Bike Switzerland Problem Tour – An Unbelievable Bicycle Touring Expertise

by touring-bicycle

An unimaginable rush of power ran via my physique as I made my manner via downtown Geneva and up the road towards the Bike Switzerland Welcome Middle. I had been ready for at the present time for months… and now it was lastly right here! I used to be in Geneva, Switzerland for the beginning of an 11-day guided bicycle touring journey often called the Bike Switzerland Problem Tour. I couldn’t look forward to the expertise to start!

Contained in the Bike Switzerland headquarters in downtown Geneva I met up with John Klemme (the proprietor of Bike Switzerland) and Eric (an American intern working for John over the summer time vacation).

John welcomed me to Geneva and handed me a big packet containing some info on the bike tour, the route we’d be taking, names of everybody taking part within the tour, a cellular phone and charger, and a classy Bike Switzerland cycle jersey. Then John took me via the ropes. He defined how the tour was going to work, at what time we’d be beginning the following morning, what number of different folks have been taking part within the tour and an entire lot extra.

Of the ten whole folks taking part within the Problem Tour, I used to be the one one to deliver my very own bicycle. So, as a substitute of becoming me on one of many new BMC hybrid bicycles which can be utilized by many of the tour individuals for the bike experience throughout Switzerland, John confirmed me easy methods to use the Garmin eTrex GPS we’d be utilizing throughout the tour to assist us navigate from one location to the following. Then John led me to the resort proper down the road the place every of the tour individuals could be staying that evening. I shook John’s hand and agreed to fulfill him and the opposite tour individuals within the foyer of the resort at 6 PM that evening.

I spent the remainder of the day strolling round downtown Geneva on my own. I meandered into just a few native shops, took some pictures of town and ate a scrumptious subway type sandwich at a neighborhood deli. Down by the water I watched a crowd of vacationers and locals alike wander up and down the lake the place boats have been crusing and water was being blasted excessive into the sky by town’s well-known Jet d’Eau.

Round 5 PM I returned to my resort room and met Barry, the person who could be my roommate for the rest of the tour. Barry was a 40-something-year-old podiatrist from Australia who had determined to affix the Problem Tour after I introduced my choice to take part within the tour earlier this 12 months. It was nice to really meet one among my readers in particular person and to know that we’d be spending a lot time collectively over the approaching days.

After Barry and I made our introductions, I took a bathe after which ready to fulfill the remainder of the tour individuals down within the resort foyer. I used to be each nervous about assembly everybody and excited to be taught concerning the folks I might be touring with whereas on the tour.

As the primary two folks to reach within the resort foyer, Barry and I sat down on one of many plush resort couches and waited to fulfill the opposite tour individuals.

Jo (quick for Joanne) was the primary particular person to take a seat down on the sofa subsequent to Barry and I, and we rapidly made our introductions.

Jo was from New Zealand and was in Geneva visiting her daughter who had just lately moved there for work. Whereas looking the Web for issues to do in and round Geneva, Switzerland, Jo stumbled throughout the Bike Switzerland web site and determined {that a} bike tour throughout the nation is perhaps a enjoyable factor to do whereas visiting her daughter.

Kevin entered the room subsequent and once more I used to be fast to introduce myself. Kevin, like Barry, was from Australia and had heard concerning the Bike Switzerland Problem Tour after I discussed it right here on the web site at Bicycle Touring Professional. Like Barry, Kevin determined {that a} bike experience throughout Switzerland with a small group of individuals would make for an unimaginable expertise, and so he had flown half-way around the globe so as to take part.

Quickly after listening to Kevin’s story the room full of folks taking part within the tour. There was Phil – a pc programer from the east coast of the USA; Rob – an enthusiastic highschool instructor from Canada; Adriana and Fernanda – two associates and hospital docs from São Paulo, Brazil; Gary – a retiree from southern California who had already been on two earlier Bike Switzerland bicycle excursions; and Ian – a monetary adviser from the American east coast.

There have been ten of us in whole, however the place have been the guides?

Simply as quickly as all ten tour individuals had gathered within the resort foyer, in walked John, Eric, Mark and Claude.

