Cycling Schlieren Zug Loop - September View through trees to see the Zuggersee lake

With a good afternoon forecast, Michael and I headed out for a slightly longer ride around Schlieren, Birmensdorf, Kapelli, Zug, Sihlbrugg and back to town.

After a slight pit-stop to change the disc brakes on Michael’s bike we headed off on route #84 as it loops around Uetliberg. From there we headed down the Aeugstertal valley (declining the Albispass) and on to Kapelli. We arrived in Zug in glorious sunshine (significantly better weather than the last time we arrived.

We had a rather forgettable steak in Althus before heading back out of town and up to Sihlbrugg. The excitement for the day was the cyclocross section, the only road being closed for forestry operations. Still, we managed to carry our bikes up through the fields and find the route again after a decidedly off-road section. From there it was a mundane if fairly quick loop back along the Sihl - this time opting to take the main road rather than the forest tracks of route #94.

We completed the 77km to arrive back in Rio after 3hrs 30 of pedalling thoroughly convinced that we’d earned a refreshment. The gpx plot of our route is here.

Cycling Greifensee - September View over green fields and single trees to the Greifensee lake.

With a lovely day forecast and keen to get out for a warmer ride than the last one, Michael and I headed off around the Greifensee.

I was feeling a bit bruised and battered after a fairly intensive kayaking course the preceding three days, but fortunately it seemed to be different aches and pains from cycling and didn't make life too difficult.

We headed out via Bucheggplatz to do the usual loop (clockwise this time). The weather was as forecast, with lovely views and in our enthusiasm we pressed on a bit harder than we expected. We headed back via Schaffhauserplatz and finished with a welcome refreshment in Rio in the sun.

Overall this route was 48.6km for the round trip, with 300m ascent/descent and took us 2 hours 5 minutes. The gpx plot of our route is here.

Cycling Albispass to Zug - September View over fields at the top of the Albis pass in the rain.

With a bit of a marginal day forecast, Michael and I declined Sattelegg and instead decided to head over the Albispass and on to Zug.

The weather was forecast to be mostly dry, but this turned out to be a bit optimistic. We headed into greyer weather on the way up the Albispass, and it was raining pretty heavily on top. Nevertheless I was pretty pleased with the ascent, managing it in 15:08 (adjusted slightly for the traffic lights at the top), as measured from the golden lion sign to the Albishöhe sign. At the top we recovered our breath quickly and then decided to head on to Zug, in the hope that the rain was just a local effect. It was a bit chilly on the descent and it took us most of the way to Zug to warm up again, but the rest of the day was dry.

We stopped in the Plaza café for a bite of lunch and to warm up a bit before heading off back via Sihlbrugg. We made a slight mistake in leaving the main road to follow route #94, where it follows the river. This section of the route isn't really suitable for road bikes, particularly not at speed - my poor Condor needed some TLC when I got home. Next time we'll stick to the main road.

Overall it was a fair day despite the weather. Overall it was 64km with 575m of ascent/descent and took us 3hrs 10 of pedalling. The gpx plot of our route is here.

Cycling AlbisPass - August View over green farm fields at the top of the Albispass

With a lovely day forecast, and keen to keep up the slightly more challenging rides, Michael and I met up in town to do a route over the Albispass and then looping back into Zurich

We headed out of town along the Sihl and then headed up the long climb to before going over the Albis pass. It was a bit warm on the ascent in full sun, but we made it to the top. The only slight hiccup was the traffic lights about 50m vertically from the top, which felt a bit rude!

After we'd recovered a bit we headed down to the Thurlersee and then looped back into town via Birmensdorf and route #84, which turned out to be a very pleasant, mostly traffic free route following the path of the railway track.

We finished up with a well deserved drink in Lindenplatz, having completed the 40km with 500m ascent/descent in 1hr 55. Overall a good ride ride. The gpx plot of our route is here.

Cycling Faellanden Pfannensteil - August View over Zurisee, under grey cloud

For a slight change of scenery, and both of us up for a slightly more challenging ride, I dragged Michael round my usual Witikon - Faellanden - Greifensee - Egg - Pfannensteil - Küssnacht route.

The weather was quite kind to us - warm but overcast and not too hot on the route, then bright and sunny once we finished.

