It’s spring and it’s bike season. And funny how similar they are, my longer – once or twice a week – bike routes in the current home in Switzerland, and the past in Lapland.
Here in Switzerland, the route goes around Obersee (linked to the Zürichsee, around which goes my a bit longer – max once a week – route). It follows gravel roads by railways and the lake itself; rolls through more or less cute villages and towns; offers detours over hills and through forests; and passes patches of agricultural land and farms.
In the distance, the Alps show off majestically when the weather is clear, and on the lake and fields swans look like they couldn’t care less. On the Seedamm, from Rapperswil to Pfäffikon SZ, it also lets me ride on a narrow bath of land between the two lakes, and it’s not just one good hot day plunge place I know along the way.
The scenes and scents aren’t much different in Lapland, where my usual tour route winds around the lake Kemijärvi. It doesn’t offer a beautiful castle and old town like Rapperswil, and up north the season for these tours is way shorter than in south. But there are the lake and the roads, the damm between the lakes, fells instead of Alps, and water so clean that on a hot day I happily take a midway plunge. And for the summer also the whooper swans return to the lakes of Lapland. (Some of them like to spent their winters as far as in Switzerland.)
On top of the similarities, the adventures in Lapland also built me a good base for many great adventures; the bike tours in Switzerland included. Without the 20 to 40km tours, the 50km+ tours around lake Obersee wouldn’t go this smoothly. (Especially since in Lapland I biked with a heavy switchless city bike, with rough and wide tires. While here in Switzerland I now bike with the light road bike tuned a bit, but just a bit, to the gravel type.)
It’s also the tours like these which are the summer version of nordic skiing. Both perfect exercise and meditation, the cycling works as an alternative restorative therapy. The movement itself is a bit monotone, flowing movement which resembles a dance choreography. And with the fresh air, changing landscape and focus on what lays ahead (in seconds and meters, not years and kilometres) it helps to clear the head and root for my surroundings strongly (though extreme rooting in a way of crashing isn’t advisable).
I can’t say the head clearing is needed for too much work, but I admit that the recent creative sprints and challenging deadlines on top of the pandemic uncertainty (including the fact I still don’t know when I get to visit Lapland again) do built up some extra need for these tours.
The best “cure” ingredient though is the coffee or gelato stop (or both) before the last few kilometres. It’s the reason I do my Obersee tour counterclockwise and my a bit longer Zürichsee tour clockwise.
For the best gelato with the best views one gets from Rapperswil. Just so you know.