John and Eric we had all met earlier within the day after we have been being fitted for our bicycles and instructed on easy methods to work our navigational GPS items. Mark and Claude, nonetheless, have been new to the group and John wasted no time in making their introductions.

“That is Claude, everybody… and he’s going to be your information.”

John defined that Claude was not solely an skilled bicycle traveler who had spent greater than fifteen whole years driving a bicycle around the globe, however that he was the creator of two totally different books about his travels. Whereas this might be the primary time Claude had ever led a bunch of individuals throughout the nation on any form of guided bicycle touring expertise, John tell us that he was greater than able to getting us to our vacation spot on the opposite aspect of the nation.

Mark was the second half of the management on our tour. Whereas Claude could be driving bikes with us every day and ensuring we didn’t get misplaced as we cycled our manner throughout Switzerland, Mark was in control of driving the assist van. He loaded up our luggage within the morning, arrange our picnic lunches prematurely of our arrival every day and delivered our luggage to our particular person resort rooms so they’d be ready for us after we arrived every night.

After a circle of introductions, we left the resort foyer and wandered right down to the lake. Out on the Jetée Des Pâquis, a slender strip of land that protrudes out into the middle of Lake Geneva, our group huddled round a park bench and spent just a few moments attending to know each other whereas sipping from small cups of white wine.

After a couple of minutes of dialog, we walked again down the jetée within the course we had come from only a few moments prior and had dinner on the Buvette Bains des Pâquis – a small outside restaurant located in the course of the slender jetée.

Conversations about the place we have been from, how we had heard concerning the Bike Switzerland tour and why we had chosen to take part within the journey dominated the dinner desk.

When our meal had ended, John tell us that we’d be getting an early begin the following day. We have been to fulfill on the Bike Switzerland Welcome Middle at 7 AM, the place we’d work out any closing points with our bicycles after which take off on the primary day of biking a few half-hour later. Claude could be out chief, Mark could be our driver and John and Eric would stay on the Welcome Middle in downtown Geneva throughout the tour.

Returning to our resort room, Barry and I received prepared for mattress and fell asleep whereas chatting about what would possibly occur over the following ten days. Each excited and nervous concerning the highway forward, we lastly drifted off to sleep and woke only a few hours later to the sound of an alarm. Our first day with the Bike Switzerland Problem Tour was about to start!

What Is Your Common Day On Tour Like?

Relatively than provide you with an in depth blow-by-blow account of every factor that occurred on the Bike Switzerland Problem Tour tour, I believe it will be finest to inform you what a mean day on tour is like. Then I’ll provide you with a listing of what I imagine to be the highlights of the general tour itself.

In any case that, I’ll provide you with some extra info on why you would possibly need to take part on this explicit bike tour, why Switzerland is such an incredible place for bicycle touring within the first place, how expert of a bicycle owner you’ll want to be so as to take part, easy methods to ebook your tour with Bike Switzerland for those who select to take action, and I’ll provide you with my ideas on the bicycles, management, inns and meals that’s offered as a part of the Problem Tour expertise.

Lastly, I’ll end this assessment with my ideas on the bike tour as an entire. I’ll inform you what I favored most concerning the expertise, what I favored least and what I believe Bike Switzerland might do sooner or later to make the Problem Tour even higher than it’s proper now.

So, what’s your common day of bicycle touring like on the Bike Switzerland Problem Tour?

Nicely, you’ll be able to count on to stand up early. We needed to be prepared to go away by about 7:30 – 8:00 AM every morning. That meant we wanted to be awake, packed, showered and have eaten breakfast by half-past seven. Whereas most people taking part within the Problem Tour with me had no complaints about waking up this early, I typically discovered it tough to get off the bed. I’m not a morning particular person.

The benefit of the Problem Tour, nonetheless, is that there’s little or no you’ll want to do whenever you get up within the morning. You might want to bathe and pack up your issues, however that’s about it. After showering every day, merely run right down to the resort foyer and get your self some breakfast. Massive serve-yourself buffets are the norm on tour and every resort had the same sampling of meals readily available. Bread, jam, eggs and fruit. Yogurt, meat, cereal and extra. Espresso or tea? They’ve that too! Simply take what you need and don’t be afraid to return for seconds. Whereas breakfasts have been served early, the standard of meals obtained was all the time high notch.

