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Old 15.07.2021, 23:19
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Traffic free road biking??

Weird question, but are there any long(ish) distance cycle routes in Switzerland (anywhere) that are suitable for road bikes (ie smooth) yet closed to cars? Such places exist in the UK. Cars fricking terrify me as a cyclist and the roads near me are just not suitable for enjoyable training/rides.
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Old 15.07.2021, 23:23
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Re: Traffic free road biking??

Follow cyclingswitzerland on instagram...they have info about car free bike events...but roads that are permanently available only for bikes you will not find.
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Old 16.07.2021, 03:03
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Re: Traffic free road biking??

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Weird question, but are there any long(ish) distance cycle routes in Switzerland (anywhere) that are suitable for road bikes (ie smooth) yet closed to cars? Such places exist in the UK. Cars fricking terrify me as a cyclist and the roads near me are just not suitable for enjoyable training/rides.
Not weird at all, I'm with you. I don't know about permanent long distance routes but take a look at the Slow-Up initiative. Sadly, Covid has destroyed nearly all of the 20/21 events but they have a full schedule for next year. I did a couple of them in 2019 and thought they were excellent days out on traffic-free roads, and events that introduced me to new bits of CH that I'd never otherwise have visited. Really recommended.

Slow-up: https://www.slowup.ch/national/de.html
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Old 16.07.2021, 07:11
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Re: Traffic free road biking??

Schweizmobil shows the cycling routes, and if you're willing to invest a bit of time zooming in on the map, you can find bike paths which are separate of the main (car) roads.

https://www.schweizmobil.ch/en/cycli...itzerland.html

Last edited by ThisIsFine; 16.07.2021 at 07:14. Reason: adding link
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Old 16.07.2021, 07:12
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Re: Traffic free road biking??

I think the closest you will find are the access roads that are for locals only. for instance the roads up the Rigi are quiet, just for mountain bikers the tracks are more interesting.
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Old 16.07.2021, 07:13
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Re: Traffic free road biking??

Check out the farmers roads through the vineyards. Around here they are mostly concrete surfaced and only farm equipment and local traffic (and cycles) are allowed. Not vehicle free but vehicle resistant.
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Old 16.07.2021, 07:37
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Re: Traffic free road biking??

There are segregated paths of course if that counts ..
One can cycle almost? completely from what, Lausanne to Geneva in a marked and separate yellow cycle lane.
Plus it's fairly flat, 60km? so mid distance and follows the train line.. So one could either do that once, return for longer ride or quit and take the train back.

Sure there are crossings and roundabouts etc.. but almost bike only.

I guess routes like that are plentiful ?
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Old 16.07.2021, 08:37
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Re: Traffic free road biking??

+1 for https://www.schweizmobil.ch/en/cycli...itzerland.html

I personally use this map especially when I plan a route with the kids tagging along. The route offered is mostly separated from the cars. On a long route it will never be 100% separate but in my experience this usually happens in quite farm/back roads or when the route crosses a town and there is simply no other road alternative. Most of the route is paved however some short sections maybe on gravel, something you need to look out if you have skinny road tires pumped up to 6-7bar.
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Old 16.07.2021, 08:40
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Re: Traffic free road biking??

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+1 for https://www.schweizmobil.ch/en/cycli...itzerland.html

I personally use this map especially when I plan a route with the kids tagging along. The route offered is mostly separated from the cars. On a long route it will never be 100% separate but in my experience this usually happens in quite farm/back roads or when the route crosses a town and there is simply no other road alternative. Most of the route is paved however some short sections maybe on gravel, something you need to look out if you have skinny road tires pumped up to 6-7bar.
Yeah I’ve looked at this site - but found it difficult to tell for example where the route is unpaved (and condition) and where it’s on busy roads. I noticed that between Sierre and Martigny there is a skating path - I wonder if cycling is allowed there or not?
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Old 16.07.2021, 08:48
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Re: Traffic free road biking??

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Yeah I’ve looked at this site - but found it difficult to tell for example where the route is unpaved (and condition) and where it’s on busy roads. I noticed that between Sierre and Martigny there is a skating path - I wonder if cycling is allowed there or not?
You have to zoom-in the map. Solid-line is paved and broken-line is gravel.
Yes, skating and biking path is combined. Skating route is 100% paved.
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Old 16.07.2021, 10:26
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Re: Traffic free road biking??

You can click on a route on Schweizmobil, and it will show more infos (sometimes you have to chose which "route" you want), among other things how much of it is paved and how much is gravel. Also, if you click on "more", it gives you a description and further down are warnings about sections with a lot of traffic. Also, the cycling layers on openstreetmap.org have a lot of info, not always easy to find, though.
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Old 16.07.2021, 10:35
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Re: Traffic free road biking??

