From L’Isle to La Sarraz on a Bike via Romainmôtier

From L’Isle to La Sarraz on a Bike via Romainmôtier

Yesterday I cycled around 41 kilometres from L’Isle to Romainmôtier and then down to La Sarraz, to see the castle, and then to cycle back towards L’Isle and Haute-Morges.

For the part from L’Isle to Romainmôtier you are on quiet roads for the most part, but then as you go from Romainmôtier to La Sarraz you need to take busy roads with dangerous cars driving fast and close. I didn’t feel the need to criticse any of the drivers, but it doesn’t as safe on that bit of road, due to the quantity of traffic.

RomainMôtier is a good place to stop for a coffee, look at the architecture, and enjoy a little shade, on a warm day. You enter through the gate that is closest to Envy, and then you exit by the other gate that heads down to Croy. From there you follow the road down to La Sarraz.

The Road from Pompaples to La Sarraz is a main road, so cars are frequent, and fast. This is a road worth avoiding if possible due to the traffic.

Horse Drawn Cannons

It was amusing to get to La Sarraz, because as we got close to the town we got stuck in traffic. Horse drawn carriages were slowing down the traffic. This was topical. To see horse drawn carriages, as you head towards a castle. It’s not every day you get stuck behind cannon transporting horses.

I didn’t see much of the interior of the castle but it does have a café for a drink or snack before continuing with the ride.

From La Sarraz you go via Ferreyres, Moiry and then follow the cycle route back to L’Isle, if that’s where you want to end your ride, to make it circular.

And Finally

Most of the ride is away from cars, which is good. It’s more enjoyable to cycle when there are no, or few cars, to endanger your health and safety.

Recovery Day

Recovery Day

We are in a heatwave and despite this I have cycled for four and a half hours and walked for three hours and fourty minutes. For the bike rides I woke at 6am to avoid rush hour traffic, and to do things before the temperatures rose. Yesterday the temperature in Geneva reached 39°c. Just a few decimal places away from 40°c heat.

Despite the weak I still went for my afternoon walks, but it’s also because of the heat that I walked with 1.6 litres or more. During hot days I find that I can act normally, but I still try to keep myself hydrated. If I feel that I am overheating I pour water on my hat/helmet to cool down.

Keeping Cool

There are four ways to keep cool. The first is to stay hydrated. Drink a few sips every few minutes. The second is to wear a hat. By wearing a hat your head is not going to cook quite as fast as without. The third solution, which doesn’t require drinking water, is to drench your head/hat/hair when you come to a fountain, or when you feel that you’re reaching your limit to cope with the heat. I did so during two walks and two bike rides, since Sunday.
The final option is to become a morning person, to do things in the morning, before the sun heats the air and the ground.


Yesterday I cycled to RomainMôtier and back. I was already fatigued from walking and cycling in the heat so when I got to Romainmôtier I felt faint, with a mild head ache. Due to the heat and slight change in hydration I thought that it could be heat stroke. I made it back to my car, had some food and I already felt slightl better, but I still felt knackered when I shopped for food so I got the bare minimum, rather than thinking about something more interesting to cook.

When I got home I had a siesta. I felt much better. I don’t know whether I became exhausted, of heat struck. Since sleep was enough to feel refreshed I think I had just exhausted myself.

Cycling With E-Bikes

The source of my exhaustion. I believe, is partly to do with the heat, of course, but it also has to do with the amount of energy that we burn when we’re cycling on normal bikes with other people on e-bikes. We pace ourselves according to the e-bikes, rather than our own speed.

An Easier Gear

I found that to avoid going too fast, on my bike, I had to change to an easier gear. I would pedal with the usual effort but cover less ground. This works very well, for pacing. I think that it does tire me more than if I was pedalling at a normal effort level and a regular speed. My motivation to use an easier gear, was, in part, to make a different effort, to get a workout, at a lower speed. It seems to have worked. It’s the 80/20 rule on a bike. Sort of.

The Ignored Temptation

When I was in RomainMôtier I was tempted to run my head under a fountain to cool myself down. I didn’t feel that I was cooking but I did feel a mild headache. Near the very end of the walk I did splash water on my head to cool down.