After breakfast, we have been requested to hold our luggage right down to the assist van the place our driver, Mark, was ready to take them from us.

After our luggage had been loaded contained in the assist automobile, we got again our bicycles. This was the time of day after we checked our tires for correct inflation, greased up our chains and/or adjusted any elements that may want adjusting.

By 8 AM (or typically just a little after that) we have been on the highway and making our manner towards the lunch spot.

Every day there could be two or extra scheduled stops on our route. These two constant stops every day have been the lunch spot (the situation on our map and GPS the place Mark could be ready for us with a picnic type lunch) and our resort. In between these two locations, nonetheless, there is perhaps one or two different scheduled stops at which our group would relaxation and take a break for espresso, wine, ice cream, water or a easy rest room break.

Within the morning we’d cycle wherever from 20-40+ kilometers earlier than arriving on the lunch spot – normally round 1 PM. As soon as there, we’d crowd round two small tables that Mark had arrange prematurely of our arrival and chow down on a delicious unfold of scrumptious Swiss meals.

Salads, beans, bread and meats have been a staple at our picnic lunches. Fruit, chocolate and quite a lot of drinks have been additionally readily available. Typically there was even an additional particular dessert!

After lunch we’d proceed down the highway with our subsequent main purpose being the resort we’d sleep at that evening.

Typically we’d experience collectively in a protracted line, with one particular person following the opposite. Different occasions we’d break up into small teams, with the quicker cyclists driving within the entrance and the slower ones driving within the again. Claude, our information, would typically spend all day driving with one group. Different occasions he would bounce from one group of cyclists to the following.

The tempo of the tour was pretty informal, however typically I felt as if we have been going too quick. Different occasions I couldn’t perceive why we have been going so sluggish. More often than not, nonetheless, I felt that the tempo was nearly proper. And since I had a GPS of my very own, I knew that if I wished to, I might simply break off from the group at any level, cycle at my very own tempo and meet up with the others later within the day at any of the scheduled stopping locations.

After a full day of biking previous lakes, mountains and conventional Swiss homes, we’d finish every day round 6 PM at a brand new resort. As soon as we arrived on the resort every evening, we’d rapidly retailer our bicycles in some storage or locker on the resort grounds after which go as much as our rooms for a bathe and typically even a brief nap.

Between arriving on the resort and dinner (which was usually served round 8 PM), among the tour individuals would mingle within the resort foyer. Others took a dip within the pool. Some simply frolicked of their rooms and relished of their alone time.

Round 8 PM every evening, the twelve of us (10 tour individuals and two guides) would meet within the resort foyer after which stroll a brief distance to the resort restaurant the place we have been served a powerful three or 4 course meal.

Dialog across the dinner desk normally revolved across the sights we had seen that day, the experiences we had had and what the following day of bicycle touring had in retailer for us all.

After dinner, dessert was served. A few of us ordered espresso or wine at this level, however slowly, one after one other, we finally made our manner again to our rooms.

The following day, the entire thing would begin another time, however the surroundings, experiences and other people we met alongside the best way have been always altering.

Highlights Of The Problem Tour

There have been so many unimaginable moments, places and meals on the Bike Switzerland Problem Tour. If, I needed to slender down my high ten moments of the tour, nonetheless, they’d look just a little one thing like this:

Mountain climbing within the mountains above Wengen: My favourite day of the Problem Tour was truly throughout a time after we weren’t on the bikes in any respect. As a substitute, my favourite second occurred on the fifth day of the tour – on our relaxation day. Whereas within the metropolis of Wengen we took a gondola from our resort as much as the highest of the mountain after which slowly made our manner again to the resort on foot. The views from the highest have been unimaginable!

Biking via the vineyards within the small city of Chexbres: On the finish of our first day of biking we have been handled to among the most luxurious views I’ve ever skilled throughout all my years of bicycle journey. Not solely have been there magnificently manicured vineyards within the foreground, however we had the blue waters of Lake Geneva and the huge mountains of each France and Switzerland to spellbind our visuals within the background.

