in French. And as a greeting, it starts to rain lightly. Only slightly, so I do without my rain clothes and only protect my trailer with the rain cover.

Even if the stage is not very long today, I have to bite slowly. My legs are getting heavy and I have to take some small breaks more often and always throw something in because my stomach is now also reporting regularly. Maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to give up a lunch break because of the pace. But it doesn’t help, I want to finish the stage and I know that a nice hotel with shower and bistro is waiting for me in Fribourg. So bite my teeth together and get through. On the last kilometers along the Schiffenensee (which is crossed by the Sarine) it goes up and down. Up with really disgusting steep climbs, my leg musculature doesn’t get out of the complaint mode anymore.

But hey, I chose this! Always further and further towards the goal. Then I almost made it. Just before the hotel – the building in sight –, there was a new cycling ban and I had to improvise a small detour. But it didn’t take me ten minutes and then I was at the hotel at half past six. Hallelujah!

Today it was 122.4 km (76 mi), for which I needed 7h 44m. I climbed 1’761 m (5’777 ft) of altitude. Accordingly, I am finished now, my thighs sing the song of hyperacidity and I whistle myself just in the hotel bistro a Pizza Hawaii with two large Colas and a small Coupe Danmark. Bon appétit!


Written on May 17, 2019