The route isn't bad, but is a bit less sociable than our usual Greifensee loop as it's more on road.

We completed the 40-ish km with 600m ascent/descent in a bit less than 2 hours, and finished up in Bellevue for a refreshment in the sun

Cycling Winterthur - July View over rolling hills in sunshine.

For a bit of a change, Jules and I packed the bikes into the car and headed up to Winterthur to try out route #9 "Im Weinland" from the Veloland Zurich book

The weather was forecast lovely all day - bright and sunny without being too hot. We decided to pack the bikes into the car and drive to Henggart, which proved to be a bit of a faff, but definitely cheaper than the bike+train combination.

We made a slight mistake at the start, and accidentally headed into Winterthur, rather than heading round the published route [cough]. Also we didn't realise our mistake until quite late - basically the centre of Winterthur and so we decided to do a different loop back and to go via Seuzach for a bit of variation. Passing through Seuzach we followed the route north to Adelfingen where we stopped for a coffee and a cake in the very pretty square. We then crossed over the river Thur and on to the Husemersee. Declining the swim we continued on the loop back via Ossingen and Oberwil back to Henggart. To round off the day we stopped to pick up some fresh cherries and raspberries from the hofladen at Henggart before heading home.

Overall it about 50km, with 300m ascent/descent and we spend about 2 hrs 35 cycling. The gpx plot of our route is here.

Cycling Bulach - July View over rolling hills in bright sunshine.

For a bit of a change of pace, Michael and I headed to Bülach to do the circular route #6 from the Veloland Zurich book.

For once, I managed to find the right exit from Bülach station, and we headed off down the Glatt in lovely cycling weather - warm but not too hot.

We left the Glatt where it joins the Rhein and then followed the route as it climbs steadily up to the highest part of the route at Bachs.

After the climb we dropped down the hill and looping back to the Glatt. We decided to cycle back into town to make it up to the 50+km, heading back down the Glatt until Opfikon and then over Milchbuch and on to Rio for a well deserved (we thought) recuperatory beverage.

Overall it was a bit over 50km with about 300m of ascent/descent and took us a little over 2 hours. The gpx plot of our route is here.

Cycling Baden - June View of Baden old town with cobbled streets, taken from inside the old wooden bridge

Trying to catch the best part of the day (i.e. not actually raining), Jules and I headed out on bikes to Baden, for a bit of a stretch of the legs and a change of scenery.

We picked up route #66 at Zurich HB and then followed that out of town and along the side of the Limmat heading downstream. The navigation is very easy, and the route is mostly traffic free. Fortunately there weren't many other people out on the path - probably owing to the rain [cough], and we made good progress.

The scattered light showers built to actual rain as we arrived, so we took refuge first in the Scandinavian Cafe, then in the Pickwick's pub for the afternoon, where we met up with Diana and Luis for an afternoon pint and a bite to eat. It was properly raining by the time we left, and we decided to take the train back to town, discretion being the better part of valour, we felt.

Overall it was a little over 30km, and took us about 1 hour 45, going at a reasonable pace for the conditions and the paths.

Cycling Obersee - June View over the Zurisee from Schmerikon on a sunny day

Taking Toby up on his offer of a cycle ride, we headed down to Pfaeffikon to do a lap of the Obersee, and a bit of a warm up and trial ride together.

I was a bit surprised when Toby turned up with the race numbers still on his bike, and a bit depressed when he told me that he'd been training hard all winter (feels like cheating to do actual training - which I made sure to tell him :-) ), but I just about managed to keep up en-route. We first headed over to Rapperswil and did the loop clockwise, via Schmerikon and looping back via Lachen. There was a nice tailwind at that start, but as we turned onto the return leg this became a bit of a headwind and was a bit more effort.

Overall the 40km or so took us approximately 1hr 40, so a fairly steady pace in reasonably good conditions. All in all a nice day out, followed by a welcome cool-off in the lake...

Cycling Zuggersee - May View over sunny green fields, with mountains in the distance.

With a good day forecast, Jules and i headed out for a cycle ride - route #22 from Veloland Zürich - Zum Zuggersee, turned out to be a very picturesque, and mostly traffic light or free lanes and tracks.

