Ride Report: Genevarundan, Doing it Better

Swapping stories about about climbing Old La Honda road in Palo Alto, CA in good ol’ American English with someone you just met while riding your boss’s road bike* through Switzerland is not something one usually deems highly probable.

Swapping stories about Vätternrundan in good ol’ Scanian Swedish with someone you just met while riding your boss’s road bike through rural Switzerland is likewise not something that seems highly probable.

Accomplishing both on the same ride, as I managed to do last Sunday while riding the 190 km around Lake Geneva (a ride I did alone last summer) with CERN Velo Club, surely is a sign that some constellation, somewhere is aligning in my favor.

Genevarundan, as I call it on this blog and in my head, was this time around, infinitely easier. Possibly due to a) Well, I’ve actually been waking up early and riding intervals lately and b) Generally company makes such ventures better if not for the conversation, then for the draft. I felt strong, even if the pace was admittedly low and the road admittedly flat. All was well until the Fillet du Pêrche et pommes frites, a semi-forced lunch at restaurant outside of Montreaux, sank down like a greasy weight at the bottom of my stomach. But the cramps stopped after Evian and slowly but surely Geneva, the Saleve, the Jura, all the things familiar curled up around us. When it was over, we all ate ice cream in front of Jet D’Eau and later I successfully sneaked my professor’s carbon road bike past my landlady and into my room.

What’s more: Women cyclists, against all of my previous notions, do exist here! We were three girls in the pack on Sunday, and I’m happy to say we were easily the three strongest riders (Physicists don’t get to train much, I guess). In fact, a girls trip up Colombière, that road that is the stuff of legend, is in the works. We’ll see what the whirlwind brings.**


*And this time, I had the guts to ask him myself if I could ride it. He agreed, less grudgingly than before, but on the condition that I replace the rear derailleur cable. Done and done.

**On the CERN front: Many hours on vacuum systems, control systems, rewelded joints, etc. Apologies for only writing about fun. More on less important things later.


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