Barcelona Day 2 from Fribourg to Geneva

Today I had planned to start earlier. That worked out quite well, after a (due to lack of appetite) light breakfast I left Fribourg shortly after 9 o’clock. Today’s destination is Geneva, Lausanne is pretty much in the middle. I really don’t know what my Garmin smoked, but it predicts a driving time of only 5h 30m! I can’t really believe this but I will see today what the clock shows at the end of the day.

The weather was similar to yesterday. The topography too, it always goes up and down, up and down, up and down. One hill after the other. Some of the paths Komoot sends me along are hardly recognizable as such. Sometimes I even have to get off my bike and push. The most challenging path had a gradient of 24% and consists of soaked mud dotted with stones the size of a child’s head. After a good quarter of the way, for which I had needed half an eternity, the paths became much better and it went faster now.

Anyway a bit faster, because until Lausanne I have to overcome several gradients, often I see gradients of 12 or even 17 % in the display. That means to engage the smallest gear and to crank, to crank, to crank! If my family doctor could see my pulse display, hectically would order the rescue helicopter immediately. I just switch off the display and take many small breaks. So today I have mastered every ascent successfully again!

At about the highest point of today’s stage at about 890 m, a bench smiles at me at the edge of the forest. It must be about 13 o’clock around and my stomach tries to convince me to take a lunch break. Not a bad idea. Why do I carry all this stuff with me? I have enough water with me and so I unpack my gas stove and get to work: Boeuf Stroganoff with rice. I also mix two beverage bottles with iced tea instant powder, because I’m longing for something other than the isotonic stuff that I’ve been drinking since yesterday. That reliably ensures that the minerals lost through sweating are refilled, but now it can be something sweet!

While I’m sitting there on the bench, preparing my food and then eating, there’s a “Who can look stupidest” contest going on. Only a few people come by, but one looks better than the other! And they are (almost) all nice, always greet. I enjoy the time, the view is top, some birdcalls in the background and the atmosphere is so peaceful. I spend about an hour there before I go on again, freshly strengthened.

Down to Lausanne, there is a really steep descent with 18%, this time luckily downhill! In no time at all I am in Lausanne at the cathedral, take some photos there and see some dark clouds in the distance. So no sightseeing but further on. The traffic guidance with the bicycle through Lausanne is, well, let’s call it “suboptimally solved”. What was I glad when I was out of this city again and it goes on a well-developed cycle path recognizable towards the goal.

After a few turns of my planned route, I worry a little about the driving time and the dark clouds, which are now clearly more. In the app “Meteo Swiss” rain showers are predicted for Geneva, in the early evening even heavy precipitation. Although I have everything I need to survive something like this, I don’t really want to put on all the rain gear. That’s quite time-consuming. I decide to save a few kilometers and arrive at the hotel before the rain shower. Instead of following the national cycle route 1, which makes beautiful detours through vineyards, I almost cycle straight ahead on a (mostly) well-constructed cycle path of the Autoroute 1. So I see less, but do almost an hour well and arrive dry at my hotel in Geneva!

Another advantage: I passed a bicycle shop that was open and I bought two new tubes for my trailer. As a replacement. In case of a puncture, I rather replace the complete tube and repair the tube in the evening in calm in the hotel. And for the trailer I had still no spare tubes, I got it only shortly before the journey.

Today it was 138.3 km (86 mi), for which I needed 7h 33m. I climbed 1’677 m (5’502 ft) of altitude. Now I’m charging my human battery with a tarte flambée, two large Colas and a small ice cream. Bon appétit!


Written on May 18, 2019