Tour de Suisse - 2. - 5. Etappe

After what seems an eternity of very intensive weeks at work for Melanie finally a long weekend ahead, and naturally we planned this for the next stages - this time on our brand new race bikes! The weather forecast predicted mixed spring weather, i.e some sun, some clouds, and maybe some raindrops. So it didn't seem too risky to just go with small luggage (one 20l backpack each) for the 4 days ahead. Due to a Tuning tradeshow in Friedrichshafen we had already booked the hostels in advance and the stages per day were set:

Aesch - Grenzach - Klettgau-Erzingen

Klettgau-Erzingen - Meersburg - Grasbeuren

Grasbeuren - Meersburg - Lindau

Lindau - Bregenz and further up the Rhine maximum as far as Feldkirch............. that was the plan.

Day 1 - Stage 2 

We had crossed the border last time back into Switzerland in Grenzach-Whylen so in consequence we had to start counting again there. Flow was good, streets not too crowded with cars on the bank holiday and we advanced relatively fast along the Rhine. The sun coming out was our bonus at lunch time somewhere after Waldshut.

Cycling on the road bike was pretty awesome, the only thing Melanie didn't like that much was the hill at km92.... which we had to cross to get to Klettgau-Erzingen. On a side note, should you ever plan to overnight in that area: there is seven villages that go by the name of Klettgau-something, all with the same zip code, and booking engines like hrs.de or booking.com will not give the exact village, neither did our Garmin. Which resulted in an additional 4 or 5km until we found the right Klettgau where our "Gasthof zum Hirschen" was located. Summary: 104km, somewhere around 4 1/2 hours, not bad for only the 2nd day ever on the road bike!

Starting point in Grenzach-Wyhlen

Beautiful Laufenburg (looking at the Swiss side)

Well deserved Radler for lunch at a small greek restaurant

Day 2 - Stage 3

Waking up to rain was not what we had hoped.... Today's plan was another 100km more or less and the time we could spend waiting for better weather therefore limited. Which left us with the choice of starting the tour in rain or hopping on the train, and those of you who know Dominik know that a bit of rain will not stop him...and there we go, in rain clothes up the hill behind Klettgau-Erzingen towards Tengen - Singen - Radolfzell. Somewhere in between was another hill, and another one, and I started to not like hills anymore. 

For lunch we stopped in Radolfzell, where we also caught some sun, finally. And on we cycled towards Konstanz, already along Lake Constance. And somewhere on that road I had the overwhelming opportunity to watch and learn how to change a tire. My back tire. Interesting experience, and my alarm bells rang when Dominik said I should rather learn how to do that myself for the 90km tri competition in September. Guess I'll have to do some homework!

Finally in Konstanz we took a detour to a bike shop to get another spare tire and checked in at the port for the next ferry across to Meersburg. After 110km we reached Grasbeuren and the place to spend the night: Pension Busch. Very nice small place with apartments and a decent breakfast buffet. More importantly at the time of arrival: cold beer and a hot shower!

First hill right after breakfast

Where next?

Ferry Constance - Meersburg

 

Sunset over Constance

Dinner!!!

Day 3 - Stage 4

New day new luck...that's what we hoped when we woke up to a dry climate, though rather chilly. Today's stage was planned to be much shorter, our goal was Lindau. 

Our biggest learning experience today was that the so called cycling paths are definitely not meant for road cycling bikes and furthermore with very poor signage. Definitely not recommendable, and even less if there is lots of trekking bikes with kids' chariots, dogs on a leash and the whole bowling club on the path. 

As if that wasn't enough it started raining off an on again and after the dutifully cycled 47km we decided to call it a day, leave the bikes at the hotel (in Lindau-Schönau) and stroll around the town. 

Cheerful start into the day

Somehwere there is a treasure....wait, actually, my treasure was standing right beside me!

Day 4 - Stage 5

As if we wouldn't have had enough rain over the last two days the weather was not kind with us on the last day of our tour. Honestly, it was an act of will and sheer duty to fulfill the planned minimum of stage until Bregenz where we took the shortest way back onto Swiss soil in Höchst (AT) and to the train station in St. Margarethen. Soaking 25km. 

Not amused...

Back into Switzerland. 

Summary

Day 1: 108km, 4h31m. Aesch - Grenzach - Klettgau-Erzingen

Day 2: 110km, 5h45m. Klettgau-Erzingen - Meersburg - Grasbeuren

Day 3: 47km, 2h16m. Grasbeuren - Meersburg - Lindau

Day 4: 25km, 1h11m. Lindau - Bregenz - Höchst - St. Margarethen

Total: 290km

WE MADE IT! 

 

To be continued.....

 

(whenever the weather god is in a good mood!)

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