Switzerland 2012; the home run

Zurich at night
first stop; Zurich at night - our flight lands in the evening

I don’t know how long it has been since I started taking the prospect of cycling to China seriously; well over a year I think. I’ve wanted to do it for ages but always preferred the idea of having company, and could never fully convince anyone to surrender a year of their life and what money they had to two wheels and a tent. Now, since I’ve found some like-minded people to join and I’ve been committed to a date (mid June) I’ve had to take extra shifts at work and save every penny I could to fund it, there has been quite a lot of kit to procure along with hours of research on visas, insurance, routes and mapping etc. This combined with my last year of Uni and general life stuff has made the last few winter months quite tough. But finally the end is in sight; the end of planning, the end of Uni and the start of life on the road as I make my way to China.

beautiful topography
beautiful topography, this will be our fist challenge

However this post isn’t really about China, although quite close now, I have a more immediate travel plans to fly out to Switzerland with some cheap easyJet flights, found by my resourceful friend Adam, and cycle back to the UK. It will be just three guys, Lewis, Adam and myself, traveling cheap and braving inclement weather no doubt.

Bad weather’s no problem though, we all have good kit and should be reasonably comfortable no matter what; I for one will be just happy to be out of the midlands and into some mountains. As I’ve said, it’s been a pretty though winter and this ‘Easter’ trip marks the start of a great year of travel and adventure that I’m going to call the Home Run because, most obviously, we’ll be cycling back home and, more importantly, it marks the beginning of the end of student life in England and it will leave me free to travel all over the world.  Hopefully, with a bit of luck, I’ll be able to find some exiting work abroad take a good long break from the UK. The trip should take about two weeks and once I’m back I’ll have just 9 weeks to wrap up my life, pack up my bike and roll on to the East!

Here’s our route that we crated as a collaboration on Google Maps;

View Switzerland: the home run [cyclefar.com] in a larger map

my sis Nelly cycling along the dunes
my sis Nelly cycling along the dunes close to where we will be

So a little more about this trip; we’ll be flying into Zurich and heading north into Germany and through the Black Forest, east to France visiting Strasbourg, Nancy and Verdun before heading to Brussels in Belgium, followed by Brugge (I’ve wanted to got o Brugge ever since seeing the brilliant film ‘In Brugge’ about the unhappy assassins) and finally we intend to take either the Dover to Calais crossing or the Hoek Van Holland to Harwich option back to England.

the route is about 550 to 600 miles long and we hope to maintain a steady 45 mile per day average. Lewis has toured with me before, last summer along the Dalmatian coast and this will be Adams first tour. He is, however, no stranger to the outdoors and it should prove to be a simple and leisurely ride. The only major deviation from previous tours is that for the first time I will only be using my MSR AC Bivy and a tarp; my trusty tent will stay at home until the summer ride to China.

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