Thursday and Saturday Rides Start in April
Our FREE weekly rides are starting up again. Our first ride of the season will be this coming Thursday, (April 4th) at 18:15.
We’ll be leaving from the shop at 22 Rue des Grottes and then ending the ride at the market for a drink and conversation.
Our Saturday morning “Road Bikes Only” ride will meet at the shop at 9am on April 6th.
We have a team of guides who have volunteered to plan and lead these adventures througout the Spring and Summer.
You can find out the particulars of each ride (itinerary, difficulty and map) by clicking on the “Events” button found on the front page of our website http://www.bikeswitzerland.com
Or, simply click here.
Free Maps Now on our Website
Our Secretary has been hard at work to create downloadable PDF maps of the 9 Swiss National cycling routes.
We’ve finally finished this project and have put all of the maps and the GPX files on our website and are offering them to everyone as a free resource.
You can access these maps by clicking “Free Maps” on our website, or simply click here to register and gain free access.We are hoping that the maps will whet your appetite and show you the possibilities that Switzerland has to offer.
Summer Tours filling up
June 11 – 21st
Click here to watch the movie
June 20 – July 1st
Click here to watch the movie
July 25th – August 5
Click here to watch the movie
Tour de Suisse
June 9th – June 14th
Click here to watch the movie
In an effor to get more people on our Tour de Suisse Fan Tour, we’re offering a free BMC kit for any sign-up on this tour from now until April 15th.
More information about our guided tours can be found here.
Saturday Mountain Bike Ride Fever !
Living in Geneva and want to start mountain biking ?! Bike Switzerland is teaming up with Exoride and Izibus to make that happen.
Beginning April 6th, riders will be taken to the Valais, Vaud or nearby France for a day of downhill and cross country mountain biking.
The folks at Exoride will show you the trails and teach you technique, while their partners at Izibus Transport will give you and your bike a ride to the starting point.
All of this for around 60 to 90 chf per outing.
If you don’t have a full-suspension mountain bike, no problem. Bike Switzerland will be offering day rentals for these trips at 60 chf per day, (50 chf per day if two or more days).
You can find more information at www.exoride.net and get your rental at www.bikeswitzerlandrentals.com
Thanks for reading until the end !
2013 Tour de Suisse Program Announced
What are you doing June 9th to the 14th ? Come and watch the pros fight it out in the Swiss mountains.
I would tell you more, but we spent long hours creating this podcast to do just that ! Please watch.
Bike Switzerland needs you !
Last year we sponsored free club rides from our store every Thursday evening and Saturday morning.
We’d like to continue that again this spring, but to take things a bit more seriously by appointing “Ride Leaders” for specific dates.
Want your help for this. The responsibilities would include:
• Choosing an itinerary and posting it on our calendar
• Being on time to lead the ride.
o 18h15 on Thursday night
o 9am on Saturdays
These are free rides, so we’re offering ride leaders who commit to leading rides on a regular basis the following:
• A complete Bike Switzerland kit !
• 10% – 40% off bikes, rentals and accessories depending upon your level of involvement.
• Free drinks ! (We always finish the Thursday night ride at the farmer’s market outside the shop, and spend some time quaffing local wine)
New Bike Switzerland Rentals Website
We didn’t have a choice. We are renting out 4 different kinds of bikes this year and so needed to represent our fleet differently.
The new website presents the four bikes that we have at the top of the page. You need to “Swipe” the banner to see all of the bikes.
I hope you don’t find this too difficult. If you do, let me know.
Rent a GPS and we’ll put on the routes
You come to Geneva and rent a bike from us, but what then ?
We’re creating a library of rides which we will soon make available online.
The rides that we post will include a map like this: The Saleve
But more importantly, the GPX track of the ride will also be downloadable.
People renting from us can put the track on their own GPS or rent a GPS from us and we’ll put the track on for free.
We also plan on putting Open Street Maps of Switzerland on Micro-SD cards and making them available for purchase at our shop and on-line.
And of course, we’ve still got a wide selection of paper maps on sale.
1st Day of Spring Party. Mark your calendars.
We’ll be officially opening our doors for the new season on Thursday, March 21st.
On that day, we’ll be having special prices on all of our clothing and accessories.
This is also Thursday night, so we’ve got a bike ride too ! And it’s market day ! You know what that’s like.
If not, here’s the video.
Thanks for reading to the end !