On warm days I am usually desperate for a coke or an electrolyte drink, and for once I ran out of drinks two nights ago, so I didn’t quench my first. I think it affected my endurance the next day.

And Finally

By going for two mid-afternoon walks during the heatwave I challenged my body. I then went for two bike rides where I got up at 0600 before cycling for three or four hours. If I was cycling alone I would have drunk one or two litres on both days. As I wasn’t I drank half a litre or less. Between sleeping a different schedule, walking in the mid-day heat, and then cycling two mornings in a row, I pushed myself to the point of exhaustion. Today I’m recovering. I will go for my afternoon walk but at least I will be well hydrated, and I was able to sleep to my natural wake up time, rather than an alarm.

A Ride in 35° Heat

Yesterday I spent time in the sun in the morning, as a result of which I thought I would avoid going out in the heatwave. I changed my mind. Every Sunday a group of pétanque playing alcoholics play pétanque for several hours. They cheer, they laugh, they make noise, for hours in a row. I don’t want to hear that sound, especially since the pandemic is not over. People are still falling sick with Long COVID and they’re being disabled. It doesn’t take long to read posts on social media by people suffering from Long COVID.

Before the Pandemic

Before the pandemic I wouldn’t have been home, or if I was home I would already have spent the morning climbing, cycling, diving or hiking. Due to the pandemic I do these things but in solitude. I also have a routine. I normally study in the morning, and do sports in the afternoon. If I flip it around my intellectual capacity is reduced and my studying stalls. Yesterday proved the necessity of my routine.

I Can’t Say No

Two years ago I wrote about pandemic solitude. It still hasn’t ended. If I am asked to do things I have no valid reason to say no, but it also puts my happiness into turmoil, both to be asked but also to want to study but feel that I should be social instead. The more my morning is broken, the slower I am to reach my goal of feeling employable in a new career. This, in turn delays having the type of life that would make seeing other people fun, rather than an obligation.

Noisy Afternoons

Experience has taught me that the afternoons are noisy, and this noise is the reason I go out for walks, whether it’s raining, snowing, windy and cold or a heatwave. I find that my mental health benefits from getting away from people living as if the pandemic was not over. Plenty of data, around the world, shows that the pandemic is not over. That’s why cycling is such a great sport.

The Beauty of Cycling

The beauty of cycling, even during a heatwave is that you’re usually between villages and towns. You’re surrounded by clean air. I have become absurd, because I don’t want to be around strangers without a mask, especially around large crowds of strangers, in restaurants and other places.

Sunday is one of the worst days to be in solitude. If you go for a walk you will encounter family groups and groups of friends. You are in solitude, and they are not. You have to pass, you are reminded of what you are missing, and you have to survive the experience.

By being on a bike, especially on the roads between fields you are in solitude. If you choose the right routes you are far from people, from cars, from dogs and more. You are in the moment, watching the landscape change, heading upwards, downwards and across.


Yesterday it was 35°c according to the weather services, and 37°c according to my watch. Normally on such a ride I would ride much harder. I would try to beat all my speed personal bests. Yesterday I didn’t. I rode slower than usual. I wanted to spend time outdoors, keep fit, but without giving myself heatstroke. It’s not the heat that worries me. It’s the time spend in the sun.

At first I thought this would be a short ride, because I thought the heat would affect me. Since I felt fine I continued. I arrived at a fountain and I refilled both bottles, and I splashed myself. I didn’t feel the need to splash myself to cool down, but did it anyway, in anticipation of feeling overheated.


I continued through the Bois de Versoix and I hardly saw anyone walking, or even cycling. I did get to a parking, and the parking was filled with cars. Everyone had decided to go to the riverside between the trees to keep cool. What seemed paradoxical is that I couldn’t see anyone. I could hear children and see the cars, but nothing more. Riding in such conditions is nice. No population stress.

The Place des Nations Fountains

Before I got to Place Des Nations I refilled my water bottle. I then headed down to the Place Des Nations fountains where children were playing. I put my bike against some seats, and allowed one of the water jets to soak me and my clothing. I then continued my bike ride.

