Against the current on the High Rhine - Swiss roots but no Large Hadron Collider - CycleBlaze

August 11, 2019

Against the current on the High Rhine

Cycling from Stein am Rhein to Konstanz

A view of Stein am Rhein from Werd Island.
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The Rhine was flowing at a fast pace westward as I pedaled east towards Konstanz from Stein am Rhein. Luckily, I was on a bike with no headwinds for an easy 24 miles. This section of the Rhine known as the High Rhine flows west while the remainder flows north towards the Netherlands. File that tidbit away you Jeopardy! fans. 

Werd Island Franciscan monks monastery
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It was another perfect day to cycle with plenty of sun and warm temps. The landscape today was mostly pear orchards near Stein am Rhein changing to what Ohioans know as truck farms as we neared Konstanz. Truck farms are cabbage, broccoli, kale, onions, potatoes and other produce grown on smaller acreage. These farms hugged the shores of the Rhine and made for a pleasant journey. 

Steckborn, Switzerland
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Being a shorter riding day, my companions and I took opportunities to stop in the towns along the shore. It was Sunday with most small businesses closed. I recall that tradition from my prior tours in the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Austria. Alas, coffee shops and bakeries were closed meaning no morning coffee and cake. I settled for a latte on the harbor in Steckborn. 

Berlingen, Switzerland
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Today's route was pretty well marked with some minor confusion in Konstanz. It was mostly paved trail with some gravel. There were only a couple of small hills to climb. The road sections were quiet and pleasant hugging the Rhine's southern shore. Traffic was light being Sunday. 

My bike at the Berlingen harbor
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Cycling in Europe is different experience for this American. The Europeans have developed an impressive cycling infrastructure. Cycling is more for daily use to commute to work, school, and the market. There is certainly recreational cycling, but the number of people using their bikes for day to day commutes and chores is impressive. Motorists are respectful to cyclists. Cyclists, pedestrians, and walkers coexist on roads. It is common for traffic to wave a cyclist by and yield to them. 

Early morning crossing to Werd Island
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Tomorrow I head north along the shore of Lake Constance to Dingelsdorf and eastward to Radolfzell for the night. It's looking to be a wet ride.  

Today's ride: 24 miles (39 km)
Total: 80 miles (129 km)

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