The dinner buffet at our Artwork Nouveau styled resort in Wengen: There was a variety of wonderful meals served to us all through the Problem Tour. However none of it was fairly pretty much as good as the 2 dinner meals we obtained at our resort in Wengen, Switzerland. The primary evening at this resort we have been handled to a elaborate cheese, meat and vegetable dish… and the second evening we partook in the most effective dinner buffet of my life. Yum!

Strolling the streets of Luzern: Luzern is such a fantastic little metropolis. It has an enormous metropolis really feel to it, whereas in actuality it’s truly fairly small. From the resort we stayed in to the streets of town itself, the one factor I didn’t like about Luzern was that we spent far too little time there.

The descent into Rapperswil: After a protracted day of biking and some difficult climbs, our small group of cyclists from all around the globe have been handled to a splendidly exhilarating downhill experience throughout a protracted bridge and into town middle of Rapperswil. Like heroic runners crossing the end line after a protracted race, the descent into Rapperswil was the proper ending to a protracted and memorable day of biking.

Biking via elements of Liechtenstein and Austria: As if driving a bicycle throughout Switzerland weren’t sufficient, one of many different perks of taking part within the Problem Tour is that the route additionally takes you thru the nation of Liechtenstein and a small nook of Austria. How cool is that?!

Folks watching alongside the lake within the metropolis of Lausanne: Half-way via our first day on the highway, we stopped for a short time on the shores of Lake Geneva simply outdoors town of Lausanne. Watching the crowds of individuals eat ice cream, play within the water, paddle out into the lake on wood boats and customarily take pleasure in themselves through the nation’s heat summer time months was a basic Switzerland expertise that I’ll probably not quickly overlook.

Tackling the 400 meter excessive Brunig Cross: By far probably the most tough climb on the whole tour, day six required that we cycle up a steep 400 meter incline often called the Brunig Cross. The slender, windy highway was actually a problem, however reaching the highest and biking downhill into town of Lungern afterward made all of it worthwhile.

Ending the tour on the shores of Lake Constance: What a strategy to end the tour! After biking our final kilometer, we checked into a big, trendy, cruise-ship styled resort on the shore of Lake Constance. From our room, we might see not solely the walkers, runners and cyclists passing by on the trail outdoors the resort doorways, however we might see out over the whole lake. Stuffed with a way of accomplishment, the solar started capturing rays of sunshine via the clouds floating overhead and I snapped a psychological image in order to recollect how I felt at that very second.

Attending to know eleven different folks – every from a special a part of the world: Whereas biking throughout the nation of Switzerland isn’t any small feat… and seeing so many wonderful locations and consuming so many scrumptious meals was actually great… the most effective elements about taking part within the Bike Switzerland Problem Tour was that I received to share the expertise with so many like-minded people. I actually did benefit from the firm of each single individual that participated within the bike tour with me and if given the prospect to cycle with them once more, I might leap on the alternative.

Images From The Bike Switzerland Problem Tour

Go to the hyperlinks under to see a few of my finest pictures from the 2012 Bike Switzerland Problem Tour:

Why Would You Need To Take part In This Bike Tour?

I discovered it fascinating why the ten folks taking part within the Problem Tour had determined to come back to Switzerland and take part on this explicit guided bicycle touring expertise. It was fascinating as a result of it appeared to me as if each single particular person had determined to take part within the bike tour for a special cause.

I had signed up for the tour as a result of I knew I used to be going to be in Switzerland on the similar time the tour was going down and having finished a variety of self-supported bicycle excursions previously, I had by no means participated in a multi-day guided bicycle tour. I wished to see what the expertise was like and examine it with my very own unbiased bicycle travels. Plus, I knew that biking throughout Switzerland within the summertime was going to be completely lovely.

The opposite tour individuals, nonetheless, every had a special cause for being there.

One participant had joined the tour as a result of he had all the time wished to conduct a bicycle tour in Europe, however was fearful about touring on his personal.

One other man taking part within the Problem Tour defined to me that the tour itself was a private problem – one thing he wished to show to himself that he might nonetheless do, regardless of his age.

One other participant said that he had no fears about touring alone by bike, however most well-liked sharing such experiences with different folks.

One tour participant signed up simply so he might say that he had cycled all the best way throughout Switzerland!