I kept splashing water on my face but didn’t really feel the need. I did this as a precaution, rather than out of desperate need. I felt fine, despite the heat

Three or Four Sips at a Time

When riding in the heat there are moments when you feel your thirst grow, so you drink too much, too fast. It’s important not to drink too much too fast, or you’ll just waste it.

Luckily I didn’t.

And Finally

During this ride I made sure to ride more slowly than usual. I made sure not to push myself beyond my ability to cope with the weather. I also made sure to be hydrated at all times. I had one flask filled with water, and the second filled with an electrolyte drink. I topped up both. I calculate that I drank at least two litres, which, over three hours isn’t much, but it worked. I felt fine when I got home. I was still thirsty but ate some peanuts and then drank water. I was thirsty for re-mineralisation. I wanted to recover the salt I had lost.

Cycling is a good sport in a heatwave, because you’re riding in the breeze that you’re creating. My fear of heatstroke was not realised, luckily.

Falling Out of Love With Driving

Falling Out of Love With Driving

There was a time when I used the car for everything I did, from scuba diving to climbing, to walking and more. Over a period of five years I weaned myself off of the car. I weaned myself to such a degree that I use the car twice a week when I am not forced to do things. I drive for the shops, and that’s it.
I could walk, and I do walk that way regularly. The reason I take the car for shopping is two-fold. The first is weight. Shopping for three or four days at a time weighs something. This is especially true when transporting drinks that are not coffee or tea. Coffee and tea usually come without water.
I’m writing this, sitting in a car, by the lake. I could be eating breakfast with people but have chosen not to. We are still in a pandemic and I do not want to risk falling sick with Long COVID. I can deal with solitude if I can go for daily walks and bike rides. I will not survive if I lose the strongest aspect of my character.

An Old Habit

I used to love driving, but now I find it a nuissance. As I walked and waited this morning I thought about how primal cars are in Switzerland. Some villages have no pavements. Some villages have no roads, in or out of the village, that do not require walking on roads. Switzerland might be known for it’s mountain walks, but if you’re by the Léman you will need to be lucky to walk, without being stuck on roads.
Since the pandemic I cannot stand cars and drivers. I am a car driver, but that doesn’t mean that I need to use it.

Becoming Local

Over the years I learned about the walks, bike rides and running routes that I can enjoy from home. I learned to detach my sporting habits from my driving habit. I prefer life like this. To some extent I am living in a different age as a result of this habit.

Not Mobilité Douce Friendly

It is the reason for which I notice how depdendant on car Switzerland has become. During the pandemic the motorway and roads were empty, so we could walk along them. As soon as lockdown ended the disease of car driving came back, and people use their cars all the time again. This is a great shame because car driving is an addiction.

Car Addiction and Social Media

People love to speak about Social Media as addiction, but without cars we would have no need for social media, because without cars we could walk to people and say hello, rather than depend on telephones. Cars are the reason we need social media, so if we want to cure “social media addiction” we need to eliminate cars, buses and trains. We need to get back to a world where we cycle, walk, and run to see friends. It is absurd that we rely so heavily on cars. Our reliance on cars forces our reliance on social media. If you want to cure a child’s addiction to social media, eliminate the need for cars.
I drove for half an hour this morning. Now I’m blogging from a parcked car

And Finally

Cars are great for scuba diving, and to travel long distances to do weekend sports but I think that commuting should be phased out, by car. Cycling to Geneva is as as fast by bike, as on a train. We need to wean away from being transported by machines, especially cars.

In Favour of Electric Bikes

In Favour of Electric Bikes

I considered getting an electric bike a few years ago. I didn’t for a single reason. When I spoke to a bike seller I asked whether bikes get stolen and I was laughed at for asking the question. I didn’t get an electric bike the next day. If we’re going to spend thousands of francs on an electric bike, to replace a car, or scooter, we don’t want to live in fear of it being stolen.

Experiment With Commuting

I continued to cycle, and walk. I walked up to five and a half million steps a year during the peak of pandemic self-isolation. My walking went down recently, because I have resumed cycling. I quite easily cycle to Geneva and back. I do this journey, not because I have anything to do in Geneva. I do it to prove to myself that the journey is a simple one that takes as long on a bike, as on the train. This is the case. I could get to work by bike, rather than by car or by train. I would have a healthy bike ride in the morning, and another in the evening.