After a relaxed train ride to Affoltern am Albis, we picked up the route in the centre of town. We followed country lanes winding through pretty farmhouses down past the monastery at Rossau. To Jules’ delight we found a Hofladen with fresh strawberries a bit outside Zug, and after careful packing headed off again.

The route continues along the side of the lake and then through Cham and into the countryside near the Ruess. We finished with a bit of a climb back up through Obfelden to arrive back at Affoltern am Albis.

Overall it was 40km and took us 2 hours of pedalling, and the gpx plot of our route is here.

Cycling Greifensee - mid May View over the Greifensee under grey and angry skies.

Keeping with tradition, Michael and I headed off for our usual route around the Greifensee from Milchbuch.

It was a pretty windy day and our hope that it would be more sheltered on the Uster side of the Zuriberg were unfounded - definitely stronger over there. The mythical tailwind did appear briefly, or possibly it just felt that way as the headwind dropped a little! It was definitely harder work than usual and it was a good plan to stick to a single lap - maybe next time we'll be a bit more adventurous.

We struggled back for a recovery refreshment at El Lokal, was very pleasant until we came to leave and were told that we really can’t leave our bikes in the yard (despite being empty at 3pm on a Monday afternoon on a grey and cold/windy day in May). We were told to put keep the bikes over the road, despite not being able to lock them - needless to say we won’t be going back there any time soon!

Cycling Greifensee - April round #2 Stork nests on top of old trees at the southern end of the Greifensee

With a bit of a dull day forecast, but keen to get some exercise, I headed off to cycle around the Greifensee with Michael.

It was definitely a day for long sleeves, and there was even a few drops of rain about 3/4 of the way around the lake, but which fortunately didn't turn into a proper shower. We did the route in reverse for a bit of a change this time with the roadworks nearly complete. This remains one of the better local routes, as evidenced by the number of times we've done it this seasons.

Overall it was a pretty uneventful ride except for the continuing occasional problems with my drive train. It turns out that one of the teeth on my front chainring was bent (no idea how that happened), and was catching sometimes when changing down into lower gears. Temporary fix involving a hammer, but will probably look to replace the chainring at some point.

The trip was about 50km, and a little over 2 hours of pedalling, finishing in El Lokal for a hot drink!

Cycling Greifensee - April low marshland and the southeastern corner of the Greifensee

With a brighter afternoon forecast after a dull morning, I headed out to cycle round the Greifensee with Michael. This is the second time we've done this route, and it's quite convenient in terms of distance and cycling mostly on cycle paths or traffic free makes it a very pleasant.

It was only about 10ºC when we set out, but the day had turned nice and warm by the time we finished. Classic spring conditions with a promise of summer to come.

We followed mostly the same route as before - just a slight variation for the road works. A second loop of the lake was declined and instead headed back to town for a refreshment in Rio.

All in it's about 50km, and a little over 2 hours of pedalling.

Fällanden / Pfannensteil Loop - April View over Zurisee under grey clouds

Keen to get out and do something, but with slightly inclement weather in the mountains I decided to headed out to do my favourite loop around Fällanden, Greifensee, Egg, and Pfannensteil.

There were roadworks in Fällanden, which closed the main road along the lake. That was fine for me as an early season warm-up ride and I was quite happy to take the slower cycle path rather than the road. The rest of the route was pretty standard, albeit a tiny bit cold on the long descent back into town. All in all it was a good spin, and nice to get out and do a ride.

The 40-ish km, with 570m ascent/descent in broadly in two equal climbs. took me 1hr 45 on this occasion.

Cycling Around Greifensee - March View over lake, in bright sunshine

With a lovely day forecast and keen to do a bit of a shakedown ride ahead of summer, I headed off around the Greifensee on my road bike.

I met up with Michael in Selnau and we headed north around Milchbuch and then looped around to Fällanden to join cycle-route #29. From there we did one loop of the lake clockwise before retracing our route back to town

The weather was very good - bright and sunny but not too warm. The only downside was the inevitable headwind, but even this was pretty gentle. We kept up a steady pace for a pretty sociable ride to blow sway the cobwebs.

We finished up with a well deserved coffee and refreshment in Rio in the early afternoon, having covered 50.8km in 2hrs 10. The gpx plot of our route is here.