Through an unusual set of circumstances, I have the opportunity to bike tour in Europe in September, 2009. You can see how this occurred by reading this thread. As discussed in the link, I decided to tour in Switzerland.
I know that Switzerland has 9 cross country bike routes and many more regional ones. I checked those out at this website to see which ones aren't too difficult, connect with Zurich somehow and would be interesting. Zurich is my planned starting and stopping point.
One of the national routes, number 5 the Mittelland Route, goes through Zurich. But, its description contains this line: "away from the more idyllic picture-postcard scenes." All in all, I am more interested in the picture-postcard scenes!
Route 9, the Lakes Route, and Route 2, the Rhine Route, both looked interesting and the added benefit is that Route 2 goes along side the Bodensee, a place I'd like to ride around. While neither one goes through Zurich, the Bodensee is a 2-day ride from there either at the start or end of the tour.
With this idea as a start, I went to englishforum.ch, an English language forum on Switzerland, and read this entry about bike touring in Switzerland. Which gave me a good start.
I searched the englishforum.ch site for other touring threads and found this one describing a bike route that is a loop starting at Zurich, riding along Route 9, and then ending up in Zurich. The thread eventually devolves seriously, but not before providing a brief trip report.
I decided to post my own thread on this site to see what kind of advice I would get. The suggested route (Zurich- St Margrethen – Lucerne – Interlaken – Chateau de’Oex – Lausanne – Loop around Lake Geneva in 1-2 days (optional) – back in Lausanne - Biel/Bienne – Solothurn – Aarau – Zurich) looked like a good one and I mapped it out at bikely.com and got some good feedback on it.
I then went to www.couchsurfing.com and started looking at the cities on the route and found that most of them have hosts that might be willing to let me spend a night or two. This will greatly reduce my tour costs and allow me to meet local Swiss people. Both of these options sound good to me!
I haven't started contacting people yet as it still seems a bit early to do that. However, I leave for the first part of this trip on July 1 and can't say for sure when, in the next two months, I will have reliable email service. Thus, in the near future, I will start making contact. My first concern is finding someone in Zurich who is willing to put me up at both the beginning and end of my trip.
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Copyright © 2007 by Ray Swartz