Fit Enough To Ride With E-bikes

E-bikes are fast. They get you to twenty five kilometres an hour with relative ease, and then it’s just a matter of maintaining that speed. If you’re not fit then you’ll face the challenge of keeping up with e-bikes, and riding with them will be unpleasant.

The flipside of this is that electric bikes are enablers. They enable people who haven’t spent 53 hours riding their bikes in the last year, to keep up with those that have. They enable those with one fitness level, to ride along with someone of another.

The Liberating Benefit of E-Bikes

There was a time when I enjoyed going for bike rides but I felt limited by the hills around where I lived. I felt that they got in the way of me going for longer bike rides. It takes a certain amount of training and practice to go up and down hills. This training doesn’t take weeks or months. It takes years. There was a time when I felt that the bike I use didn’t have easy enough gears for climbs. With time and practice I no longer encounter that challenge.

I worked to get the cycling freedom that I now enjoy.

With electric bikes you get the same freedom, without putting in the leg work. (pun intended). With electric bikes non cyclists gain the freedom experienced by cyclists, within minutes rather than weeks, months or years. It enables people of varying levels of cycling proficiency to be equal.

And Finally

When I go for my bike rides I often see groups of people, either cycling together on self-powered bikes, or electric bikes. Electric bikes have democratised the sport. People that would have taken the car to breakfast, or to have coffee, are now enabled to cycle on hilly terrain to explore the landscape, without using a car. Parking a bike is easier than parking a car. Cycling is good for the environment and it gets people to enjoy an easier version of cycling.

For a while I wanted to get my own electric bike. Eventually I reached a level of fitness where an electric bike was no longer of benefit. I am in favour of electric bikes, as it makes it easier for others to join us on bike rides, despite a difference in fitness.

The Pure Freedom of Meindl Shoes For Cycling

The Pure Freedom of Meindl Shoes For Cycling

Within the last month I considered updating my cycling shoes, until I saw the price of cycling shoes, even in Decathlon. I saw how expensive they are so I lost interest in them. Barefoot shoes are great because they’re light and easy to transport. The problem that I find with ‘barefoot’ shoes is that I stride, rather than walk. When you stride your heel always smashes into the ground, and with barefoot shoes this can result in heel pain, if, and when, we’re not careful. That’s why cycling with Barefoot shoes is an interesting idea.

For When You Cycle With Others

The advantage of the Meindl Pure Freedom shoes is that they use a BOA style lacing system. You cinch them tight, and uncinch to remove. It takes seconds to put them on and remove. When cycling they are comfortable. I completely forgot I was wearing them. I like wearing clipped in shoes when I’m riding by myself, or with people who are also clipped in to their bikes. When I’m riding with others I find that normal shoes are better. You can stop for a coffee, or walk to take pictures of the landscape in comfort, without going “clac, clac, clac”. The other advantage is that if you’re going for a bike ride, by car, you don’t need to carry two or three pairs of shoes. One is enough.

For When You’re doing a Steep Climb

Several times I cycled up steep climbs with clipless shoes. When you’re on a 20° slope and you want to stop, but you’re moving so slowly that you don’t have time to unclip, being clipped in sucks. You’re stuck having to continue, until it flattens. Sometimes that can be several minutes later. The other challenge is when you’re starting up again. At this point you have the opposite problem. You want to clip in, before you fall sideways. That’s why I was tempted to get flat pedals. When you’re wearing normal shoes you can stop and start with ease. Today was a good example of that. I had to stop at a train crossing to wait for a train to pass. With clipless pedals it would have been a nuissance. With normal pedals and barefoot shoes it’s easy.

Broadening the Use Case

Normal shoes are big, heavy and have shoelaces that can get trapped in the chain system. Barefoot shoes are minimal, light and optimal for when the front of the foot comes into contact with surfaces, rather than the heel. They are ideally suited to cycling. One of my longest rides this year was with Vapor Gloves but I found that they were just a little too minimal for cycling. For the trip from Geneva to Nyon my feet were tired due to the lack of support. The Pure Freedom shoes offer more support. Cycling with them around the Lac De Joux felt fine. It’s only when you walk around before and after the ride that you remember that you’re wearing minimal shoes.

