Bike Ride in the Rain...King of Ska

Lugano Travel Blog

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Solothurn to Airolo (bike ride to Biasca) then on to Lugano Switzerland: 5/24/08

            Today we are heading to Airolo where we will rent some bikes and ride down to Biasca. This sounds like great fun and is guaranteed to have some spectacular views along the way, with excellent picnic spots to boot. Well this would be the case if it wasn’t pissing down on us. The heavens above decided to open up and storm on us for the entire day. The bikes we rented were of a standard fair, thankfully they had fenders and some lights with a wheel generator that would power the lights when need be. We got outfitted with our bikes and helmets; I put on my fleece jacket and rain jacket. I was really now wishing I would have brought a pair of bike gloves and some wet weather biking gear. We start off on the ride heading down the main road; the route will lead us through dark tunnels, over dirt paths, paved bike paths, and through the center of what appears to be abandoned villages. Once we hit the downhill I am off like a bat out of hell, tucking into my aerodynamic position I accelerate quickly down the wet highway. After awhile I decide to play it a little safer and not go quite like I would if I was on my bike at home. We approach our first tunnel and flip the wheel generators against the back wheel to power the headlight and taillight. It was very nice going through the tunnels since it was dry and we didn’t have to worry about the wet road. The rest of the ride was wet and cold, but not too cold. The views were spectacular but I would have much more enjoyed it if we could have stopped and took it all in. On the outskirts of Biasca Dave starts to yell something. My first thought is that he had left something up the trail where we stopped to rest for a bit. When I turned to see what he was pointing at, there in front of me on the overpass was: “JUDGE DREAD IS THE KING OF SKA.” Some one had spray painted this on the overpass, naturally I had to get a picture in front of that. We arrived to the Biasca train station a good hour before the guy with our bags would be down to drop them off and collect the bikes. Not much was open in Biasca, so off I went to raid the vending machine for some much needed food. The guy showed up and we picked up our bags then jumped a train to Lugano Switzerland where we would be spending the night.

Lugano is right on a lake and faces towards the Italian border; in Lugano they speak Italian. By this time we were both famished and needed some food! Dave told me that this city would be pulsing being a Saturday night and all. Well we found quite the opposite to be true. The city was dead! The only places open for dinner were pizzerias, and I was not feeling like paying 17chf for a pizza. One place had burgers and that sounded good, but not for 13chf! So I hung my head low and walked into Burger King. I know, I am so ashamed; but oh did it taste so good and a complete meal for only 9chf. I could have pounded a few of those double bacon burgers, but knew I would pay the price later if I did. Sitting in Burger King they had a Switzerland football match on the television. Turns out the national team was playing in Lugano. Oh I was bent when I found this out; would have been so much fun to have seen that match. After dinner we walked around the city and through the park down near the lake. All the streams are really flowing high this time of year over here, and are exceptionally higher than normal. Soon all over the city there were car horns blaring and people running around waving Swiss flags; the Swiss national team just won 2-0. These mini parties and antics went on for a good hour or so after the match. We ended up at a top of a hill by our hostel that has a phenomenal view out over the city and lake. I took some pictures while up there then just sat there looking out over the city.  Tomorrow we are back on the rails and heading to Chur Switzerland where we will stay for TWO NIGHTS!!!

 

A short video I shot after biking:

 

http://s121.photobucket.com/albums/o230/JudgeDredd76/?action=view&current=EuroTrip08030.flv
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photo by: hellenica