And one other tour participant defined to me that the explanation she had signed up for the Problem Tour was as a result of she wished to cycle in Switzerland, however didn’t need to need to take care of delivery her personal bicycle abroad, plan the whole journey, discover inns to remain in every evening, fear about what she was going to eat and all the opposite particulars that include self-supported journey. The concept of merely displaying up in Switzerland and being guided throughout the nation, from one aspect to the opposite, with out having to do a variety of work beforehand was precisely what she was in search of.

I don’t assume there may be anybody cause you must join a guided bicycle tour just like the Bike Switzerland Problem Tour. I believe any cause is legitimate. In the long run, the choice to enroll in a tour similar to that is one thing that solely you’ll be able to justify. However I do assume that giving a guided bicycle tour just like the Bike Switzerland Problem Tour a attempt is one thing that virtually everybody ought to do sooner or later of their life – if you will discover a strategy to make it occur!

Why Cycle In Switzerland?

In any case, you may select to go bicycle touring virtually wherever else on the planet.

Actually, you may go bicycle touring proper the place you reside. So why undergo all the effort of flying to Switzerland so as to take part in a multi-day bike tour just like the Bike Switzerland Problem Tour?

Nicely, the primary cause I believe you’ll want to come to Switzerland is solely for the surroundings. I’ve cycled throughout dozens of nations all around the globe and I’ve by no means in my life been to a spot extra scenic than Switzerland. The nation is a endless treasure-trove of gorgeous landscapes. From the lakes to the mountains, the cities to the villages, Switzerland by no means disappoints. The place is completely breathtaking! Don’t overlook your digicam.

However the nation is extra that simply one thing good to have a look at. From a biking standpoint, the Swiss nation has the most effective bicycle networks on the planet. Whereas on tour, you’ll be biking on a mixture of filth, gravel and paved bicycle paths than twist and wind their manner throughout the nation in a magical maze-line method. You’ll be blown away at simply how properly signed and completely maintained the bicycle routes in Switzerland are.

There are different causes to come back to Switzerland, after all. The truth that virtually everybody speaks English is actually a plus.

When you get drained on any day of the tour and determine that you simply don’t need to cycle all the best way to the resort that evening, there may be virtually all the time a prepare close by which you could bounce on and take you to your subsequent vacation spot.

The folks in Switzerland are very nice as properly.

The meals is nice. When you like chocolate, wine or cheese, you’ll be in heaven!

Actually, there are such a lot of causes to come back to Switzerland for a bicycle tour.

How Tough Is The Using?

The Problem Tour isn’t the simplest of the bicycle excursions that Bike Switzerland has to supply. Nevertheless, it isn’t probably the most tough bike tour both. The Problem Tour is an intermediate bike tour that nearly any bicycle owner can full so long as they do some coaching earlier than arriving in Switzerland for the beginning of the tour.

Over the course of the bike tour you can be biking roughly 560 kilometers (350 miles) through the seven days you’re truly on the bike.

The primary day of the tour is spent in Geneva and also you don’t cycle on that day. There’s a relaxation day on day 5 of the tour, so there isn’t any biking on that day both. And the final day of the tour is spent taking a prepare from Lake Constance on the east aspect of Switzerland and touring again to Geneva on the west. So there’s no biking on that day both.

That implies that you’ll be biking about 80 kilometers (50 miles) on every day of the tour that you’re truly driving your bike.

To be able to take part within the tour you must have the ability to confidently experience a bicycle, deal with small hills, go for at the least 80 kilometers (50 miles) per day, cease your bicycle on command, negotiate your manner via gentle site visitors and experience in a line/group with different folks on bikes.

You don’t should be a racer or a velocity demon to finish this tour. You don’t must have cycled 1000’s of miles earlier than signing up. You merely must have some primary bike dealing with abilities and the will to get from one aspect of the nation to the opposite.

In case you are afraid that you simply won’t have the abilities wanted to finish this reasonably difficult bike tour, you might need to take into account Bike Switzerland’s Lite Tour, which additionally takes you from one aspect of Switzerland to the opposite, however traverses via a lot simpler (flatter) terrain.

Alternatively, in case you are a kind of individuals who is in search of an actual problem, the Bike Switzerland Jura Tour is perhaps extra up your alley.