I used to be afraid too because in the US, most places & drivers don't know how to accommodate cyclists...it is much better here.

I regularly take the route from Bern to Thun along the river that around the half-way point, turns into countryside lanes that are very infrequently driven on by cars (mainly farm equipment). To be honest, I feel more unsafe on bike lanes that also have pedestrians and other modes of transport on them (i.e. e-bikes and motorized scooters).

Put on a helmet, get yourself out there and practice...you will get used to it and feel safe in no time. Best wishes
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Old 16.07.2021, 14:15
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Re: Traffic free road biking??

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Yeah I’ve looked at this site - but found it difficult to tell for example where the route is unpaved (and condition) and where it’s on busy roads. I noticed that between Sierre and Martigny there is a skating path - I wonder if cycling is allowed there or not?
For your own safety and that of others the first thing you should do is learn the meaning of the road signs and how to act and behave in traffic. It may sound odd if you're already in the second half of your life (a good may on here are), but a training course (e.g. by pro-velo.ch or verkehrsclub.ch) is time and money very well spent. It may also help alleviate your anxiety against cars when on a bike somewhat.
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Old 16.07.2021, 14:36
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Re: Traffic free road biking??

do the passes before they are opened to cars.
otherwise there are several military roads that are closed to cars.
this is one of my favs
https://www.climbbybike.com/climb/Alpe-del-Gesero/5193
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Old 16.07.2021, 15:14
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Re: Traffic free road biking??

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To be honest, I feel more unsafe on bike lanes that also have pedestrians and other modes of transport on them (i.e. e-bikes and motorized scooters).
IMO, the worst offenders are those inline skaters with noise-cancelling headphones on! Stupid idiots.
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Old 16.07.2021, 15:17
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Re: Traffic free road biking??

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do the passes before they are opened to cars.
otherwise there are several military roads that are closed to cars.
this is one of my favs
https://www.climbbybike.com/climb/Alpe-del-Gesero/5193
Doing a mountain pass means you need to be at a certain level of fitness. To get to that fitness level, you'd need hours of practice on countryside rolling hills. By the time you get the practice time in, you will have gained enough experience to be "comfortable" biking on the road with cars. So chicken-egg situation for the OP.
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Old 17.07.2021, 17:23
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Re: Traffic free road biking??

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Doing a mountain pass means you need to be at a certain level of fitness. To get to that fitness level, you'd need hours of practice on countryside rolling hills. By the time you get the practice time in, you will have gained enough experience to be "comfortable" biking on the road with cars. So chicken-egg situation for the OP.
I completely agree...passes are amazing but not only being fit is important but also enough riding experience.
Another tip to ride free of cars or roads with not much traffic is to create your routes using Komoot. There are tons of routes and tips including photos from other bikers. It is worth buying CH maps.
Or ride Sunday morning...as early as possible. Or join Veloton on Strava...many times riding with a group is safer.
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Old 17.07.2021, 17:29
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Re: Traffic free road biking??

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For your own safety and that of others the first thing you should do is learn the meaning of the road signs and how to act and behave in traffic. It may sound odd if you're already in the second half of your life (a good may on here are), but a training course (e.g. by pro-velo.ch or verkehrsclub.ch) is time and money very well spent. It may also help alleviate your anxiety against cars when on a bike somewhat.
I agree! But riding legally in Switzerland is not enough. I bike to work at least one time per week (road bike, 35 km one way) and I need always to be aware that drivers can be dangerous. You need to imagine what could go wrong. Especially in intersections if you ride straight and cars need to turn right. We just came back from a bike vacation in France...much better...the respect for bikers is much different and more than 90% of the drivers waited for 1.5 m distance to be possible in order to pass us.
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Old 18.07.2021, 21:38
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Re: Traffic free road biking??

Komoot is a great site to plan no or low traffic cycling routes. I believe a subscription is required to get the best features, but nothing that will break the bank.
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Old 18.07.2021, 22:35
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Re: Traffic free road biking??

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I agree! But riding legally in Switzerland is not enough. I bike to work at least one time per week (road bike, 35 km one way) and I need always to be aware that drivers can be dangerous. You need to imagine what could go wrong. Especially in intersections if you ride straight and cars need to turn right. We just came back from a bike vacation in France...much better...the respect for bikers is much different and more than 90% of the drivers waited for 1.5 m distance to be possible in order to pass us.
True.

Though I'm not sure the drivers can be blamed for the lack of keeping distance when the bike lanes are only something like 1.10m by default, and disappear into nothingness at the sports where they're needed most, i.e. whenever the road gets narrow. Of course keeping distance is the car driver's responsibility, but that may be expecting a bit much given the narrow bike lanes (not saying they could easily be wider, it's a bit of a gordian knot).
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