18 with a bullet

A whole morning and early afternoon to kill and frankly there is only one thing I’m going to do…

With this being my only full day over in Western Switzerland I had to take advantage and sample the Swiss Jura. Hard is the one word description. They may not have the ultimate height of the Alps but they have tough climbs of over 10% and with the weather being mildly moist it was no surprise I was the only foolish cyclist out and about.

After making the move from France yesterday I’m fully immersed in Switzerland now, although I am still in the French speaking part, (the German speaking part will test me and as for the Romanche speaking part well I have no clue there).

I made sure things would be hard for me as I asked my hosts Pierre and Flo to only speak French with me. It is the best way to learn and it has been a baptism of fire as the other guests last night were a French family. It all proved very hard work at the dinner table but I started to think in French, which helps.

Back to today and I finally catch the Tour de Suisse for the first time, now on its 4th stage. With Peter Sagan at the head of the race, this should be a routine sprint finish and he should still be leading before the mountains tomorrow.

As part of my recce ride I took in the closing parts of today’s stage, just to get a feel for where to watch. It surreal being waved through to ride through the finish area when all the cars were diverted. This will be the closest I ever get to riding this kind of thing myself being very amateur indeed.

I did manage one thing of note on my ride though. As part of a decent descent there was a great road surface and a straight piece of road for 2 miles or so. I pedaled hard, got on the drops and tucked in. I managed to peak out at 45mph, scary and exhilarating in equal measures. It is another memory I will take with me from this European trip.

Oh and you’re probably thinking why does bullet appear in the post title? Well the highest point of my ride went through a small village called Bullet. Switzerland has some great place names.

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