Whereas the title of the Problem Tour sounds prefer it is perhaps terribly tough, it’s one thing that nearly any bicycle owner can full. There are just a few hills that may make your legs burn and trigger you to interrupt a sweat. There are just a few moments when it’s a must to experience on heavily-trafficked roads. However for probably the most half, the Problem Tour is one thing that anybody with reasonable bike dealing with abilities can take part in and proudly full.

How To Ebook Your Tour

When you determine that you’ve got each the will and the mandatory abilities to take part within the Bike Switzerland Problem Tour, the following step is to enroll!

The tour is a bit expensive (it at the moment prices 3,850 CHF), however whenever you examine it to comparable guided excursions around the globe and take into account every little thing that’s included with the tour itself, it’s actually a fairly whole lot.

Simply have a look at every little thing you get whenever you join the Problem Tour:

Airport transfers/pick-ups in Geneva on arrival day
Premium lodging (in lovely 3 and 4 star inns)
All meals are included apart from one lunch and one dinner
Gourmand picnic lunches: contemporary natural salads, farm cheeses, bakery breads, arduous sausages, fruit, muffins, wine, beer, soda, and so on….
A high-end, fully-equipped BMC bicycle to make use of throughout the tour… with bike luggage, water bottle, lock, multi-tool, and so on.
A GPS navigator
Help van for baggage
Shade maps to maintain you on observe
Your individual cellphone so household can name you and you can also make calls to different tour individuals, and so on.
Different particular occasions (similar to wine tastings, farm breakfasts, and so on.)
A guided climbing day (<— my private favourite) Spherical journey cogwheel journey as much as the Jungfrau area Spherical journey cogwheel journey up the Brunig Cross Return prepare journey again to Geneva with a stop-over in Berne A Bike Switzerland T-shirt And the expertise of a lifetime!

To join the tour, merely contact John Klemme on the Bike Switzerland Welcome Middle and he’ll provide you with all the data you’ll want to place a tour reservation, make cost and prepare in your transportation to and from Switzerland.

The Bicycles

Whereas I selected to come back to Switzerland with my very own touring bicycle, each different particular person taking part within the Bike Switzerland Problem Tour got here to Switzerland with out a bike and used one of many BMC hybrid bicycles that the corporate has readily available for these occasions.

Bike Switzerland purchases a brand new set of BMC bicycles every 12 months, so you recognize that the bicycle you’ll use on tour might be one.

The corporate rents these bicycles out frequently to people who find themselves touring in Switzerland for a restricted time, so the bicycle you utilize on the tour might not be utterly model new, however it is going to be awfully shut.

Every bicycle is provided with a Garmin eTrex GPS, helmet, handlebar bag, rear rack pack, water bottle, lock, multi-tool and cellular phone.

Of all of the folks I used to be touring with on the Problem Tour, not a single one among them had something adverse to say concerning the hybrid bicycles they have been utilizing. Actually, most of my journey companions have been overjoyed at simply how good the BMC bicycles have been. A few of them even wished to purchase the bicycle after the tour was over!

The Tour Guides

Some of the essential facets of any guided bicycle tour are the guides in control of the tour itself… and Bike Switzerland has gathered up an distinctive group of guides and assist employees for his or her excursions.

Whereas John Klemme is the top of the corporate and has been in control of main a number of of Bike Switzerland’s bike excursions previously, he’s now within the strategy of handing over a few of these duties to different people.

As I’ve shared with you within the first a part of this assessment, there have been three different folks (moreover John) serving to to guide this 12 months’s Bike Switzerland Problem Tour. There was Claude – our information who rode with us every single day and made positive we have been touring in the correct course; Mark – our driver and lunch man; and Eric – the intern who ready our bicycles earlier than we left Geneva.

As the top of the corporate, John Klemme has taken on a variety of duties and he does a superb job of dealing with all of it. John is sort, understanding, thoughtful, well timed and extremely educated. Better of all, this American-born businessman has been dwelling in Switzerland for the previous 20+ years, so he not solely understands Swiss tradition, however he additionally understands the considerations of his tour individuals – a lot of whom journey to Switzerland every year from different westernized nations.

