Ottobrunn – Murnau, 93 km (4.9.21)

Helena had made me aware of the Blauer Reiter bike tour a while ago, so I have been wanting to do it all summer already. But there was always a problem; bad weather, no accommodation, other plans, whatever. This weekend everything came together, though, so Phil and I set off.

We got off slightly later than I would have liked, but it was Saturday after all. We joined the route at Pullach, so had our first real climb going up the Isar escarpment. The route to Gauting was fairly familiar still, but then along the Würm to Starnberg was really nice!

Unfortunately a local person does not seem to like the cyclists here, though, so puts out drawing pins (as we heard later). Unfortunately I happened to get one of them in my tire, so had my first puncture on my new bike. I had everything ( puncture repair kit and pump) with me, so it wasn’t a problem – but we did realise, that this was the first puncture Phil and I fixed ‘together’ (and that after more than 20 years of marriage and many, many bike tours together 😊 ).

I had downloaded the .gpx track onto my navigation system, so we followed that. To our surprise there were several sections along lake Starnberg only for pedestrians, so we had to get off and push several km. I was not happy with that!

All of this meant, that we got to the Buchheim Museum considerably later than I had been expecting, so we had lunch there before the enjoyed the exhibition. I concentrated on the use of colour by the ‘Blauer Reiter’ – quite interesting, and informed our enjoyment of the following exhibitions (see next day).

The route then took us through a really nice area of lakes and was much more undulating, than I had expected. Along the Ostersee, in the middle of nowhere, we came across one of my colleagues going for a walk – wow!

We had our last rest and drink at Antdorf, and then the climbs got harder. We actually managed quite well, partly due to the weather being great and lack of other path/road users. Unfortunately we arrived in Murnau after the museum there had closed, so we did not get to see the exhibition there.

When we finally arrived at our hotel, we were ushered straight to dinner, before we even took our panniers off the bikes – so we did not get to wear the glad rags we took for the posh occasion, but sat amongst the other guests in our sweaty bike gear. Ah well.

The hotel had a pool, whirlpool and several saunas which we used extensively that evening 😊 .

Ottobrunn – Dachau – Garching – Ottobrunn, 76km, (14.8.21)

I had two political events to go to in the North of our Landkreis, it was supposed to be dry weather, so I thought I’d cycle…. I had not reckoned on the heat, though…

The Green Kreistagsfraktion had organised a guided tour round an organic farm in Dachau, which is just over 30 km from Ottobrunn, but straight through Munich. Cycling through the city was surprisingly ok early in the morning, and once I was on the ‘other side’ of Munich (for me) I discovered areas I had not been to yet – quite interesting. Especially the last bit through the Schwarzhölzl was nice and cool.

The tour round the organic farm was very interesting, I learned a lot about anthroposophic attitudes. A press release is to follow, so I am not allowed to post any pictures here apart from this sunflower.

The guided tour lasted about one hour longer than planned, so I had to rush to get across to Garching to a bike tour organised by the local Greens there.

Ten of us gathered and cycled, despite the heat, that by then was too much to my liking – maybe also, because I had had no time to eat or drink in between. Good, very mixed, group of people, of which I learnt a lot of Garching particulars. The Schleißheim canal, for example, was built for pleasurable punting for the inhabitants of the Oberschleißheim palace – nowadays it is beautiful to cycle along.

We also heard about the history of the heath area to the South of Garching. The group continued on, but I bailed at the Southernmost point of the tour to head home. I did not enjoy my trip back through town as much – the heat was getting to me majorly.

Wil – Ottobrunn, 64 km (7.8.21)

I waited for the rain to pass over and then had a few hills to get over before the long descent down to lake Constance. There I then followed Swiss cycling route 2 along the lake to Rorschach. Along this stretch there were many more cyclists, mostly on e-bikes and many in groups. The bike path is very flat and in between fences, felt a bit strange – a little bit as if the local animals had to be protected from the cycling tourists.

Rorschach itself is a very pleasant place, I had time to have lunch at the Badhäusl before I took the ferry to Lindau. I suppose I could have cycled around the lake, but then I would have had to go through Austria, which in times of Covid I wanted to avoid.

On the ferry I asked one of the seafarers about the weather forecast: heavy rain and thunderstorms in the afternoon, very wet next day. That put paid to my plans to cycle on to Kempten, so I took the train back from Lindau to Munich.

