Fairdale Over the Alps April 15, 2020

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We wrestled with our GPS unit’s finicky route selection. The cycling routes were abundant but our GPS never seemed to agree with them. It kept trying to route us onto the main roads instead. It was definitely faster riding on the big roads, but it was not as peaceful as the meandering (and sometimes confusing) bike lanes.

We bounced between a few hours of hammering on a road and then a few hours crawling down bike paths…often missing turns. We eventually gave up on the pre-planned GPS directions and just freestyled our routes directly off of the maps on our phones. This worked surprisingly well most of the time.

We stumbled upon both the Olympic Museum and UCI headquarters in the same day. The bike path in Aigle goes right by the UCI, so we went into the building and wandered around a bit. I was really tempted to climb the fence to grab a photo while riding the velodrome. I don’t suspect that would have gone over well, but there wasn’t anyone around and it seemed like it might be possible.

The bike paths were nice here. Peaceful paved lanes that followed the river into an ever narrowing valley with mountains growing taller on either side.

The more we rode, the narrower the valley became. The mountains marched in from both sides. The protected valley floor we followed was full of vineyards and vegetation on all sides. Many miles were passed on bike lanes like this.

Other times we’d get kicked out onto a busy road that usually had some kind of marked bike route on the edge. These peaceful and quiet bike lanes following the fast moving river were my favorite.

Chris: We also had many miles of quiet gravel, and sometimes even dirt paths through the woods, farmland or weirdly close to a nuclear power plant straight out of The Simpsons.

Signs along the way…

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