Scream if you want to go faster…

Posted by on 9, May 2016 in 2016 - Cycle The Rhine, Europe, Germany, Switzerland, Tilly the Tandem

Scream if you want to go faster…

“Reed!” Shouted the lady in the hotel at Andermatt as we walked in the front door in a very German Kommandant like manner. “Jarvohl”. I should have replied but being a bit taken aback at being shouted at the moment you walk through the front door when you know Linda is still outside, I timidly replied ” yes”.

“Follow me to your room” she continued curtly and we complied immediately. The room itself was very nice with a brand new bathroom (always a hit with Linda) and our hostess was actually very nice once she’d frog marched us to our room. The town itself was largely shut up, the passes aren’t all open yet and skiers have gone home. It was grey and windy, just above freezing and with a bit of drizzle in the air.

The train up to the top of the pass was steep, Tilly had to be strapped down to stop her rolling down the goods carriage and we climbed out of the town at a fair rate of knots considering the slope. By the time we arrived at Oberalppass it was really cold and snow covered all the ground thickly. We ventured to the lighthouse at the top of the pass (which actually comes from Rotterdam) for a quick photo before we checked into our hotel – the only guests – and adjourned to the restaurant for a traditional swiss supper which for me was 1kg of cheese fried with rosti and then some vegetables thrown over the top. Very tasty but I’m not sure that cycling to Rotterdam will work it off.

Refreshed and raring to go the next morning we loaded Tilly up and wrapped ourselves up warmly with poor Linda suffering from “Don’t rely on men” syndrome. I’m not allowed near the packing usually and Linda had given me the simple job of packing my gloves and my ear warmer headband. Well I managed to pack just one glove! And as we were about to head off the side of a mountain on a bicycle weighing just shy of 1/4 tonne with just two brakes to slow us down Linda (who hates heights) wasn’t going to risk us going too fast and sensibly opted for lending me her glove and wearing a sock on her hand instead.

All in all a good decision, we peaked at 53.2kph with the brakes on and hurtled down the pass for 11km without peddling until our brakes smelt like they were about to catch fire so stopped whilst it was still an option. In the cold air they cooled quickly and we returned to the saddles for further plummeting.

A thoroughly enjoyable day (well for me) – despite a few hills that we had to cycle up and the odd one at 15% that we could hardly push Tilly up.

Tomorrow we actually get to the start of the Rhine proper having today spent the day cycling next to the Rhine Anterior which joins another Rhine tributary at Tamins to become the Rhine proper.


  1. Love it, doesn’t Linda yell Reed when she wants something! ?

    • She’s got plenty of other names for me!

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