There were S-Bahn-works, so I then cycled back home from the Ostbahnhof to Ottobrunn through a thunderstorm, basically my work trip.

Baden – Wil, 90km (6.8.21)

Woke up due to the heavy rain this morning (remember, I have a room high up and can see the weather coming), so started cycling (video) a little later. Did not get wet at all today!

Somehow the whole day felt hard going. Only when I looked at the analysis of the data at the end of the day I realized that I had climbed over 900 m , much of it in a gradual way, which just made cycling feel a bit harder.

There were many roadworks, some of them fixing the paths along rivers. At one point during a diversion I somehow lost the signs for my route. As I have my bike computer also showing me the way (backup, as I say, I like redundant systems), I though that would not be a problem…. I hadn’t realised until I was right in the middle of Zurich that here the GPS track I had and the route diverged so much! Although there are cycle paths in Zurich it is not a nice place to cycle. If I hadn’t had a sixth sense (actually: experience) I would have probably ended up under a truck or van not sticking to the rules of the road…

Ah well, after Zurich it got more pleasant again, a different river to cycle along. There are always signposts for long-distance roller-blade tours as well, and today I saw my first roller-bladers: three overweight men of over 60 in cycling gear and all-terrain roller-blades. They were going some!

I have also noticed that hotels are not signposted well for cyclists in general. We tend to come into towns along side-roads and it is then often difficult to find tourist information (rarely at the station), which is mostly closed when I want it anyway. Therefore it took me a while to find my abode for the night. Again, I have a proper single room.

After dinner I looked around Wil for a while, very pleasant place! Here also one can find signs explaining the history of specific houses, etc, a lot. Something I have noticed everywhere along the way: water treatment works, coppices, nature reserves, power stations,… just about everything has signs explaining why they are there, what they are doing, etc. are also signs for walkers everywhere, even on all the flat bits I have been cycling.

Solothurn – Baden, 95km (5.8.21)

Dry first 70km, also comparatively flat all the way to Brugg along the Aare. The river still carries high water, had to change my route a few times again.

The route along the Aare is in principle very nice (see video here), saw a couple more wooden bridges and interesting fortified houses/castles (up the hills either side).

My goal for the day was Brugg, about 80 km, but I was there at 14:00 already and could not find any accommodation – so I cycled on. Quite hilly to Baden, had to cross several big roads, train lines and a motorway.

My room in the hotel is on the 12th floor, so I have an excellent view of the weather coming in. The evening was nice enough to sit outside and soak in the atmosphere of Baden – quite relaxed with a locally brewed pale ale or two.

Büren an der Aare – Solothurn, 22km (4.8.21)

Wet old day, but still one of the nicer starts in the morning (see video here). Saw a lot of flooding on the way, the Aare went over its banks and over the bike paths, so I had to cycle a slightly different route.

Went through a village with lots of storks and nests, up to three just on one roof!

Only a short day cycling today, because I wanted to attend an international conference (Equals EU) on how to get more women into technical leadership. Unfortunately my (work) laptop did not want to connect to any kind of internet, neither WiFi nor LAN. Ah well, just as well I am an engineer and (almost) always have at least one backup. Not as comfy, but possible over the mobile phone.

I then actually had a bit of time to look around Solothurn, a very nice baroque town. Unfortunately I could not use the Wellness area in the hotel, there were too many other people in there already…

Yvonand – Büren an der Aare, 93km (3.8.21)

As the weather forecast predicted rain, especially from lunchtime onwards, I set off at 8:00 to try and get as much cycling done in the morning as possible. The first bit was along the Lac de Neuchateau, never that close, as there are nature reserves almost all the way alongside.

The first ‘cultural’ highlight was the town of Estavayer-le-Lac – beautiful, as you can see in the video here.

I got more and more into the main agricultural area of Switzerland (Seenland), which developed as they dried out the marshes that used to be there and lowered the water levels of the lakes. I was slightly taken aback, how much flooding was in the fields, I saw and smelt quite a lot of vegetables and grain just rotting in the water. Fields of sweetcorn were just not growing, etc.

Somewhere between the Lac de Neuchatel and the Bieler lake I noticed the papers in the shop were in German – I am in the ‘German’ speaking part of Switzerland now. I must admit, though, I often understand less than in the French-speaking part, as I really don’t understand Schyzerdütsch, and often not  the attempts at speaking ‘Hochdeutsch’, either.

