Eurovelo 6 in Eastern France

July 28-31, 2018

What happened…

Amanda writes: Up to this point we had always been riding up. Super slight but the river was always flowing in the other direction. We have met a crest in the land and today was our first time going down river on 28th. Cool German/Swiss and French border.

So remember in Paris when Andrew thought there might have been bed bugs and he complained to the front desk? Well we confirmed today that there was in fact bed bugs at that bloody hotel. I don’t know how I dodged that one, but only Andrew and Stephanie were affected. It’s still annoying and frankly a bit shocking. In all our years of traveling we have been lucky and after all this time it was in an expensive hotel that it happened.

After leaving our amazing hosts on the edge of France we started to jump between countries for a few days. The borders are such that you sort of toggle between them as you’re cycling. There are no border crossings so sometimes you can’t even see it. When we arrived in Switzerland we had another awesome host who took us swimming in the river. His name was Basel. On the 29th we rode over the oldest wooden bridge. I was frustrated with Andrews routing and there was some tension.

These couple of days were a bit off right from the get go. We had planned to head into the mountains and share the joy of climbing and seeing incredible views. The main reason was to see our great friends Nici and Philip. We first met these two Austrians in 2015 when we hosted them in Mexico as they were traveling by bicycle on a similar journey of Alaska to Argentina. Since then we have reconnected in three countries. There are not many people that we can spend a lot of time with, but these two are just awesome. Philip is funny as hell, actually so is Nici. They are genuine and kind and so chill. They actually are key players in our modified version of traveling where we take our time. And because they are genuine and honest Philip sometimes gets on my nerves, but more in a brotherly kind of way. While he can be a dickhead, I can be a bitch too. I like to think we have a pretty great friendship because of it. And Nici is just incredible. Funny, kind, smart, strong; oh and did I mention funny. Anyways we were super excited to see them. We had connected with them a few times leading up to our planned arrival date. Then over the span of 24 hours it just all sort of got cancelled. We learned Nici and Philip weren’t available to host us. They had a long time friend leaving the country which of course we totally understand that is important, but it was just a bit shocking after traveling so far. Nici followed it up saying she’d rather have 2 weeks another time instead of just a couple of days this time which is a valid point. But Andrew was crushed. It broke my heart. It was almost like he shut down from this point. I mean I get it; he had spent a month with two women. He was really looking forward to it and really could of used some guy time, even if overnight. We really got the sense we should not come and changed the route. Andrew didn’t say much but he just seemed so deflated. And with his deflation came some short tempers.

Steph’s spoke was bent and Andrew spent 1-2 hours fucking with it. He just kept making it worse and worse and I encouraged him to just start over but he would have nothing of it. He finally called his friend Philip who knows bikes who said the same thing as me; just start over. Stephanie and I just sat on the side of the road while he tried to fix it.

We swam in the river again on the 29th and confirmed for 2 house sits for the fall and applied for a 3rd as we start to plan for our lives when Stephanie goes back to Canada. On the 30th We went back and forth between Switzerland and Germany many times. We visited a big waterfall. On the 31st we did lots of planning after arriving at the campground because of good wifi.


Stephanie writes: We started the day by doing yoga with Amanda, Claudia and Henri. Henri took pictures which was a bit weird but it was nice because it was a short practice of only a half hour. We said goodbye and exchanged WhatsApp information with Claudia. Henri tried to kiss me when we left which was weird but I guess a French thing. It was like a full on kiss on the lips. I dodged it.

We took lots of pictures. It’s weird there is no border security in Europe. We got to Switzerland and found a porn magazine on the ground a lunch. I accidentally hit Andrew because I was drafting him like he taught me and he totally flipped out. There were lots of people fishing on the river and saw some muskrats. Met Basil at his house in Basel Switzerland. Yup that’s right our hosts name is Basil and he lives in a city called Basel. There are bikes everywhere in Switzerland! We went swimming in the Rhine river and floated down with some super cool waterproof bags. My towel got bird poop on it again! We took a water taxi back after swimming and had raclette cheese for dinner on the balcony. Super swiss evening just like in the movies.

On the 29th we started the day by having cheese for breakfast with Basil. We gave Basil a Canada bag tag and said goodbye. The Swiss do 3 kisses, the French do 2 or on lips like Henri. I think I prefer to 3 cheeks to one on the lips. We rode to Germany and then back into Switzerland as we followed our route. We got lunch and pins. I bought a pin for 2.90 franks. The guy at desk gifted me one from Masadonia and I gave him a Canada pin. It was super cool like pin trading. We went on gravel road and my spokes loosened. Andrew tightened the loose ones and then they went a weird shape. It took over an hour to get it okay. We FaceTimed Philip (pj) for help and saw (nici/burnsy) who are some Austrian friends of Amanda & Andrew’s. Andrew seems upset that we aren’t going to see them.