And Finally

Meindl Pure Freedom shoes are not marketed as cycling shoes, or hiking shoes. They’re marketed as backup shoes. Shoes that you take on a hike, instead of crocs, for when you’re in a town, on a train, or driving to and from where you’re hiking. I worry that heel strikes in these shoes are too hard for 10-12 kilometres walking at striding pace. Most cycling shoes have BOA laces so it made sense for me to test them cycling today. My experiment was a success.

Brompton On Hills

Brompton On Hills

Cycling in Switzerland requires the ability to go up and down hills. Some of the climbs are long and steep, others are short and steep, and yet more are shallow but long climbs. That’s where bike gears come into their own. The more gears you have the more precisely you can control the amount of effort you’re making. With a mountain bike the gears are designed to help with climbing. With road bikes they can be set to make hill climbs easier or harder.

Six Gears with a Brompton

A Brompton bike may have just three to six gears. I went for a ride on one yesterday, on some undulating swiss hills in Vaud, at the foot of the Jura. The first thing I noticed is that the steering is really nervous compared to a normal bike. That’s because the wheels are tiny, so the torque needed to turn the wheel is minimal. You need to focus a lot of thought on ensuring that you don’t oversteer. I think that Brompton bike wheels are a third the size of normal wheels, or maybe half as big. With a normal bike wheel steering is more sluggish, therefore it feels natural.

Bigger Gaps Between Gears

The second thing you notice with the Brompton is that the difference between gears is greater. The hard gear is really hard, so it doesn’t get used much on hilly terrain. You need to shift down to the second and third gears, to make cycling possible. The easiest gear was too easy on hills, but the middle gear made it more challenging. The result isn’t that I slowed down. I think it sped me up. A Brompton, on mountaineous roads, requires you to find the least worst gear, and find a speed that is sustainable. In my case that speed saw me cycling faster than I would, on a normal bike, not by choice, but by necessity. To go slower would make the gear harder, so once I had inertia I tried to maintain it.

No Drinking

Usually I have no problem drinking and cycling but with the Brpompton I was fully focused on trying to find the right gears, but also being careful not to oversteer. I kept both hands on the bars at all times. I didn’t feel comfortable reaching to have a drink. The Brompton is a different beast to most bikes. The fitter you are, as a cyclist, the more you can adapt to the challenge of riding it, but it would take a few more rides before I felt comfortable riding it, and taking a sip of water.

Average speed

I got up to 37.2 kp/h on the Brompton but my average speed was 17 km/h. Usually I am at 20+ kilometres per hour and my peak is closer to 50+ km/h. My total ascent was 223 meters, according to the Garmin Etrex SE. I don’t know how the effort compared to riding the usual bikes because I didn’t measure my heart rate with a garmin watch this time.

And Finally

Bromptons are not cheap, so it makes more sense to get a normal bike for the same price, or cheaper. I tried this experiment because I felt too lazy to load the bike into the car, if I didn’t then ride the bike due to weather or a change of plans. I can keep up with people on electric bikes, despite the difference in riding comfort and style. My proof of concept test was a success, but rationally cheaper normal bikes make more sense.

Quiet Roads on a Sunday Bike Ride

Yesterday I went for a bike ride. By my norms it was a relatively cool day, just 27 or so degrees, compared to the 30-37°c I have ridden in, in the past. I was comfortable on the bike, with a cool breeze to cool me down.

The Marine Iguanas at Nyon Plage
The Marine Iguanas at Nyon Plage

I went by the lake and I think other people were heat struck. They were lethargic and inattentive getting off buses. They were all by the lake side, sunbathing like marine iguanas. As I road by the lake it was sometimes frustrating to see that the bike lane was used by pedestrians, with no thought to cyclists. The same pedestrians who had driven to the lake side in a car.

Relaxing at the Broken Chair

Place des Nations with the Broken Chair and Palace of Nations
Place des Nations with the Broken Chair and Palace of Nations

As part of the bike ride I went towards Geneva. Initially I wanted a short bike ride because I wasn’t keen to cycle. I eventually chose to ride to the broken chair. I stopped, but this time didn’t take a shower in the fountains, like last time. Instead I relaxed, and watched tourists taking self-portraits and group photos. I watched a parent get surprised by a jet of water as it increased in intensity and wet his shoes.

