March 8, 2015
Map Link (I will always use Classic Google Maps)
We had just picked up our new helmets Saturday night and were excited to give them the real test: a multi-hour ride on the bikes. The weather was more than cooperative with a high in the mid-teens and bright sunshine. We had a destination, but with the GPS set for “curvy roads”, our travel time took a lot longer than anticipated and we changed plans mid-ride.
About 30 minutes south of home
Dan sporting his new lid
Miles of following this ravine and river (fortunately not the car)
I had been through this area before (and obviously didn’t mind riding through again) but then the GPS sent us on a surprise turn west, closer to French territory and open fields, and eventually snow.
A quick look back
We started crossing a series of long, low ridges with wide valleys in between. Heavy snow remained from the winter, although it was melting quick enough. Probably too quickly for the skiers we saw enjoying the local slopes and fields.
The road led through tiny villages and small towns and everywhere there were people out enjoying the beautiful sunshine.
Crossing another ridge
I love having the Jura in my backyard
A cluster of large buildings caught my eye. The sign indicated that it was an Abbey, but strange that it appeared to be very well attended by visitors. We should have stopped, as I found out later that it is the Bellelay Abbey, the home of Tête de Moine cheese.
Many contrails today
This wasn’t the only famous landmark we’d see today. Shortly after descending a long, forested ridge we saw Longines, home of famous watches, navigational aids and timing devices. I didn’t notice if they had an outlet store, but I have since learned that they have a museum. Looks like Dan and I really need to come back to this area!
Longines home office
There were a lot of people enjoying the last of the ski season
After descending another ridge we found ourselves following yet another long, wide, valley, but this one was much more developed. We were getting close to Neuchatel.
And then we saw the Alps. They stretched out across the eastern horizon, barely visible on the far side of Lake Neuchatel. The sky was hazy with clouds, so there wasn’t a lot of definition available, but the human eye is better than any camera. We stopped to take photos. And since I stop so infrequently to take pictures, I took advantage of the time to catch our bikes out in their element.
Descending into Neuchatel
It had taken us much longer to get here than I had planned and it was well past lunch time. We parked the bikes and found “Desparado“, a busy Mexican restaurant. The food was really quite good and filling – it would be nap time if we didn’t start riding again pretty soon.
Dan on the shores of Lake Neuchatel
Giant bench on the promenade
What’s wrong with this picture?
Neuchatel has some absolutely beautiful architecture, but I didn’t stop/wasn’t able to take any pictures of it. The best I can do is the background behind Dan in this picture:
Time to go home! We buzzed up the motorway for a while but in Biel we jumped off and headed for Delemont in order to retrace some of our steps and stay off the motorway. It was a good choice…
I love this rock formation
It was a great “first ride” of the season (as in, “Joint Ride”) and I’m looking forward to our next one.