Amanda and I tried to fix front derailleur because Andrew was frustrated with the spoke thing and he didn’t seem like he was in a very good mood. We couldn’t do it and Andrew ended up fixing it. Today we finished our first 1000km!!!!! Holy cow, I’ve ridden my bike 1000 km in Europe. We got to a German campsite and went swimming in the river again where there were lots of fish. Switzerland is on the other side of the river. Amanda and Andrew did a Facetime call and got us a house sit in London. They are okay with me coming too so we have a place to stay while we are there that is totally central and we can do sightseeing. This will be my first house sit. They were also applying for a house sit in Scotland which is in a castle! Amazing. You have to pay 1 euro for 4 minutes to use the showers here. Today we rode through Switzerland – Germany – Switzerland – Germany – Switzerland- Germany.

On the 30th we started the day a bit tired because Andrew snored the whole night and I got no sleep. I had to navigate the first 60km or so because Andrew wanted me to learn. We woke up early and went to the grocery store. There were lots of hills on the ev6 – Swiss flat is what we’ll call it after learning about French flat; which is not flat at all. We saw Simon and Beatrice again and rode with them for a bit. We stopped to have a snack next to the river where there were ducklings and saw Europe’s biggest waterfall called Rheinfall. We stopped and had lunch and napped. There were lots of people walking really close to our stuff which we were careful to watch, just in case. We went up elevators to get out of the waterfall area because we didn’t want to ride out(super steep). It was actually pretty smart and easy. The campsite we had planned to stay at was full so we went down about 5km down to a new campsite and met Walter the old talkative man at campsite. He is 81 and his wife is 80 and they were with their daughter. Their daughter told him to stop harassing us which was cute. The campground was super expensive and we went in the pool. Amanda had a cannon ball fight with a little kid. Andrew asked a German kid where the pool is. This campground has super nice showers. We met a bike tourist from Brooklyn, New York. His name is Alan and he likes to sleep in. Today we rode from Germany – Switzerland – Germany – Switzerland – Switzerland.

The 31st was a nice short day of 26km. We slept in and had breakfast at a place next to the pool. We got to our next campsite at 12:30 pm and they let us set up even though check in starts at 3:00pm. We got a Kola. It’s super hot, the hottest European summer in over 100 years. Andrew and I went to the store which was super small and everything was all natural. There was a really helpful German lady. We set up for bed and Simon and Beatrice showed up. They lost each other during the day and it took a long time to get back on track which is why they were so late. Today we did Switzerland – Germany.


Today’s Flickr Photographs


Aerial view of rides with embedded pictures





Cycling Stats

July 28, 2018
Start Point: Retzwiller, France
Destination: Basel, Switzerland
63.77 1km trip, 18.96 km/h average speed, 32.47 km/h maximum speed, 3:22 time on the bike

July 29, 2018
Start Point: Basel, Switzerland
Destination: Waldshut, Germany
69.12 km trip, 15.16 km/h average speed, 35.9 km/h maximum speed, 4:34 time on the bike

July 30, 2018
Start Point: Waldshut, Germany
Destination: Chlingeriet, Switzerland
81.80 km trip, 13.87 km/h average speed, 41 km/h maximum speed, 5:54 time on the bike

July 31, 2018
Start Point: Chlingeriet, Switzerland
Destination: Wahlwies
26.69 km trip, 15.31 km/h average speed, 31 km/h maximum speed, 1:45 time on the bike


Route Description:

July 28, 2018 Almost the entire day was downhill on the ev6 route. It is mostly paved too. We crossed the river near the German/Swiss/French border. This was the first time this trip we have been going down river and really noticed a difference. We also had a tailwind which was a bonus.
July 29, 2018 Today’s ride was mostly near the river. The warm showers host suggested we cycled on the German side but we popped back and forth a lot. Some sections were gravel which was nice to ride on and in good condition. There are a few villages along the way.
July 30, 2018 Today was a far more hilly ride than anticipated. We tried to follow the ev6 but it was hard. We went back and forth between Switzerland and Germany many times.
July 31, 2018 This was an easy ride off the ev6. It included some good bike lanes and it was 100% paved. There is a hill toward the end of the ride. We you arrive in Germany go to the big grocery store as there are no big ones near the campground.


Accommodations:

July 28, 2018 We stayed in a warm showers host home in Basel. There are hotels and campgrounds available.
July 29, 2018 We stayed at a nice campground with great facilities.
July 30, 2018 The first campground we came to was full and we went to the second one that was very expensive but had a nice pool, showers and good facilities.
July 31, 2018 The campground was awesome with good wifi. It was nice and small.

Eurovelo 6 in Eastern France