Mark, the motive force of the assist automobile and the person who ready our lunches every day was pleasant, outgoing and educated concerning the Swiss panorama, roads and historical past. An ex-pat from Britain, Mark and his spouse moved to Switzerland just a few years again and have since that point been slowly making Switzerland into their new dwelling. As an outsider now dwelling within the nation, Mark’s view of Switzerland was much like my very own and to lots of the different folks taking part within the tour. He didn’t see the Swiss nation completely like a Swiss nationwide would possibly, however noticed the nation with an outsider’s eye. I used to be glad to have Mark with us on the tour. He was an trustworthy, outgoing particular person and I thought of him to be a significant participant within the success of this 12 months’s Problem Tour.

Eric, the intern, performed a small position within the total expertise of the Bike Switzerland Problem Tour. Nevertheless, I discovered this tall, skinny younger man from the western United States to be immediately accessible. He’s the form of particular person you meet and really feel as if you’ve identified for years. With a distinctive information of bicycles and a ardour for brand spanking new experiences, Eric is the proper particular person to be working at a spot like Bike Switzerland.

Lastly, there was Claude. As somebody who has traveled by bike for greater than fifteen years, Claude was actually probably the most skilled bicycle owner in our group and I liked listening to his tales about biking all around the globe. Whereas I used to be impressed with Claude’s sort disposition, pleasant angle and information of bicycle know-how, Claude did at occasions battle with the GPS items we have been utilizing on tour and there have been quite a few events all through the tour after we’d drift off target and need to double-back so as to proceed not off course.

That stated, I believe Claude has every little thing it takes to be a superb bicycle touring information. This was, admittedly, his first time main a bicycle tour (and his first time utilizing a GPS) and now that he’s finished it I believe he’ll do a significantly better job the second time round. He simply wants just a little extra coaching and just a little extra follow with the GPS unit. As soon as he does these two issues, I do know that he’ll be a stand-out participant in future Bike Switzerland excursions.

The Accommodations

Moreover the plush inexperienced landscapes, crystal clear lakes and exquisite farms and villages that we cycled via over the course of our 10-day bicycle tour, the inns have been one other main spotlight of the Bike Switzerland Problem Tour.

The inns we stayed at every evening have been lovely! Lots of them got here with breathtaking balcony views and the employees at every resort spoke glorious English.

As a result of we have been typically occasions consuming each breakfast and dinner on the inns as properly, it must be famous simply how good the meals, service, and basic eating expertise on the Problem Tour actually is. John has gone out of his strategy to discover the perfect inns within the space – not simply inns with clear rooms, however inns that excel in each facet – from eating to employees and every little thing in between.

If I needed to fee the inns on a scales of 1 to 10, with 1 being the bottom and 10 being the very best, I might give the inns on the Problem Tour a ten. Severely, they’re that good!

The Meals

To be trustworthy, I used to be a bit involved concerning the meals we is perhaps served on the Problem Tour. I’m a vegetarian, so it may well typically be fairly tough for me to seek out meals that I like when I’m touring.

John assured me, nonetheless, that my dietary restrictions could be not downside… and he was proper!

The meals that was served to us for breakfast, lunch and dinner was actually, actually good… and there was all the time one thing for me to eat – at the same time as a vegetarian.

Whereas among the dinners on the inns have been higher than others, I might fee the meals on the journey as a 9.5 out of 10 (and I’m a tricky grader with regards to meals). There was actually just one meal on the whole tour that I didn’t like (a mushroom and rice dish that was served to me because the vegetarian choice at our second resort in Chexbres).

Apart from that one dish, I liked each different meal that was served to us. We had fruit and bread, wine and cheese, greens and meat (no meat for me although), and desserts past perception.

The perfect meals on the tour, nonetheless, was in Wengen, which was nice as a result of we stayed in that resort for 2 nights and due to this fact received two scrumptious breakfasts and dinners whereas we have been there. The meals at that one resort was so good I nonetheless dream about it typically in my sleep. And if I ever return to the Wengen space, I’ll know precisely the place I’m going to go for dinner! Severely, the meals there was wonderful!!!

Would I Suggest The Bike Switzerland Problem Tour?

Total, the Bike Switzerland Problem Tour is an unimaginable expertise. Whether or not you’re an skilled bicycle owner with 1000’s of miles/kilometers beneath your belt or somebody who’s simply now stepping into biking, there are numerous explanation why I believe you’d love the expertise of driving your bicycle throughout the nation on the Problem Tour.

