Monday, June 14, 2010


Last Saturday, I rode the Villeneuve - Martigny - Villeneuve route. This road is a small part of the Rhone Route, one of the 9 official Swiss National Cycling Route. (Details of other routes are in the following website, Cycling In Switzerland). Nestled in between 2 huge mountain ranges, this route climbed up until the small town of Brigs, where the the glaciers and ice from the all year round Alps turned into a raging river.

Villeneuve is about 102 km from Geneva, which is about 1 hour drive. Woke up at 4.00 am and went through the preparation again. I asked a friend to drive me there since I planned to start the ride at 6.00 am. We depart Geneva at exactly 5.00 am.

At 6.00 am we arrived in Villeneuve and unloaded the bike at Mc Donalds parking lot. Its still early, but the morning light already illuminated the country side. It was a cloudy morning, and I was afraid it would be raining since I didnt pack the waterproof windbreaker. Luckily the weather holds and although the sky was overcast, it did not rain through out the ride.


There were scarcely any vehicles on the road. I rode slowly, negotiating the corners of the small towns and villages along the route. After the small town of Roche, rode pass terraces of vineyards on the mountains edge at the left side of the road. Cycled through vegetables and wheat farms.

The river Rhone flows in the opposite direction beside most part of the road all the way to St Maurice. There are some hills and elevation but not difficult to climb.

Just before the medieval town of St Maurice I was pleasantly surprised when I found a 500 year old fortress. It was first built in 1476, and was reused as strategic defense point in World War II.

I decided to stop at the fortress to have a break and enjoyed the beautiful scenery.


After the break at Saint Maurice, continued the ride to Martigny passing by small towns of Monthey, Massongex and others which name I cant remember since theirs were a little difficult to pronounce.

Before the town of Vernayaz, I spotted a pretty waterfall and thought how nice it will be to have a picnic there. A few people were there in the parking area, complete with haversacks. I guess they were getting ready to go hiking. Stop and snap a few pictures for the album.

This medieval castle is located on top of a mountain overlooking Martigny. I imagined that in those days, those lords and knights must have a difficult time to go up there on their horses with their full body plate armor to rescue their damsel in distress. But its a pretty cool view, nevertheless.

I arrived in Martigny at around 8.00 am. It was still deserted, not many vehicles on the road. Saw a few other cyclist on the road. Theres a lot of tourists mingling around in front of a hotel, waiting to board their bus. I guest they were on their way to Zermatt, to view the world famous Matterhorn.

Took short break, and gulped down a power gel (which by the way taste horrible! And they labelled it as berperisa lemon.) This was a very new thing for me. Information gleaned from the Internet and a friend tells me the body absorbed and transformed the power gel into energy, faster than power bars, so I decided to do a little test to see whether if its true.


Rode back to Villeneuve using the same route.

After Saint Maurice, I stopped by a wheat farm beside the road to watch this farmer working on his land. Wheat, which gave me a lot of happy snack time moments in the shape of cekodok ikan bilis, cekodok pedas, cekodok manis, cekodok pisang (and loads and loads of other cekodok species as well) looks just like padi, minus the water and lintah.

My curiosity satisfied, I continued my journey back to Villeneuve. Traffic was getting heavier and other cyclists started to crowd the road with their MTBs and roadbikes. This is a popular cycling route after all.

I arrived at the Villeneuve's Mc Donalds at 10.30 am.

Loading the Colnago into the car, I saw these para gliders swooping down from the sky. Quickly snapped a few pics and thought how wonderful the view must be from up there. Winds rushing, adrenalin pumping, fantastic views, free like a bird.


Para gliding next?

The power gel, despite the yucky taste, did work. Felt re energized and alert after a few minutes.


Total distance : 82.04 km
Ride Time : 3 hours 28 minutes 07 seconds
1 Power Gel - YUCK!
3 Power Bars
4 stick of Dunhill
2 bottles of water

No comments:

Post a Comment