Day Trips!

A variety of short trips, gathered here because they’re don’t stand well on their own.

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Touratech (Switzerland)
May 26, 2013

Map Link

Today we rode to Touratech of Switzerland. Wheeee! it’s about 1.5 hours via the most direct route, but because it wasn’t raining when we left Basel, we took a detour through Germany. Which isn’t really saying much when you look at the Swiss/German border in that area  😀

There probably would have been more pictures if a) we weren’t racing the clock to get there before they closed and b) the weather was better. Oh well – who says that spring time in Switzerland means blue skies and warm temperatures?  😎  As it was, we had better-than-expected weather, despite the hail and heavy rain squalls.

First of all, we rode by one (of four) of Switzerland’s nuclear power plants (Leibstadt). It looks like any other cooling tower I’d see from other power plants, but much, much bigger (ie, closer to the road). Ah – clean energy!

Near the Rhine

We crossed the border near Waldshut (lots of traffic there) and then worked our way to Schaffhausen. I’d like to go back to Schaffhausen, as that’s where the “Rhine Falls” are. I hear that they’re not terribly impressive, but I always like to judge these things for myself. But today we were trying to get to TT before they closed, and we still had some decisions to make once we got there.

And then I left the camera on the bike when we got to Touratech – oops!

It poured while we were inside, but by the time we were ready to leave, the sky was slightly lighter to the northwest. We headed off into that direction. I had to stop for this photo:

And then further on, I asked Dan to stop for a couple of shots:

It was here that Dan dropped his bike – whoops! It was a typical parking lot drop, even though there wasn’t a parking lot in probably 5km, and no real damage was done. Thankfully he had bought crash bars – although they were still sitting at home on the dining room table.

The rest of the ride home was uneventful… oh! Except for the ponies…

We were with a few cars on a road running through open farmland and coming up to a few buildings at a cross roads when everyone abruptly stopped. I looked ahead and about three cars ahead of us I could see the shaggy head of a horse. But it wasn’t a horse; it was a tiny, fuzzy pony. And then another one appeared. They trotted casually out from a farm yard, wandered between the cars and then back to the side of the road where they nibbled happily at the long grass. A woman came out of the farm house and looked down the road to where the ponies grazed and her expression never changed: it was a look of “oh, the ponies are in the road again.” The cars in front of us started to move and so did Dan and I. There was nothing we could do, even if we could catch the ponies (no halters) and at least the owner knew that they were there. We continued, but I could see in my mirror that the ponies had moved again and the car behind us was still stuck.

We found a lot of traffic north of Zurich but it moved steadily and no one seemed anxious about getting ahead of everyone else on the highway. Once we cleared a 3.7km tunnel (!), the traffic miraculously disappeared and we had a clear route the rest of the way home. Oh, and about 20km of Very Heavy Rain. Hooray for Klim gear!

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Schopfheim (Germany)
May 24, 2013

Map Link

I took the bike out again today (surprisingly, because it was supposed to be crappy and rainy all day, but the sun came out instead).

This really isn’t worth a ride report unless you want to lump me in with Bob Mielke (long backstory there), because I just took the bike to the store. Fortunately for me, the store was in Germany and – double fortune – there was a detour that I extended just a little bit further. There’s not a lot to say, other than there was a detour and when it wanted me to rejoin the original route, I declined. I decided that it was a beautiful day and I should explore more before going “to the store”. So I explored!

And, of course, we need a new BBQ grill. I stopped here to check out some options, but the poor woman didn’t speak a word of English and my grill-based German is apparently quite lacking!

4 comments

  1. Linda says:

    I love all the green, green green! And the low clouds are okay too. I’m waiting to read about your time on the Bundesutobahn… 😀

  2. Ray says:

    Dan dropped his bike and the crash bars were on the kitchen table….I am so glad he is not into base jumping….

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