One of the best factor concerning the expertise, I believe, is that when the tour is over you get the satisfaction of realizing that you simply’ve simply ridden your bicycle from one aspect of the nation to the opposite. The truth that you’ve been ready to try this whereas on the similar time seeing among the most unimaginable surroundings on the planet, assembly new folks, consuming scrumptious meals and staying in advantageous inns every evening simply makes the expertise all that significantly better!

If there are any down sides to the tour itself, the worth must be one among them. Whereas actually aggressive when in comparison with comparable guided excursions around the globe, the worth goes to be restrictive for some people.

Total, I’d give my expertise on the Bike Switzerland Problem Tour a ten out of 10 score. I whole-heartily advocate this bicycle tour for anybody who likes to experience a motorbike and needs to expertise the most effective nations on the planet for biking, surroundings and meals.

I liked the Bike Switzerland Problem Tour. I liked each second of it.

I do assume, nonetheless, that it might be much more wonderful if simply two easy issues have been added to the tour.

1. To begin with, I might give each the leaders and the tour individuals extra coaching with the GPS units and cell telephones.

Having every bicycle outfitted with a GPS unit is so extremely good. It is likely one of the issues I favored most concerning the Problem Tour. As a result of I had the GPS with me on my bike, I knew that if, for some cause, I received separated from the group and wanted to fulfill up with them later, I might simply do this. With the GPS mounted to my handlebars I all the time knew the place I used to be going, although I used to be biking via a rustic that I used to be very unfamiliar with.

That stated, I used to be one of many few folks on the tour who truly understood easy methods to work the GPS items. Even Claude, the tour chief, was a bit confused about easy methods to work his machine.

If I have been working the Problem Tour myself subsequent 12 months, I might spend hour at the beginning of the tour educating the whole group easy methods to function not solely their GPS items, but additionally their new cell telephones. I might run the individuals via a small coaching course close to the Bike Switzerland Welcome Middle and make the coaching with the GPS united right into a enjoyable sport that might be performed in a close-by park or on the streets of Geneva itself. The sport would train every particular person easy methods to use the GPS items in a protected and considerably acquainted atmosphere and would be certain that every particular person knew easy methods to work the GPS earlier than biking off the following day on the beginning of the tour.

2. The opposite factor I might add to the tour is extra details about the historical past, folks and tradition of the areas we have been biking via.

A part of the explanation I wished to cycle throughout Switzerland was in order that I might each see and get a way of a giant and ranging a part of the Swiss nation. Whereas we did get to see a big a part of the nation, we didn’t actually be taught very a lot about Switzerland itself. We might cease at medieval castles, however have been by no means actually advised concerning the historical past of the place. We sipped wine at native vineyards, however received little or no info on Switzerland’s wine tradition.

Personally, I might have favored to have realized extra about Switzerland whereas we have been on tour. We cycled via so many wonderful locations, however they have been simply fairly issues to have a look at quite than characters in a narrative of Switzerland’s previous.

If future Bike Switzerland tour leaders might disperse some details about Switzerland and the areas being cycled via to the tour individuals at varied factors all through the tour itself, I believe that will take the expertise of driving throughout Switzerland on bicycles to an entire new degree.


Finally, I’m tremendous pleased with my expertise on the Bike Switzerland Problem Tour. If given the prospect, I will surely come again and do it once more.

Frankly, I believe that’s what’s most spectacular about Bike Switzerland and the service that the supply. The truth that a few of Bike Switzerland’s tour individuals do certainly come again and do totally different excursions (and typically even the identical tour) time and again says rather a lot concerning the firm and the service that they supply. I might say a variety of actually good issues about my expertise on the Problem Tour. Severely, I might go on and on. However the truth that a few of this 12 months’s Problem Tour individuals might be coming again to Switzerland subsequent 12 months says greater than I might ever say.

For extra info on Bike Switzerland, the Problem Tour or any of the opposite bicycle excursions that Bike Switzerland has to supply, make sure you go to the web site at


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Bike Switzerland Problem Tour – An Unbelievable Bicycle Touring Expertise  
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