I started near Schaffhausen, rode Eurovelo 6 to Basel more or less, then did a shortcut to Dannemarie to reach the canal Rhein / Rhone (canal du Rhin au Rhone), and followed Eurovelo 6 again Chalon sur Saone, and then south to Lyon - which wasn't easy to traverse as it's quite big with all the little villages in the north and south of it.
Along the "Via Rhona" bicycle roads along the Rhone, left and right of the river, switching back and forth and sometimes to bicycle trail and then normal road for 10-20km and then reappearance of the bicycle path again.
Short before Avignon at Orange I detoured into the valley of Durance, and rode slowly to Briancon, and then climbed the small pass of Col de l'Echelle - a beautiful pass.
Steep decline into Italy, and flat to Turino, which during the day is manageable to traverse with the bicycles (early mornings and late afternoons not recommended), and along the Po partially heading to Switzerland and at Locarno I took the train to Arth-Goldau, from where I continued back to Schaffhausen.
It was a brief tour with just 3 weeks and ~1700km distance covered.
Impressions & Highlights
Mighty Rheinfall at Schaffhausen
Rhein Rhone channel near Dannemarie (France)
Les Doubs near Montbeliard
Col de l'Echelle
Bridge over Dora Baltea river from Aosta valley, near Crescentino
May 27, 2015: Schaffhausen - Bad Saeckingen 94km (7:10) 94km
First day along the rhine more or less, and one of the most impressive sight of the trip actually: the mighty Rheinfall.
Some of the "official" bicycle trail leads through a hilly forest, while the car road was flat following a river, bad choice.
Finally camped next to the rhine on the german side - slow day yet exhausted due the hilly passages.
Start near Schaffhausen (Switzerland) 2015/05/27 09:57
Schaffhausen at the Rhein 2015/05/27 11:01
Rheinfall 2015/05/27 11:17
Mighty Rheinfall at Schaffhausen 2015/05/27 11:17
May 28, 2015: Bad Saeckingen - Basel - Altkirch - Montbeliard 102km (6:52) 196km
Reaching Basel, everytime trying to find a good route, but the traffic is immense, finally reaching the Rhine - Rhone channel and the bicycle path (no cars).
Rhein Rhone channel near Dannemarie (France) 2015/05/28 15:25
May 29, 2015: Montbeliard - Roulans 96km (6:19) 292km
Rain, Sunny 21C, W
Following the Les Doubs river, beautiful nature scenery - really enjoying the ride.
Reaching Besancon, continue to Dole and a bit further, camping in a cultivated forest.
May 31, 2015: Chemin - Chalon sur Saone - Tournus - Macon 85km (5:09) 494km
Sunny, Cloudy 22C
Reaching the Saone (becoming the Rhone later), partially following the river sometimes the normal car road - not much traffic, nice weather.
Macon 2015/05/31 11:33
Rhone 2015/05/31 15:09
June 01, 2015: Macon - Lyon - Loire sur Rhone 128km (-) 622km
Sunny, Cloudy, Rain 20-25C
Passing through Lyon, everytime a challenging, a lot of traffic and not much space to camp in the wild before and after Lyon.
June 02, 2015: Loire sur Rhone - Valence 93km (5:38) 755km
Cloudy, Sunny 28C
Reaching Valence, nice climate, yet not many photos due the lack of sunlight to charge the phone/camera.
June 03, 2015: Valence - Montelimar 78km (4:18) 833km
Sunny 31C N
Reaching "Provence" slowly, following the Rhone and the offical "Via Rhona" bicycle trail/path; meet a fellow cyclist Jean-Marc from Geneva, who informs me of the death of a common friend, Ron McGerity, who I met a few years ago on the road in Monaco, he used to ride also with the Fateba longrider 9 months per year all around the world; he was hit by a drunken truck driver near Moscow last November I was told.
