Introduction and some background - Swiss roots but no Large Hadron Collider - CycleBlaze

August 6, 2019

Introduction and some background

How this retired guy found himself on a bike in Switzerland

Waiting for my flight to Zurich
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Joan MikalsonTom, loving this journal!! Thanks!!

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2 years ago

Here I sit in JFK headed to Zurich for my Swiss cycling tour. I entered retired life in early 2017. One of my resolves was to cycle as much as I could in retirement. Part of that resolve was to travel internationally at least once a year for an extended tour. Things have pretty much followed that pre-retirement plan. 

The most fabulous dinner at a monastery in Sopron, Hungary
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My 2017 tour had me cycling from Vienna to Budapest on a Hungarian tour from the shores of Lake Ferto and Lake Balaton through western Hungary. It was an amazing experience. I had toured self supported and supported on numerous weeklong tours in the USA. I credit card toured on many occasions for a long weekend or a week. My Hungarian tour was with a fully supported guided tour. It was my retirement gift to myself. It was money well spent.

Beautiful day cycling Southern Bohemia
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I joined a guided tour through Southern Bohemia in the Czech Republic in 2018. The tour was another amazing experience. There were three cyclists and one leader for this 8-day ride through the beautiful Czech countryside. I have to admit that I was becoming hooked on these guided tours. They treat you extremely well, stay in nice hotels and inns, and eat delicious food.

As 2019 rolled around, I had several options for a tour in the back of my mind. Switzerland was high on that list. It was actually my first choice in 2018, but I looked for a more economical tour. I now regret passing on a wonderful Swiss tour that I could have afforded. 2019 is the year to get on the bike and ride in Switzerland.

I cycled Hungary since it was the country of my father’s family. I was raised in a Hungarian-American family and was very familiar with the traditions, foods, and Hungarian culture. My mother was born in Switzerland immigrated to the USA at age 4. She did not grow up in a Swiss-American community but rather in Appalachia. I knew a small amount about her background and culture. This is the year to discover more about the Swiss and Switzerland.

What’s the story about the journal title? I needed a catchy journal name and happen to be a fan of The Big Bang Theory. One of my favorite episodes is where Leonard is invited to visit the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva. The best scene from that episode is where he tries to surprise Penny with the trip using Swiss hints. Now, doesn’t that make perfect sense? I am looking for my Swiss roots and not visiting the Large Hadron Collider on this tour.

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