Travel
2016 Travel
2015: France & Italy
2014: Central Europe
2013: France & Italy
2012: Italy & France
2011: Europe: Three Tours
2009: France: Two Tours
2008: Tour de Romandie
2008: Zug - Bern - Zug
2008: Strasbourg
2008: Europe
2007: France
2005: France & Italy
2004: USA: Denver - Sedona
Travel 2004 Marseille
Travel 2004 La Gomera
Travel 2003 Sardegna
Travel 2003 La Gomera
Travel 2002 Korsika
Travel 2002 Bordeaux
1998: Switzerland
1997: USA
1996: USA: Colorado & Arizona


"Yes, we can."

Barack Obama
4th November 2008, Chicago, USA

2015: France & Italy

written by Rene K. Mueller, Copyright (c) 2015, last updated Mon, November 2, 2015

Updates

Fri, October 16, 2015: More description and better structured.

Thu, June 18, 2015: Initial version with a few photos and brief description.


Quick Facts


Tour 2015: France & Italy
Date: May 27 - June 17, 2015

Duration: 3 weeks

Distance: 1700km

Countries: Germany, France, Italy

Cities: Basel, Lyon, Avignon, Briancon, Turino, Locarno

Rivers: Rhein (Germany), Les Doubs (France), Rhone (France), Durance, Po (Italy)

Passes: Col de l'Echelle (1762m) - Hautes Alpes

Bicycle: Longrider recumbent Fateba L1

Camping: Wild (100%)


Brief Description


Col de l'Echelle (1762m)
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

Photos

May 27, 2015: Schaffhausen - Bad Saeckingen 94km (7:10) 94km

Cloudy 18C

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
2015/05/27 15:36
2015/05/27 18:22

May 28, 2015: Bad Saeckingen - Basel - Altkirch - Montbeliard 102km (6:52) 196km

Sunny 20C

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
2015/05/28 15:42
2015/05/28 18:44
2015/05/28 18:44

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.

2015/05/29 14:33
Les Doubs near Montbeliard
2015/05/29 15:45
2015/05/29 17:25

May 30, 2015: Roulans - Besancon - Dole - Chemin 118km (7:05) 410km

Sunny, Cloudy 20C

Reaching Besancon, continue to Dole and a bit further, camping in a cultivated forest.

2015/05/30 11:46
2015/05/30 17:59

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
2015/05/31 12:43
2015/05/31 14:32
2015/05/31 15:09
Rhone
2015/05/31 15:09
2015/05/31 17:49

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.

2015/06/01 19:11
2015/06/01 19:11

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.

2015/06/02 16:29
2015/06/02 16:29

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.

2015/06/03 08:06
2015/06/03 09:59
2015/06/03 11:31
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2015/06/03 12:09
2015/06/03 12:42
2015/06/03 12:52
2015/06/03 16:15
2015/06/03 16:15

June 04, 2015: Montelimar - Orange - Cavaillon - Pertuis 129km (7:17) 962km

Sunny 36C W

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.

2015/06/04 17:57
2015/06/04 18:39
2015/06/04 18:40
2015/06/04 18:40
2015/06/04 19:05
2015/06/04 19:05

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.

2015/06/05 06:42
2015/06/05 09:40
2015/06/05 17:07
2015/06/05 17:07
2015/06/05 17:16

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.

2015/06/06 16:01
2015/06/06 16:03
2015/06/06 16:03
2015/06/06 19:40

June 07, 2015: Embrun (Restday)

Sunny, Cloudy, Rain 25-30C SW

First rest day of the tour, relaxing and enjoying the lake near by.

2015/06/07 12:27
2015/06/07 12:27
2015/06/07 12:27

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.

2015/06/08 11:26
2015/06/08 11:26
2015/06/08 11:37
2015/06/08 11:49
2015/06/08 12:50
2015/06/08 12:50
2015/06/08 12:51

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
2015/06/09 07:52
2015/06/09 07:57
2015/06/09 08:14
2015/06/09 09:02
2015/06/09 09:11
2015/06/09 09:15
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
2015/06/09 09:57
2015/06/09 09:57
2015/06/09 11:22
2015/06/09 11:29
2015/06/09 11:29
2015/06/09 11:52
2015/06/09 12:16
2015/06/09 12:17
2015/06/09 15:09
2015/06/09 15:10
2015/06/09 15:10
2015/06/09 15:11

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.


June 11, 2015: Bussoleno - Turino - Crescentino 87km (4:22) 1396km

Sunny 25C E


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
2015/06/11 15:11
2015/06/11 16:44


June 12, 2015: Crescentino - Vercelli - Novara - Oleggio - Arona 96km (5:16) 1492km

Cloudy, Rain, Cloudy 20C


About 100km straight and flat riding, from early morning until early afternoon - not much charge left to take photos though; short before Arona I find a place to camp.


June 13, 2015: Arona - Locarno - Zug 108km (5:37) 1600km

Cloudy, Sunny 22C

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.

2015/06/13 12:54
2015/06/13 13:13
Airolo (Switzerland)
2015/06/13 14:02
Wassen
2015/06/13 14:16
Lake of Zug
2015/06/13 15:49

June 17, 2015: Zug - Zurich - Winterthur - Schaffhausen 102km (5:53) 1702km

Cloudy, Sunny 20C N

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.

2015/06/17 14:56
2015/06/17 14:56
2015/06/17 14:59
2015/06/17 15:28
2015/06/17 15:39
2015/06/17 15:40
2015/06/17 15:40
Bicycle path near Rheinfall, Schaffhausen (Switzerland)
2015/06/17 16:09

Reflection

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.


.:.




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