For some reason I felt relaxed, so I just stood, and watched. I wasn’t in a rush to continue. I wasn’t so warm that I wanted a shower. I was comfortable.

I then cycled towards the ICRC before going by the ILO, WHO, UNICED and other organisations. I then cycled by the airport where I stopped again. I watched a Qatar airways flight take off for Doha and a flight from the Aeggean come in to land, before an Air Algérie and British Airways aircraft landed. I was reminded of how much I love the sound of aviation. If I had the sound of aviation rather than music festivals I would be very happy. The sound of planes still excites me to this day.

Watching planes take off and land
Watching planes take off and land

Very Quiet Ride through Versoix and Beyond

What struck me once I felt Geneva behind was how quiet the roads were. I hardly crossed any walkers, any cyclists, any families with children. I hardly even crossed dog walkers. When I realised this I thought “This is a fantastic time of year to cycle. It’s so nice to have the landscape to myself. Not to worry about dogs, not to be frustrated by normal people, being normal. I think that I would quite happily emigrate to somewhere less densely populated, especially now, during a pandemic with no end date.

An old tree among young trees
An old tree among young trees

The Cycling Paradox

For me, cycling has a paradox. The paradox is that for as long as you are cycling at 20 km/h or faster you have a nice breeze to keep you cool. The moment you stop, you feel a wall of heat envelope you. I felt cool, and comfortable but I drank three water bottles of water. I drank one on the way to Geneva, then refilled one at the water fountain near the Parc Ariana, before heading to the ICRC. I then drank two more water bottles of water before I got home.

I was warm, and I was thirsty, but I was always comfortable. I was right to have two bottles of water with me, and I was even more rational, by re-filling my primary water bottle when I had the chance. I probably would have suffered if I had not.

The Mistake of Others

Other people make the mistake of sitting in the sun, by the lake, getting dehydrated and cooked by the sun, like Marine iguanas. I appear crazy, for walking and cycling in the heat but I’m not the one drinking alcohol and exposing me to the full strength of the sun. I don’t need to get into a metal box, either a car, or a bus, at the end of my activity. I just take the lift, with my bike, and get back to my apartment. It usually feels cool, compared to being in direct sunlight.

My skin felt cool, when I got home, evidence that I was not suffering from the heat, unlike other people.

At Ease On The Bike

Activities: 33

Distance: 1,014.9 km

Elev Gain: 7,433 m

Time: 44h 27m

I have spent fourty four and a half hours on the bike, covering a thousand kilometres in that time. If I feel more comfortable, that’s why. Cycling is a good sport when the conditions are good. It’s also a way of being active, without the use of the car. As convenient as cars are, I think they’re horrible to deal with. Society would gain a lot by reducing its reliance on cars. I think cargo bikes and electric bikes are a better alternative.

And Finally

For the next week I don’t think I will cycle. I have already been crashed into by a car driver whilst riding my scooter during one music festival. I don’t want to be run over by a Paléo person during this festival week. I will also be sleep deprived due to being unable to sleep as a result of noise pollution, as the sound engineers they hire at music festivals are not the brightest of the profession. If they were bright music festivals would be seen, not heard.

Cycling With Different Levels of Fitness
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Cycling With Different Levels of Fitness

Originally I wanted to write about following route 50 from one village to Romainmôtier. I changed my mind as I created the title for this post.

An old pickup truck and bike
An old pickup truck and bike

Yesterday I cycled with two people on electric bikes on my normal bike. I didn’t feel that I was making that great an effort, especially since I was cycling at a relatively slow speed compared to usual. I actually felt that I was taking it easy.

View of one of the porticos
View of one of the porticos

Calories Burned

It’s when I looked at calories burned that I realised that what felt like an easy ride to me, was actually a huge effort. It didn’t feel that way to me, because it is normal for me to make such an effort, and I usually push myself when I ride alone.

