European Bike Ride 22nd-September-2013

Garry McGivern’s European bike ride, Sunday, 22nd-September-2013, Gerardmer, France to Freiburg in Germany. 75 miles. The day started with a seven-mile climb up the 1135m Col de la Schlucht, which took me a good two hours. I was passed by several Lycra-clad idiots who didn’t acknowledge me at all. Not that it bothers me. I know I can cycle just as far as them on a bike that weighs a lot more than theirs. And I’m enjoying myself. I even got passed by a couple on skis. The skis did have wheels so they could go on the road. I think they must have been in cross-country skiing training, ready for when the snow arrives.

Man bike mountains
On top of Col de la Schlucht

It took me two hours to reach the top of Col de la Schlucht but only twenty minutes to ride the ten miles down the other side. Once at the bottom, which must have been around Munster, it was flat all the way to Colmar. I had a little look around Colmar, trying to see if there was anywhere I recognised. I stayed here in 2010 on my Swiss bike ride. Some bits were familiar. The pretty wooden-clad buildings and a church that had green tiles on the roof, but that was about it. Mind you. I didn’t spend too long looking, as remarkably I found myself on the right road out!

Decisions Decisions

I had a fairly short ride from Colmar to the Rhine and the border with Germany. Once at the Rhine, I was in two minds as to whether to cycle down the Rhine to lake Constance or take the more direct route across country, which was my original route. Going down the Rhine would be more pleasant, and it would be a flat ride on cycle paths but would be a really long way round.

I started to follow the Rhine and was going to go the long way round, but after about ten miles, I changed my mind. I then tried to return to my original route by cutting across country using cycle other paths, which proved to be an absolute nightmare. Eventually, I found my way back to my original route. Although I’m still not convinced it’s the best way, we’ll see tomorrow!

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