Cycling Switzerland: My first solo journey

Day 7 | Schwyz – Zurich (90KM)

It was a rough morning…not surprising considering the amount of alcohol and lack of sleep! I got up late and had to rush to get ready. I managed to pack my bag and place it at reception in time then forced myself to eat breakfast before I left for my final day of cycling.

Ibergeregg
Ibergeregg

The last climb was the Ibergeregg at 1406m which did not seem like a very big climb compared to the others I had done that week. I was wrong, and the climb was harder than expected! As soon as I left the hostel the climb started and I immediately regretted drinking the night before. I am not certain of the exact percentage but it felt like it was between 12% and 16% the entire way…then again, maybe it was just the hangover!

As I climbed cars drove by and people leaned out of their windows to cheer me on…they must have seen I was in pain! By the time I arrived at the summit my hangover was completely gone and I was feeling great!

The descent was beautiful and the turns were not as tight as other passes so I allowed myself to take on more speed! As I descended and arrived in the valley, I realized I was looking forward to arriving in Zurich. My knee had began to hurt a few days before and now it seemed to be getting worse.

I rode past the beautiful Sihlsee Lake. It is the largest artificial lake of Switzerland! Along the way is also the monastery village of Einsiedeln however I did not stop to take a look as I really wanted to get back and had a train to catch for Bern later that afternoon.

I arrived in Rapperswil and knew I was very close to Zurich. It is such a cute town and would like to visit next time I am in Zurich. There is a castle overlooking the town, terraces by the water to sit and relax with friends or a good book, and a great vibe! I was really focused on getting back to Zurich and immediately left Rapperswill to complete the final 30 kilometres. It was amazing to ride by Lake Zurich and I gave it my all!

I arrived at the Zurich train station at 14:30 on July 16 2011 after 7 days of continuous cycling. My luggage had not yet arrived so I went to eat and returned to retrieve my luggage later on. I had to hurry to get back to my friend’s home in order to shower, change, and get back to the train station. I was taking a train to Bern to join a group of friends for the soccer match!

We met at the train station near to where the match was taking place. It was so good to see my friends! It was the BSC Young Boys against FC Basel…I don’t know much about the teams however I took for the Young Boys since they were the team from Bern. The match was good but the real entertainment came from the fan club with their flags, chants, and flames! It was crazy to watch…we would never allow that in Canada.

After the match we joined with another group and had a few beers at the stands around the stadium. Everyone was really tired so we did not stay out very late and headed back to Bern. My cycling adventure was over.

Epilogue

The journey was amazing and I could not have hoped for better! I want to thank SwissTrails once again for making this trip so wonderful. I recommend this company to anyone looking to explore Switzerland no matter your level or your passion. They organize trips for many activities including cycling, hiking, mountain biking, canoeing, and skating (in-line skating). The trips are affordable and can be adapted to any budget from high-end hotels to sleeping in barns on hay!

When leaving Montreal I was not sure I would be able to do this and had no idea what I was getting myself into. I had to trust that things would work out and that I had the strength to do this on my own. I needed to prove to myself that I could and I also needed to reconnect with myself. I found this to be a great cleansing for my body and mind and I recommend this for everyone.

This trip tested my courage through the fog and wind at the summit of the Furka and Grimsel passes, tested my patience when I would get lost and had to find my way, and tested my endurance when I had been irresponsible the night before and had to climb the Ibergeregg. Throughout all this, I met very honest people that helped me and expected nothing in return…this, for me, was the best part of the trip.