Saturday, August 4, 2012

Day 4 - Schaffausen to Basel and the end of the Swiss section

Today was easily the best riding so far.

Since Chur I've been following Swiss National Cycle Route No. 2 - the 'Rhein Route'. It's not always the quickest route from point to point (as I discovered cycling from Chur to Rorschach) however it's interesting, is always easy to follow the way markers, and follows the Rhine very closely.

Does anyone else think these might be fun in a raft?
First stop downriver today was just 4km into the route, at the Rhine Falls. 

The 5 Swiss Francs is well worth paying for access to the view platforms, as you don't get a clear view from anywhere on the bike trail.

It was very impressive but I had a long ride ahead so didn't hang around too long.

To reach the viewing areas the trail had gone up while the river went down, so the next few kilometers were spent on country roads with smooth tarmac and very few cars, sweeping up and down the rolling countryside making use of gravity as I returned to the waters edge.

The bike trail then delivered long sections of woodland trails, which gave a welcome break from the beating sun before a long uphill climb (though nothing on the scale of the alps) which eventually gave way to the best down hill section so far. 

It wasn't as fast as the descent from the Oberalp Pass, but the absence of switchback turns and far reaching views of the road ahead made it a lot more relaxing and comfortable.

On reaching the first set of distance marked signposts for the bike trail it soon became clear that today's distance was going to be rather longer than the expected 103km - 128km to Basel.

I stopped for lunch after the first 60km and resolved on an additional tactical ice-cream stop in order to be able to make the extra distance.

The remainder of the ride continued in much the same vein as the morning, a huge variety of surfaces and scenery ranging from industrial estates to picturesque villages and views of the Rhine. There were plenty of gradients (of both types), but with every uphill delivering a corresponding downhill I didn't mind that too much.

When I have needed water and there have been no shops to hand, I've occasionally been using the fountains that feed little water troughs in villages. It was only today I noticed as sign informing me that the water troughs are only for dogs. 


It made me think of the recumbent cyclist and of course I followed the chain of thought to its natural conclusion. From here onwards I resolved to only drink tap water and Evian.

128km makes for a long day, and I didn't make it to Basel until 8pm looking forward to a couple of well earned cold drinks and my rest day tomorrow.

Distance, 128km
Elevation, quite a bit!
Time, 9hrs 40m total (8hrs 30m ride time)
Total distance covered, 427km (ave. 107km per day)

You will have noticed that the photos are back! So as tomorrow is a rest day I will take the opportunity to publish a round-up of the pictures so far instead of my normal blog post.


  1. 128 Kms is a very rectangle day. Enjoy you rest.

  2. Yes its a long distance even as the crow flies on the map..