Winter Cycling in Gran Canaria
Here it is: our last big push to fill our winter cycling tour. We need to give our final numbers to the hotels by mid-January and so are asking everyone to get on board as soon as possible.
What ?! You haven’t heard about this trip ? Let me tell you more. We want to give you six days of hard-core cycling on the island of Las Palmas (Canary Islands).
Choosing Las Palmas as a winter destination was an easy
- Lots of sun and temperatures warm enough for swimming!
- It’s Spain ! ( food, wine, dancing, architecture,)
- Lots of climbing, great bikes, best guides in the business…
Really, I could go on about this for pages and do on the website: bikeswitzerlandworld.com
The dates are February 10 – 17th and the price is 1,690 Euros. You’ll need to get yourself to Barcelona or Madrid, and from there it’s a straight flight.
Questions, just send them to me: john@bikeswitzerland.
Electric Bikes in 2013
We’ll be working with Stromer-BMC in 2013 to offer top-notch, Swiss-designed electric bikes to our fleet.
These bikes will be available on our Challenge and Lite tours, but also be available at our shop for a simple rental.
This means that spouses or friends at two different levels can actually do the same ride !
Our version will have a maximum speed of 25 km/h, so no worries about being the slowpoke in the group.
We don’t have the bikes up on our websites yet, but keep this in mind as an option if you’re thinking about a tour.
Otherwise, our 2013 rental fleet will be made up of the following bikes:
– Streetracer-105 Triple (sizes 48, 51)
– Streetracer-Ultegra (Sizes 54, 57)
– Granfondo 105 (size 60)
– Speedfox Deore-SLX (all sizes)
– BMC Alpen Challenge 105-Tiagra (all sizes) (2013 version)
New Helmets in 2013
We’ll not only have new helmets. We’ll have our OWN Bike Switzerland helmets.
Check out the video to see how we had them made.
2013 clothing peek
We’ve got some new products coming out for Spring of 2013.
For one thing, we’re redesigning our short-sleeve classic jersey.
Cashmere underarm inserts for better comfort and odor control.
Full frontal zipper
New prices January 1st
Just a reminder that our tour prices will go up slightly on January 1st.
Reserve your tour today with a deposit to keep 2012 prices.
Bike Switzerland…before you die…say the experts !
Chris Santella, a freelance writer, called me up a year ago to say that our Challenge Tour was on the short-list for inclusion: Fifty Places to Bike Before You Die.
Yes, a rather gruesome title.
The book is now out and we’re in ! (Pages 188 to 191)
So, if you’ve done our tour, put a check on those pages and move on to the next destination. Or not. The entries are in alphabetical order.
Nevertheless, a great book and a no-brainer Christmas book for the adventure cyclist on your list. We’re proud to be included.
Used bikes….they’re gone ! New bikes are here.
It only took four weeks to sell our entire fleet of used 2012 bikes, (that’s around 70 bikes). At one point, the bikes were going out the door so quickly that I decided to buy out these 2012 models from BMC and offer them for sale NEW.
So now we have a basement full of boxed-up bikes ready to go under the Christmas tree. Here’s what’s for sale.
Mr. Adventure Cycling: our guest in Geneva!
We had the enormous privilege of drinking, dining and biking with the Executive Director of Adventure Cycling: Mr. Jim Sayer !
Jim stopped in Geneva for a few days en route to the Lucerne for the Adventure Travel and Trade Association world summit in Lucerne. While here, Jim road up the Salève with Claude, did the Thursday night ride with Chris, spoke about the Adventure Cycling Association’s mission and talked with city administrators about the recent referendum to promote bikes and cycling paths. He also had his fair share of wine and cheese.
Adventure Travel and Trade Association World Summit
The ATTA is trade organization that caters to the “Adventure Travel Industry” . There is an annual week-long conference with 600+ delegates representing tour companies, destinations and travel products. I’ve always wanted to go and this year it was in Switzerland… so easy.
Initially, meeting successful tour operators with much larger companies was intimidating. You know who I’m talking about…the big boys and girls who host thousands of clients every year on trips all over the world.
But going to a trade conference is always an eye-opener: you learn about your peers and the industry. In the end, I learned a lot about Bike Switzerland.
We stood out:
• Of 600+ delegates meeting in Switzerland, only one other company specialized in bicycle tours in Switzerland.
• No other company uses BMC bikes
• No other company (that I spoke with) renewed their fleet every season like we do.
