Europe - Biking/rental near Geneva
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05-20-12, 04:29 PM
I will be visiting Geneva (and later exploring more of Switzerland) in July and would like to rent a decent road bike to explore a bit.
Does anyone have any recommendations on where to rent a decent bike or any good routes in the area? I'd like to get a proper mountain climb in if possible, and would feel pretty comfortable with a 60-70 mile ride, but not likely much farther since I'll be solo.
05-21-12, 04:14 AM
Hi Rockenreno - I'm not living in Geneva myself (Lausanne) but here's some info:
In Nyon (20km from Geneva) road bike rental is possible at http://www.nolimitbike.com/
I've not rented a bike there myself yet but have bought one of my road bikes there. (They have C'dale, Merida & Kuota's for sale, don't know what the rental bikes are but you can contact them via their website)
Furthermore it might be worthwile to take a look at English Forum. Some good info grouped on cycling in Switzerland mainly from expats living/working here:
Also on weightweenies, you might find some info as a lot of the pics in the 'on the road today' topic are from the area around Geneva (up the Salève with great views on Mont Blanc - http://weightweenies.starbike.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=38397&p=871759&hilit=sal%C3%A8ve#p871759)
05-21-12, 07:38 AM
You can rent quality, almost new BMC road bikes from a company called Bike Switzerland (http://bikeswitzerlandrentals.com/) in Geneva. They are located just a few minutes from the main train station. Full disclosure: I do some guiding work for that company.
The Saleve is the closest big climb in the region (on the southern edge of Geneva), but to get into real Alpine pass riding then you'll have to go a bit further, with the best options probably being the Col de Colombière, south of Cluses, the Col de Ramaz, north of Taninges, or the Col du Joux Plane, north of Samoens, which have all featured in recent editions of the Tour de France. This year, the Tour will also visit the Col du Colombier, north of Culoz, but I don't know that one myself. There are also the Col de la Faucille and Col de la Givrine in the Jura mountains to the north of Geneva, but neither of those is as spectacular as the Alpine climbs, and those two roads are reasonably busy with traffic.
BTW - Hi BeSwiss, I'm also living in Lausanne, Switzerland. It's nice to see that there is at least one other person on this forum who is living here. If anyone needs to rent a road/racing bike in Lausanne, Switzerland then visit a shop called The Bike (http://www.the-bike.ch), where I'm a mechanic.
05-22-12, 11:11 AM
Thank you both for the excellent information! Exactly what I needed.
06-16-12, 09:04 PM
I've mapped out 2 potential routes (70 and 90 miles, depending on how I feel when I get there). If anyone is familiar with these roads and has recommendations on which are the best for cycling or if there are some that should be avoided, please let me know. Having no familiarity with the area, I could only make some guesses based on other routes I've seen and google street view. Thanks!
06-19-12, 12:47 AM
Many of those roads have moderate traffic on them. I've ridden most of them, and would ride them again if needed, but they are not ideal. Unfortunately, for those routes, there are not many alternative roads that are quiet but still reasonably direct. For the stretch between St Jeoire and Cluses, there is a road on the other side of the valley that is very queit, the D306, which I highly recommend. Between Annemasse and St Jeoire, the D9 is a much nicer alternative to the main road - you can use the D1205 from Annemasse to get to the start of the D9. If you can do the ride on a Sunday, then you'll have less traffic, but also fewer services as some shops will be closed. Your route in and out of Annecy will be very busy, but it is hard to avoid that. I see that you're avoiding some of the sections of the main road between Annecy and Geneva, which is good because that is very busy - possibly the busiest of all those that you have marked.
The road between Geneva and Annemasse really sucks, but just grit your teeth and get it done and look forward to the nicer stuff instead. If there was a train that could take you out there and avoid the urban section then I'd use it and recommend it, but there really isn't a good option there either. Instead of riding Geneva to Annecy, you could take a train to Bellegarde and ride from Bellegarde to Annecy, those roads are generally quieter IIRC.
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