Today is the day! It’s always great to wake up bright and early, knowing everything is already packed and the only thing between a TWIKE adventure and me is some slow brewing of tea and enjoying some quiet minutes with my wife before leaving on some days on my own.
I’m really in need of some solo-decompression time. To support this, even more, I’ve decided to take it slow and not drive on the motorway to Geneva but rather drive on equally interesting national roads.
After finishing my tea I’m ready to start TDE2022 for real. I say goodbye to the folks that will stay at home and goodbye to the rest of my family which will be catching up with me in a few days’ time in southern France.
Off we go! It always gets me when I’m in the TWIKE, pressing the acceleration button for the first time on a TWIKE adventure, the road in front of my house directly connects to where I’m going, regardless of how far or where that might be!
As mentioned before, unlike other years, I’m not starting my trip on the usual completely worn-down slicks (the picture shows the very same brand of tyre!!) but rather on new tyres. This because the tyres I had would not have been able to take another 5-6k with me potentially crossing some alpine passes on the way back from Spain.
I’m not relaxed at all for the first few hours – there are so many things still in ‘active mode’ and I still have some calls and mails to do and send before the day is over as I was unable to finish everything yesterday. Fortunately, I’m able to work from anywhere.
Another special moment is coming up for TW560: 300k! The 200k event wasn’t too long ago and I clearly remember it – TDE2022 Day 3 will most probably be the entry to look for.
As i know the road to Berne very well – I didn’t do much more than listen to an internet radio stream and try to get into the TWIKE zone @36Wh/km. With new tyres this will most probably be the minimum achievable for the first 3-4k.
What I really like is the fact that architecture styles change dramatically throughout Switzerland and sometimes within just a few dozens of kilometres. I really like the Bernese farm house style with its sloping rooflines and round cutouts.
Instead of driving to Berne itself, i switch over to a parallel road direction Murten, above the Three Lake Basin. This is one of Switzerland’s seriously beautiful regions – see some pics here, when Nico and i drove up to the Chasseral and had a treat waiting for us at the top – perfect weather and visibility of the three lakes.
The temperature is rising at an alarming rate. Whilst it was a very agreeable 25°C when I started TDE2022 this morning, eventually, at 33°C and harsh sunlight, i had to start stopping regularly at service stations to catch a few minutes of air-conditioned air and down a litre of cold water in the process.
The road then takes me towards Lausanne, worth a visit on it’s own. I’ve been to Lausanne at least 200 times and have seen the town itself and the stunning views (or the lack of it) many, many times. Trust me: go visit.
This will be the road that takes me all the way to Lake Geneva. The views are postcard-grade and deeply relaxing.
What a serene place to be and experience.
Especially when taking today’s situation just over 2000km from here into account. I sincerely wish for peace – I’ve been to so many places around this globe and regular people are – as a general rule – kind, helpful, generous and genuinely interested in hearing from other people and about other cultures whilst, obviously, being super proud about their own country and their culture and are more than happy to share stories, food and drinks if someone is interested…my world, in a nutshell. Let’s have more of that. please!
From here it’s a direct road to Geneva, with successively more expensive lake-front properties.
Geneva itself was baking hot – TW560’s canopy was on 1/3 to keep direct sunlight off my head. Not much to say else than there were TONS of tourists when I drove across the town. The city itself is beautiful, I travel there at least once a month.
One thing I’m more aware than normally are fuel prices. This because everybody is moaning about them and I’ve been mostly oblivious for the last 17 years, as I’ve been travelling everywhere either charging at home or on normal plugs when traveling – this, mostly for free.
I like the fact that I get an average of 25km from one kWh or 1km is roughly 1 Swiss Cent. Our current family car currently costs on an average around 24 times more for the same distance. (Sure, it can transport 5 people plus a dog. Which, in our case is not the reason we’ve not yet migrated to an EV. We have an use-case that moves the EV we would have to buy to cover it outside of our current budget: we have a horse and need to transport 1-2 horses to competitions our daughters compete in…and the only EV available in Switzerland able to do this is … you guessed it – a Tesla X 7 seat version)
A short while after the shock-photo above I enter France and the Savoie Department. A hilly affair I travelled trough the last time 10 years ago, in TW231 (rest in peace) when Jean-Claude an I were on our way to Spain in his TWIKE on LIFePo3 packs … ah those were the days of 150km range and at least one quick charge around lunchtime required!
Driving along the lake does evoke old memories – it was a beautiful drive then, it is today, too!
I haven’t reserved any room yet but roughly know where I want to stay for the night – a roadside hotel – typical for France. The 6 free rooms that were advertised were snatched up by the time I arrived to the hotel.
Never to be deterred by this, I entered the hotel to ask if there were some rooms and got the answer without asking as there was a long line in front of the reception and the receptionist told the woman that there weren’t any free rooms left.
I still chose to rely on my usual Karma and waited for my turn – with my friendliest smile and fluent French asked if a hopeful me could get a room just for me for the night, knowing that there must be so much going on now with summer holidays and all.
The receptionist smiled and told me that there was one, very last room ‘en reserve’ which she would give to me as I was asking so kindly. Hurray! at €58 this is a bargain.
i set up the usual creative charging setup from my room. Whilst doing so, a Citroën Ami (this is urban mobility French-style – radical as Citroën usually is, it takes many concepts to the max – read the Wikipedia link above) drives into the parking lot and pulls into the owner’s parking garage. I walk to the garage and see a perfect setup for me: L1 and Type2 charging is available here…even if it is not explicitly advertised. The L1 charge is 3.7kW and Type2 is at 7kW, perfect for an overnight charge!
The L1 plug is specifically designed to withstand higher throughput for longer periods.
And with this, here comes, the money shot: today’s GPS track.