• No other company covered a UCI-sanctioned race besides the Tour de France.
Of course, I learned much more, but that’s best discussed around the campfire.
Gran Canaria…for climbs !
We promise that this trip will make your Spring training that much easier. It’s also the only place in Europe for cold cerveza in February. As always, this year’s 7-day winter tour of Gran Canaria will have it all: Spanish food, beautiful hotels, Ultegra-equipped bikes, hard climbs, fast descents. Get on board while there’s room. Find out more here.
Of course, there are other good reasons for signing up now to do a tour. Our prices will increase beginning January 1st. Sign on or before December 31st to get our 2012 prices.
Thanks for reading until the end !
I’m always here for your questions.
2013 Offer for Summer Tours
Thinking about doing one of our tours this summer ? Sure, 2013 is a long way off and you’ve got time to think about it.
BUT…sign up for one of our tours before November 1st and receive a complete Bike Switzerland kit for free !
You’ll get the jersey, jacket, shorts and socks: We’ll ship it all to you today ! That’s a 289 chf value !
Just send a mail to: email@example.com and we’ll take care of the rest.
(Offer applies to all of our guide tours)
BMC Four-Strokes in the HOUSE !
Every few weeks I get a call: “Do you rent mountain bikes” ? And I hate turning people away.
There are some great downhill courses just a few kilometers out of town, yet there is no where to rent a decent bike.
Mountain bikes are a big investment: the bikes are expensive, the maintenance is difficult, they go through a lot of wear-and-tear.
But the closest rental shop is in Chamonix, and so we need to do something about that. So, we’ve decided to buy a few of these for our rental fleet next year. Only 3 or 4 in the beginning to test the water, so best to reserve well in advance. You’ll find all the specs on this model by following this link.
Bike Sale !
Offering high quality rentals means NEW BIKES. Every year we buy new bikes ! Next year, our renters will be on 2013 BMC Bikes.
But that means that we’ve got to make space for them. And so, as we do every year, we’re selling our used rental bikes.
There are LOTS of good deals here and at the moment, there is probably something for everyone.
But we are selling 2 or 3 bikes every day, and so best to act quick if you’d like to get one of them.
Just click on this link to find our 2012 used bikes.
Bikes will be picked up the week of October 15th. Or, if you live in Switzerland, we can send you the bike by train. No need to come to Geneva !
Bike Switzerland hosts Adventure Cycling Director
We have the honor of hosting Jim Sayer for a few days in Geneva this October on his visit to Switzerland for the Adventure Travel Association Summit.
While in Geneva, we’ve asked Jim to speak ! We hope you can come to the conference.
Mr. Jim Sayer, Director of the North American based Adventure Cycling Association ,will be in Geneva on October 3rd.
Mr. Sayer will be giving a giving a conference: North American Bicycle Routes Established in 1973, the ACA is North America’s premier bicycle-travel organization with over 45,000 members.
In addition organizing guided tours and publishing a magazine, ACA researches and produces cycling maps .
The association is also currently developing the U.S. Bicycle Route System which will be the largest cycling route network on the planet when complete.
Seating is limited, so please R.S.V.P. at firstname.lastname@example.org
Claude’s Egyptian Bread Movie
Claude Marthaler, Bike Switzerland guide and world-reknown “Cyclonaute” is going to Egypt to make a movie.
It’s a short documentary all about the crazy and omnipresent bicycle bread delivery men of Cairo.
It’s the first in a series of movies that Claude hopes to help produce about the little-known cycling professions that exist around the world.
Of course, artistic ethnographic films don’t get financing from Hollywood. It’s the donations: 10 francs, 50 francs, etcetera, that will help to make art happen.
I encourage you to take a look at the project here, and make a contribution if you’re intrigued.
Thanks for reading to the end !!!
Bike Switzerland Director
2013 Tour Dates Announced
There has been a lot of interest in our independent tours and bike rentals this year. Having a storefront has helped enormously.
For this reason, we’re working to focus our resources a bit differently in 2013 by offering only four guided tours. Each of our tours will appear on the calendar just once in 2013.
You can find the 2013 guided tour dates on our website at this page.
We expect these tours to fill-up fast, and the price will likely increase by 5%-10% on January 1st, 2013. So, reserving now with a 600 chf deposit is smart: it will guarantee you a space and save you some money.
