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  #21  
Old 06.03.2008, 21:18
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Re: Cycling in Switzerland

For anyone who would like to meet other cyclists here (both road & mountain, and anything inbetween), please join us next Wednesday night (March 12) in Zurich -- See calendar entry for more details. (Please use link for any responses about this - Thanks )

Hope to see you there!
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  #22  
Old 28.04.2008, 17:11
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Re: Cycling in Switzerland

Does anyone know where I can rent a road bike? I'd like to do the cyclotour du leman on June 1, but I can't get my bike here in time.
Thanks
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  #23  
Old 01.05.2008, 14:30
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Word, phrases, and gestures

Happy May Day all, I celebrated by getting my lonely road bike out of the basement and cycling around the lake. Other than having to offer the customary tribute of a tube to Puncturro (the god of holy tubes), it was glorious.

Somewhere along the way though it occurred to me that "on your left" wasn't likely to work (it rarely does in the States either, people tend to swerve left, doh). But I don't really know what is done here. "Achtung" seems a tad abrupt somehow.

So I am looking for the Swiss etiquette guidelines. I know the US equivalents:
  1. "On your left" = I am passing, please don't do anything stupid right now like swerve to the left or vent a nostril in that direction.
  2. Before drafting, always let someone know you are there. Common phrases are "mind if I sit in", or "can I catch some air".
  3. If someone is stopped by the side of the road with a mechanical issue it is common to slow and ask "all set" or "everything okay". It almost always is but sometimes you don't have a spare tube or the right tool or a cell phone or whatever.
  4. Hand signals: if someone is drafting I point at upcoming obstacles so they know what's about coming up. I also make the US "stop" signal (hand held out, palm facing rear, sort of held low) when slowing. I'd sure hate to make a hand signal only to realize later it was a comment on the drafters lineage.
Happy to compile a page on this if others new to Switzerland are interested.

p.s. has anyone from the US noticed how good the Swiss drivers are in terms of cycling awareness? I was baffled that no one pulled out in front of me, no car doors jerked open, and passing drivers generally left a lot of space. One guy honked his horn but he was just indicating that I had missed an entrance to a bike lane, oops, my fault.
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  #24  
Old 01.05.2008, 22:20
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Re: Word, phrases, and gestures

Far and away safer to ride on the road relative to most spots in the US..plus as a general rule roads are smoother and not filled with trash, rocks, glass, etc....road riding quality is top-notch
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  #25  
Old 02.05.2008, 00:50
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Re: Cycling in Switzerland

Bricin, in my experience there's no (verbal) communication code among cyclists here.

1) If a car overtakes a cyclist he's actually required by law to keep a one meter distance. This is a good rule for an overtaking cyclist too - you should only overtake if you can do so without disrupting the other cyclist. Of course you should check the road for cars and motorbikes before leaving the bicycle lane, and give a hand sign.

2) I don't think that cyclists who don't know each other cooperate for drafting. (But I do agree that one should not do drafting without notification, it is irritating among friends).

3) It's very polite to offer help. However I usually have neither spare parts and tools when I go biking, nor exceptional repair skills. So I only stop if an accident happened and somebody could be injured, or if it is obvious that the cyclist with the broken bicycle is a complete newbie.

4) In dangerous situations I keep my hands on the handlebar for braking and manoeuvres. Regrettably not all bicycles do have one, but a bike bell is the best solution here. The only (non-offensive ) hand sign that is universally understood is to indicate with an arm in which direction you're going.
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  #26  
Old 05.05.2008, 09:34
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Re: Cycling in Switzerland

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2) I don't think that cyclists who don't know each other cooperate for drafting. (But I do agree that one should not do drafting without notification, it is irritating among friends).
Maybe it's different in Romandie (things often are) but I've often found cyclists that I've caught up to or who have caught up with me are quite willing to share the work and do some drafting. Normally, just a quick "Bonjour" (Hello) or "Salut" (Hi) when you first join up is all that is said, then a wave goodbye when someone turns off. Based on what others have told me of their experiences also, I would estimate this to be quite common and entirely acceptable. I think the Swiss-German equivalent is "Gruezi", so you could try that.
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  #27  
Old 05.05.2008, 11:31
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Re: Cycling in Switzerland

Or maybe I'm still a few km/h too slow for those who would consider drafting.

We could ask the other cyclists of the German speaking part here, but they're all into mountain biking I think.
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  #28  
Old 05.05.2008, 11:56
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Re: Cycling in Switzerland

I usually don't find myself around to many cyclists except on Seestrasse (around the lake), there I tend to avoid being close to other cyclists due to the combined danger factor (less room to react to a bad situation), I never pass anyone too close, I go into the road to pass, after checking for cars, and usually a quick gruezi, if I can manage it.
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  #29  
Old 06.05.2008, 12:12
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Re: Cycling in Switzerland

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I think the Swiss-German equivalent is "Gruezi", so you could try that.
Actually my Swiss cyclist friend told me that you should use "Hoi" (the informal version) to greet other bikers here in the German region.