Rain set in at 12:15. Something I have also noticed as I am following Route 5, Mittellandroute – the signposting positively avoids villages and towns. Therefore I could not find anywhere to have lunch – luckily I had been shopping. Even non-private shelter wasn’t easy, in the end I sat in front of a closed café.

My aim had been to get to Biel, I arrived there at 14:00. Biel is apparently THE town of watches.

After a bit of umming and ah-ing I decided to cycle a bit further, which is how I ended up in Büren, in a really trendy guesthouse on the town square of this really old place. I am told ‘Fassnacht’ was invented here.

Cordon Bleu seems to be the local dish, so I had that for dinner.

Geneva – Yvonand, 110km (2.8.21)

Started off nice and early when Phil left for work, so managed to leave Geneva at 7:40. I decided to follow the signposted route around Lake Geneva until I met the Mittelland Route (Route 5) just before Lausanne. The signposting is mixed in quality, I found out, I seemed to have missed a few and just continued along the lake instead of cycling up into the vineyards – probably not as picturesque, but faster.

Had my second breakfast at Nyon, where Phil is staying for business, but he was at work already of course.

Finally had my swim in the lake at St Prex, at the aptly named Bain des Dames. Turns out the water wasn’t as cold as I had expected, very pleasant. A little bit of a video here.

Lunch at Morges where I could watch people going about their business, useful, when one is travelling on one’s own. So that was slightly more than 50km already…

Just after I had left the lake and had to climb over some hills, the rain set in. I got really drenched, but dried out almost as quickly. Just meant I didn’t really have a break for a while.

Got to Lake Neuchatel at Yverdon-les-Bains, where I kind of looked out for a hotel on the lakefront – but there was only a camp-site to be had. In general I have noticed that access to the lakes is rarely public, a lot of private properties surround the lakes – shame for everybody else.

As it was still fairly early I carried on cycling. In the end I stayed at the Hotel de la Gare in Yvonand, where I had local fish for dinner.

Ottobrunn – Geneva, 2km (30.7. – 1.8.21)

Phil is on a business trip near Geneva at the moment, so we thought we would take the opportunity to look at the city a little bit. This is also the beginning of my one-week holiday, trying to cycle back from Geneva to Ottobrunn as far as I get. I am hoping to reach lake Constance, as Phil and I have cycled the bit from there back to Ottobrunn before (on the way back form a one of his business trips to Basel…).

The train trip was quite strenuous with four changes with bike and panniers, some of them rather short, due to having booked at rather short notice because the Covid-situation. As my penultimate train was late, I missed the connection to the last train in Zurich – this being Switzerland, the next train was already 30 mins later.

We took the opportunity to walk around a bit the first evening in Geneva, to find our bearings. We found a fun fair on the shores of the lake, which was ostensibly there for the Swiss national holiday celebrations on Sunday, 1.8.21. Saturday and Sunday we spent exploring the city, luckily we had a public transport pass form the hotel, thanks to which we took a boat across the lake and trams across town, saving us quite a bit of walking – good thing too, as my knee was playing up painfully.

Luckily we were prepared for rain, as there were numerous showers. The rain did not seem to perturb the Genevans, outdoor dining continued under cover.

We think we saw all the relevant touristy things, including the ITU (International Telecommunications Union) UN.

I was really impressed by the project 100elles, which is trying to make women more visible in Geneva, through proposing to rename some streets.

Ingolstadt – Dachau (87 km), 6.6.21

After a couple of nice days in Ingolstadt, during which Phil got himself some new pedals, we went round the garden show, and spent a day walking round the city centre with Alex, our son, we were looking forward to cycling again. I had planned quite a nice, obviously different, route back, but then the weather forecast was so abysmal, that we replanned. We decided to stick close to the train line so we could bail, if we needed or wanted to. That meant, that the first part of the trip was quite familiar, but we saw everything from the other side, and in quite different lighting.

It hardly rained on us outright, but it drizzled and was generally damp all day. It felt like England. Somehow I seem to have almost exclusively taken water-related pictures – wonder why?

When we left the B13 to cycle towards Petershausen it became hillier… but we managed quite well. Beautiful undulating countryside with nice views, as far as the low hanging cloud allowed. The weather was not conducive to eating in a beer garden, but then we did not find any, that were open anyway. Just as well we had packed muesli bars! Travelling during Covid-times needs more planning.

Again, we took the S-Bahn back for the part through Munich. Although we were constantly damp it was an excellent day’s cycling 🙂