Sunday, 25 July 2010

Swiss Roll Day 7 - Basel to Grafstal - 78 miles

It's the last day of our ride and not only has my cold got worse, but James has come down with it too. In fact he feels so bad that he's decided to take the train home - well he has ridden all the way to Switzerland, which was the deal!

His decision is certainly the sensible one, but I'm feeling a mum-like determination to see this through to the end, however bad I'm feeling, foolhardy or not.

It's raining and cool too as I set off at 9.30 to complete the trip on my own. Sadly I follow James's advice and head south through the suburbs of Basel to find the Rhine cycle route.

I say sadly, because after 45 minutes and 8 miles I'm back in the centre of the city having been unable to get onto the route - every time I got near, the roads kept turning into motorways that I wasn't allowed to ride on...

Back in the centre, I head to the Rhine and find the path straight away (which is what I wanted to do in the first place, but James is the Swiss expert!). However it quickly peters out and I'm cycling first through industrial docks and then along a rough path.

So after an hour and a half I've managed about 5 miles towards my destination. I give up and find a road with a perfect cycle route running alongside it...

I try the route again a couple of times, but it's much too indirect and the surface too uneven, so I stick to the road.

That's much better and I'm soon zipping along at 17 mph (not bad with panniers on) with a brisk breeze right behind me, following the river.

Pass through Rhinefelden and I'm back on track, having managed 42 miles by the time I stop for lunch at 1.15. I'm having to force myself to eat and drink, as I've got absolutely no appetite. I seem to be coughing up half a lung too, which can't be healthy.

But I seem to have turned into some sort of cycling machine and carry on at the same rate. Before I know it I'm turning away from the Rhine towards my brother's village.

It's another couple of hours of gentle hills, through very pretty countryside, before I arrive at his door gar ahead of schedule.

So that's our ride from Dunkerque to Switzerland done. Around 563 miles (compared to the planned 550) in 7 days.

I hope mum would be proud...

Mum in Switzerland


Post script: James is feeling much better and rode the Basel to Grafstal leg this weekend!

Here's a video of the day:

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