I have a small, light bell (made for road bikes) that I think I will put back on my road bike -- Now that the weather is nice it seems the paths are often full of people walking or biking, and a bell seems to work in any language (although admittedly it is a bit more of a pain to do than a verbal alert).

I tend to ride in the hills (of course ) so haven't had to deal with the drafting issue much... and I haven't ridden in a pack here yet to see if locals use the US standard hand signals for pointing out obstacles while group riding, but when I do I will report back here.
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  #30  
Old 06.05.2008, 13:17
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Re: Cycling in Switzerland

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Actually my Swiss cyclist friend told me that you should use "Hoi" (the informal version) to greet other bikers here in the German region.

I have a small, light bell (made for road bikes) that I think I will put back on my road bike -- Now that the weather is nice it seems the paths are often full of people walking or biking, and a bell seems to work in any language (although admittedly it is a bit more of a pain to do than a verbal alert).

I tend to ride in the hills (of course ) so haven't had to deal with the drafting issue much... and I haven't ridden in a pack here yet to see if locals use the US standard hand signals for pointing out obstacles while group riding, but when I do I will report back here.
I am not sure there is a signal for there is car speeding down the hill on your blindside. But let me know if you find one.
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  #31  
Old 06.05.2008, 13:41
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Re: Cycling in Switzerland

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I tend to ride in the hills (of course ) so haven't had to deal with the drafting issue much... and I haven't ridden in a pack here yet to see if locals use the US standard hand signals for pointing out obstacles while group riding, but when I do I will report back here.
Maybe they don't need the hand signals for obstacles on the road so much because the Swiss roads have far fewer of them (i.e., pot-holes, broken glass, etc.) than most other countries. This is just one more factor that makes this country a mecca for road cycling.
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  #32  
Old 06.05.2008, 13:46
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Re: Cycling in Switzerland

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Maybe they don't need the hand signals for obstacles on the road so much because the Swiss roads have far fewer of them (i.e., pot-holes, broken glass, etc.) than most other countries. This is just one more factor that makes this country a mecca for road cycling.

But recently I had to dodge some Swiss people playing Alphorns on top of a mountain pass. Those strange Swiss folks.
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  #33  
Old 06.05.2008, 14:06
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Re: Cycling in Switzerland

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I am not sure there is a signal for there is car speeding down the hill on your blindside. But let me know if you find one.
Yes obviously this could come in handy sometimes!

I agree that the roads are very smooth cyclist-friendly here, and the drivers are in general quite observant and respectful to cyclists. Much better than in The Netherlands, in my experience (where since there are paths everywhere there, drivers hate it when you ride on the road, even though the paths are bumpy and full of people cruising along on their clunky 50-pound bikes). It truly feels like a cycling paradise here. And I've only begun to see what's out there!

And hey, you saw Alphorn players? They were really cool I bet!
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  #34  
Old 06.05.2008, 14:09
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Re: Cycling in Switzerland

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Actually my Swiss cyclist friend told me that you should use "Hoi" (the informal version) to greet other bikers here in the German region.
I use "Hoi" as it's usually all I can spare out of my lungs when climbing

I find that most of the MTB'ers around Zurich use Salli(Salut) so I guess the more informal greetings apply. Keep the formal Gruezi's for foot adventures.
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  #35  
Old 06.05.2008, 14:17
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Re: Cycling in Switzerland

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And hey, you saw Alphorn players? They were really cool I bet!
My father in law plays the Alphorn. Many times we've been for a hike and he has lugged the dismantled pipes in a special back-pack to some remote mountainside to play. The other hikers love it and you can hear them clapping and cheering in the distance. My wife on the other hand is still in that 15 year old girl "curl up and die of embarrassment" phase about it.
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  #36  
Old 08.05.2008, 13:37
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Re: Cycling in Switzerland

hallloooo there is someone ride mountain bike around winterthur?
i just bring my mountain bike with me but i dont know where to ride
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  #37  
Old 08.05.2008, 15:02
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Re: Cycling in Switzerland

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hallloooo there is someone ride mountain bike around winterthur?
i just bring my mountain bike with me but i dont know where to ride
Sounds like you should get in touch with "FriendlyKiwi" - He seems to know where to mountain bike over there, based on this post: "Any mountain bikers in Winterthur?"
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  #38  
Old 08.05.2008, 18:00
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Re: Cycling in Switzerland

the winterthur rider start to grow
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  #39  
Old 08.05.2008, 21:10
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Re: Cycling in Switzerland

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the winterthur rider start to grow
Take your bike into Zurich on Tuesday evening, there will be a group of us riding together.
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  #40  
Old 09.05.2008, 11:34
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Re: Cycling in Switzerland

i hope i finish to fix my bike (to much to fix) and then i will come
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