Biking (Swiss) Route 66

It was an unusually pleasant Sunday: the clouds had broken for long enough, and the sun shone bright and warm enough, for us to expect Spring flowers and mornings without shivered awakenings.  Our new perch on the edge of Zurich’s suburbs has given also proximity to Route 66–a long trail of 55 kilometers (34 miles) winding along the Limmat River.  Unlike US Route 66 this path is paved by just loose gravel for a time, traversing rails and pathways; buzzing apartments and a reformed industrial quarter, to connect a medieval refuge with a quaint town–with the largest Swiss city between the two.

So with an unexpected sun at my back, I took up the same bicycle that I rode through college triumph and strife, to conquer at least part of Route 66.

Route 66
The red path represents about 13 kilometers…my twists and turns brought a one-way trip to more than 14km.

To hard-core bicyclists this route is nothing special.  For one thing, it is mostly flat.  The biggest challenges come in the form of foreign obstacles: a misshapen stone on the path, a stray dog oblivious to the world, a stray jogger oblivious to the world.

Despite rampant development the Limmat was not completely bordered by buildings, or dwarfed by factories, though some stretches were much more man-made than of nature.  Of course someone wanting to be fully immersed in nature shouldn’t expect that from within Zurich’s domain.

More to go
A bit more to go..

 And now, despite my still aching bones, I feel a certain sense of accomplishment.  On a whim I rode nearly 15.5 miles, and breathed in what freshness I could while forgetting the ills of this Swiss version of a metropolis.

 

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