Rund um den großen Rigi

Normally, I don’t blog about my rides and I
keep any pictures I take to myself.  But
it is time to share.  I have been off the
bike for 7 weeks.  My last ride was up
Alpe d’Huez humping 15kg of camera equipment so I could take pictures of Dutch
and Irish corners during the Tour.  

The first 4 weeks of my bike layoff were
due to devoting every possible spare minute to finalizing Issue 0 of
Conquista.  After 4 solid weeks of work,
I was exhausted and my body was ready to accept a nasty Swiss cold, the kind
that never seems to go away.

After 7 weeks without my bike, I was a
little grumpy.  I was desperate to ride
again.  So on Saturday the diseased mucus
had all but gone and the sun was shining. 
I received a call from my good mate, Pär, and we were on for a ride
circumnavigating Rigi, a mountain in the Canton of Zug, Switzerland.

Mount Rigi is the majestic, layered-rock
mountain abutting Zugersee and framing the view from Zug as you look south to
Italy.  If you start at Zug and follow
the Zugersee ride through Cham and break off towards the beautiful town of Küsnacht
am Rigi, you will end up riding next to Vierwaldstättersee (it literally means the lake bordered
by the four forested cantons) as it changes into Urisee (I have no idea where
this change occurs).  This ride follows
the towns of Weggis and Vitznau that have that expectant beauty of Swiss lakeside
living. 

A view of the Vierwaldstättersee
A view of the Vierwaldstättersee

Whilst this is a lakeside ride, the terrain is
not flat and the road rises up and down into rocky cliffs and descending into
serene harbours.  This ride is good
training for maintaining momentum through rolling hills and false flats. You can
credit at least 5km/h of extra speed to a lightening of the legs from the
breathtaking lake scene.

I told myself not to get too excited on this
ride.  I needed to conserve my tank for
the full ride as it was going to be challenging after such an absence.  My word-of-the-day for the ride was
‘efficiency’.  I wanted every movement to
be as economical as possible so I could get around the course without feeling
like a burden.

Pär
Pär

 

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Pär is as strong as an ox.  If he were a boxer, he would be mosquito
weight.  My friend could sense my lack of
form and took the lead for the entire 80kms. 
I admit that I felt bad about this. 
I should have taken the wind for Pär but this time I was more content
leaving teeth marks on his rear tyre as I desperately hung on.

 

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Half my brain was taking in the scenery and
the other half was concentrating and calculating every effort.  Luckily we grabbed a coffee at the half-way
point.  We stopped at a roadside café
bordering the lake.  The views were
magnificent.  Truly magnificent. 

On the final leg, I chewed some more on Pär’s
back wheel and it paced me back home.  I
was tired, depleted and flippin’ happy to be back on the bike.

Me
Me


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