Packing a Bike with Balloons in Switzerland and France

  • today When:
  • place Where:
    Western Europe
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A ride from Zurich south west trough Switzerland to Geneva and then down to the Med trough Grenoble and Provence to finally ride along the coast from St Raphael through Cannes to Nice.

In this part of the world, in Google maps, the “Cycling” option really works. It makes use of tracks through forests, vineyards and all manner of places.

And through cornfields. Relatively narrow tyres are still the best choice as long as they are still protected against punctures. These tracks are usually well worn by cyclists.

The scenery in Switzerland is unbeatable. Today it changed from German flavour to French flavour, all in the space of 20 km.

Super rich farmland with vegetables going very well without any irrigation.

Wine grapes are just days off being ready. The west of Switzerland is a stunning region and excellent cycling routes there are easy to find.

We are in France now and most of the day on the Rhone. For 30km I ride with a local bunch of old roadies. I say ‘old’ (they were in their 70’s) as I could not keep up with young roadies. I have luggage. Their leader is on an e-bike!

What greater pleasures are there then picking ripe fruit from the side of a bike path? Heading south I am speeding up the arrival of Autumn.

South of Grenoble the country becomes really stunning.

Now in Provence. This is a region to come back to. Beautiful roads in beautiful country.

Sometimes Google maps assumes we are up for anything. This particular section is better done walking I think. But once up there I am so glad I have come this way.

Down on the coast now, I come through Cannes. This whole coastal area is stunning.

After staying in an Airbnb in St Raphael, it is Sunday morning and I ride up the coast. Cycling central. There are thousands of riders out.

Arriving in Nice. Just near this spot I go into the airport to check. No. No cartons right now. They are restocked on Wed, the day after I fly out.

Undeterred I get a carton at a bike shop. I try out the balloon packing system someone told me about. Thumbs up for that.

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