Three Times More Calories

By riding with people with electric bikes I felt that I was having a relatively easy day. I burned three times more calories than them. It shows to what extent being fit affects how we perceive effort, but also how much energy electric bikes save.

Perfectly Within My Comfort Zone

A window seat and table, from the days before planes and trains
A window seat and table, from the days before planes and trains

I was surprised by the huge difference in calories burned because I felt comfortable. I didn’t feel that I was struggling to keep pace with the bikes, or struggling on hills whilst they glided with ease. That’s the beauty of cycling a lot. Effort becomes ordinary, and fitness makes electric bikes harder to justify. Why get an electric bike when you can cycle with people with electric bikes and keep up?

Cyclists and Non Cyclists Riding Together

There are two types of people. Those that invests hundreds of hours over several years to boost their cycling fitness, and those that use electric bikes, to keep up with those with experience. I would argue that the strength of the electric bike is two-fold. The first is that it encourages non cyclists to cycle and experience the pleasure of getting from A to B under their own steam, but the second is that electric bikes allow non cyclists to ride with cyclists, and get a taste of what we enjoy.

Visiting Romainmôtier by bike

Romainmôtier is a nice destination to cycle to. The road takes you through a nice quiet road in the forest. The woods are the Bois De Ferreyres. The route that I took was undulating, with some climbing and some descending, but these ondulations are not extreme like cycling up to La Dôle or up to La Rippe, so manageable.

Cycling Destination

Quite a few people cycled to Romainmôtier and I noticed that a few went into the grounds of the Abbaye and rested their bikes against the wall, before having a drink. By taking the bike parking is simplified, but as well as parking being simplified, you get to experience the landscape first hand. You’re faster than a hiker, but still get to experience the winding roads, the ups, the downs, and the freedom to stop with the bike, more conveniently than with a car.

An old fireplace
An old fireplace


If you are not a confident cyclist, and don’t want to spend hundreds of hours getting fit, then electric bikes are a fantastic short cut because they give you the freedom to explore, without the dread of having to get back, despite being knackered. Electric bikes are more forgiving than cycling without a motor. With an electric bike you just ask for more assistance and you’re comfortable.

Heatwave Cycling and Place Des Nations

Heatwave Cycling and Place Des Nations

Cycling is one of the best sports to do during a heatwave because you have a 25 km/h breeze blowing over you, until you stop. If you flee the oven like cities, and head for the woods by a stream, you will feel the coolness provided by nature, rather than air conditioning.

Yesterday I cycled along the lake from Nyon to Geneva. Most people headed to the lake to go for a swim but I don’t. I like to avoid crowds, and cycling is one way to do that. As I cycled I felt that I was thirsty and I did drink one water bottle heading to Geneva, and other when riding back.

The Place Des Nations ‘Shower’

This time I did something unique. When I got to Place Des Nations I took a shower, on my bike, under one of the water jets. What struck me is that the water that trickled down my face after that spontaneous shower tasted as if I had just been swimming or diving in the sea. I actually took two showers. The first was with the bike. The second was just in my clothes.

Not only did I not feel cold, but my clothes were so saturated in water that I thought I might actually feel cold. That fear didn’t last long. For the ride back to Nyon I was wearing wet clothes, that as they dried, cooled me off.

Avoiding Heat stroke

I did this to avoid heat stroke. When I was cycling I felt fine, but at some point I stopped and that’s when I could feel the heat radiating towards me. I’m glad I had two 620ml water bottles. They lasted for almost the entire ride.

Children noticed me stand under the water jet. I probably looked like a strange adult cyclist to them. Usually cyclists empty water bottles on their heads. I took it a step further. It makes sense, during a heatwave, to break with social norms.

The Dogs of the Voie Verte

I cycled through the Bois De Versoix before turning and heading from Sauverny to Grilly, and from Grilly I took the voie verte. I saw two runners but everyone else was walking dogs. The advantage is that it’s flat, and it’s in the shade, so dogs don’t overheat despite the heat.

And Finally

Yesterday, right from the start I noticed that the wind I was creating by cycling was warm, rather than cooling. That’s when you know that the days are getting warm. When the breeze heats, rather than cools. Now is the time when having enough water is essential, and where knowing where water fountains are, is also of use. We are into the summer cycling season now.