Entering the valley of Durance, flat valley at the beginning near Avignon - a region I have been revisiting now several times, trying out new paths and places to camp.
June 05, 2015: Pertuis - Manosque - Chateaux Amoux St. Auban 104km (6:38) 1066km
Sunny, Cloudy, Rain, Cloudy 25C SW
Further the valley of Durance . . . camping next to the channel.
June 06, 2015: Chateaux Amoux St. Auban - Gap - Embrun 102km (6:21) 1168km
Sunny, Cloudy, Rain 34C SW
First flat and then more hilly to Gap, and then descending to the Lac de Serre-Poncon, and continue to Embrun and just before it starts to rain pitched the tent and rested.
June 07, 2015: Embrun (Restday)
Sunny, Cloudy, Rain 25-30C SW
First rest day of the tour, relaxing and enjoying the lake near by.
June 08, 2015: Embrun - Briancon 53km (3:58) 1221km
Cloudy, Sunny, Cloudy, Rain 20-25C SW
Even though is a short trip of just 50km something, it's has heavy steep passages, and so early in the tour it was still hard even I knew what I was expecting, the scenery reaching the provencial Alps.
June 09, 2015: Briancon - Col Echelle 29km (2:43) 1250km
Sunny, Cloudy, Rain 12-20C E
After a good rest I got up early and passed through Briancon with some steep climbing and took a photo when I left the village, and then enter a small valley to climb Col Echelle - and arrived around 10:00 at 1762m elevation/altitude.
My planned highlight of the tour . . .
Briancon 2015/06/09 07:41
Col de l'Echelle 2015/06/09 09:38
Col de l'Echelle 2015/06/09 09:40
Col de l'Echelle 2015/06/09 09:41
Col de l'Echelle 2015/06/09 09:42
A brief video clip of the beauty of this place:
June 10, 2015: Col Echelle - Susa - Bussoleno 59km (2:45) 1309km
Cloudy, Rain 10-22C
A bit cloudy and foggy in the morning, but I start anyway as I don't have sufficient liquids to stay another day, so I descend the steep road down the italian side, and reach Susa soon - the brakes got hot and I had to stop frequently to let them cool off (most annoying).
Camping next to Dora Riparia aside of the main road and the highway.
Following the Po river and short before reaching Crescentino I stopped at the ice cold Dora Baltea river to rest for this day - quite some mosquitos but nevertheless I washed cloths and myself thoroughly with the refreshing cool river water.
Wild deposition of garbage, also a reality 2015/06/11 14:21
Through dormant Arona along the lake of Maggiore I reach Locarno and thereby Switzerland, when I jump on the train through St. Gotthard - a pass which I planned to ride over, but I felt not having sufficient endurance due the rather short trip; I would have required to ride 2-3 weeks more to climb 2000Hm with the baggage which the south approach of St. Gotthard requires.
A few days stayed with my parents and then contined to Zurich, and then Winterthur and revisiting Fateba, the manufacturer of my longrider, and then continued to Schaffhausen where my trip ended for this summer.
Bicycle path near Rheinfall, Schaffhausen (Switzerland) 2015/06/17 16:09
Unlike previous years, this time it was rather short trip with 3 weeks and roughly 1700km - along the rivers and just
one pass crossing over from France to Italy near Briancon via Col de l'Echelle, one of the most beautiful passes in France.
It likely was the last tour I made with the Fateba-longrider, as I am fed up with the lack of suspension and disc brakes -
riding french and italian roads, in particular small road and through villages without proper suspension and heavy baggage is
playing with luck regarding your wheel and breaking of spokes; almost each single trip in the past I had troubles with broken spokes,
and the lack of disc brakes made descend from passes an annoying excerise of patience: you climb slowly uphill, and likely you descend as slowly as the rim brakes heated up the wheel so much that the inflates melted holes, and made downhill riding dangerous.
Update 2015/10: switching to Flux S900 shortrider for 2016.