An 80km bike ride to Echandens and back

During a recent walk I noticed that I could hear birds chirping, that the sun was shining and that spring seemed to be booting up. The weather held until Saturday so the conditions were ideal for a nice bike ride. The ride started at around 0840, with frost on the ground and an Outdoor Air Temperature (OAT) of around 1°c.

Usually I ride alone but for once I met with a Strava user and we rode at his pace rather than mine. This is a rare luxury. Usually I push myself for the duration of the ride. I try to ride at threshold for as much of the ride as possible. This ride was at a more leisurely pace.

We rode up from Nyon to Luins and from Luins through the vineyards towards Aubonne towards Apples, Bière and then back down towards Echandens. This involved riding through Springtime vineyards. Below us the U-shaped glacial trough was blanketed in mist, as you can see from the two images.

Shortly after taking this picture we had a short, hard climb. The gradient for the climb goes up to 24 percent. This climb requires strength to get up. I had already encountered this climb but from the other side, heading downwards. At the time I thought that I would never want to do this climb in the opposite direction.

As if this wasn’t hard enough it peaks at 28 percent.

This is the type of climb where you have to be used to clipped pedals. If you run out of steam and need to stop you have milliseconds before you stop and fall over. I rode near the wall so that if I ran out of steam I could rest against the wall. It is a character building climb.

Luckily after this climb it gets easier again.

We continued towards Pampigny and from Pampigny headed down for Morges. It amused me that we passed by rocspot. Rocspot is an indoor and outdoor climbing gym where people can climb year round. It is one of the best climbing gyms of the region.

The route from Morges to Nyon along the lake is relatively flat and more relaxing. There was no wind during the entire ride and the temperature was low enough not to need to rehydrate constantly. I drank just half a bottle. In summer I would have emptied two of them.

If you have several hours to spend on a bike ride then this is a nice ride. For the most part it is a moderate ride with gradual gradients, little traffic until you get back to the lake side, and nice landscapes. There are a number of places where you could stop for a drink or a snack and it gets you within easy reach of Lausanne, should you want to interrupt the ride, and take the train home. It is a nice warm-up for those thinking of doing the nearby cols. I will do this ride again.

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