Reserving is easy: Just go “guided tours” -> ” Sign up now”, or email me and we’ll make it happen: email@example.com
Our 2013 clothing
Every week I promise myself to create a new podcast. Then we start getting slammed with rentals and walk-ins and nothing happens.
We’re now in August and we haven’t talked about our 2013 clothing collection ! So, Erik and I woke up at 6am, had some strong coffee and made this new video where we describe all of the clothing…and helmets !
Yes, it’s long and not always pretty. But Eric and I thought it was fantastic, and so did Erik’s mom.
Thursday night and Saturday Morning Rides
Don’t forget that the shop is sponsoring FREE guided rides everything Thursday evening and Saturday morning.
Thursday Eve: Be at the shop at 6pm. This ride is open to everyone on all bikes (road, hybrid, mountain). It’s a casual ride and we usually do 25-35km.
Afterwards, we usually have a drink at one of the wine stands at the outdoor market just outside the store. These rides will continue until mid-October.
Saturday morning: Be at the shop at 9:30. Road bikes only. We’ll be doing 50 – 60 km at a good cadence. One of our mechanics, (all amateur racers) will be leading the ride.
It’s not a grueling ride, but be prepared for a challenge. These rides always include climbing.
Again, you can always find out more about these rides (and whether they are cancelled for some reason) at our website at this link.
Bike Switzerland Welcome Center is OPEN !
Man, I’ve been waiting for this moment for 8 years ! We’ve finally got our own place ! And it’s not just anyplace, it’s not a compromise. It’s perfect.
The new “Welcome Center” is at 22 Rue des Grottes. This is a great neighborhood. Well, now it’s my favorite neighborhood.
It’s convenient for us because we’re a 3-minute walk from the train station and from our the Hotel Cornavin which we use for our tours.
We’ve got a large storage room in the basement where we keep our gear, clothing and fleet of bikes, which means that we can keep the room upstairs open and clean…better for “welcoming”
So, what is a “Welcome Center” ? Here’s what we do:
• It’s a place to host our guided tour riders and our independent tour riders.
• A spot for where we welcome people renting bikes from us, or those simply coming in for free advice or to say “Hi”
• A shop where people can find the same products that are on sale at our on-line store: http://bikeshopswitzerland.com ; as well as other accessories and items that might be useful for bike travel (power bars, bags, guide books, free bicycle maps of the canton, etcetera)
• A center where english speakers can come for bike-related conferences and classes
• A bike club that hosts free weekly rides
Our hours are still a work-in-progress, but for the moment you can find us here Tuesday-Saturday 11am to 7pm. Of course, we’ll also open the shop on Sunday and Monday by appointment if you’re coming in to pick up a rental.
Anyway, if you’re in Switzerland, you’ve got to stop by. We’re making it a destination for any cycling tourist coming through town, (a little bit like Missoula Montana, but slightly more central
Brand New Website !
Yes, lots of BIG news. The new site went up the same weekend as our grand opening. Everything has been redesigned to give the site an updated look and feel.
Perhaps best of all, the site is now “non-flash-based”, which means that you can see everything on your iPhone or iPad. ENJOY
As mentioned, we’ll be hosting weekly rides (Thursday and Saturday for the moment). As well as conferences and workshops.
You can find out more about these events by going to the “Events” page of our website.
We’ve got a basic repair workshop scheduled for Tuesday. Other upcoming events in May include:
• How and where to buy a good used bike (and not get ripped off)
• Choosing a MTB (things to consider before buying)
• Basics of road cycling (posture, maintenance, handling, shifting, nutrition)
• How to watch professional cycling (understanding the sport, strategy, teams, history, etcetera)
As of now, all of these events/workshops are free and open to the public. All are in English unless otherwise stated.
Our shop is also open to YOU if you would like to use it to host a cycling related event and/or workshop.
NOT too late
We’ve still got spaces on most of our rides this summer. Keep these rides in mind:
Tour de Suisse: June 13 – June 18
Jura Tour: June 22 – July 3
Challenge Tour: July 10 – July 20
Lite Tour One: August 10 – August 21 (Full / Closed)
Lite Tour Two: September 7 – September 18
Write to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information, or check details at http://www.bikeswitzerland.com
I hope to see you soon !!
Switzerland’s premier professional cycling event, “The Tour de Suisse” is partnering with Bike Switzerland this June to give cycling fans something new and original.
Some quick highlights here:
This video is much more descriptive than all of my bullet points ! This is the first and only official “Fan Tour” for the TDS. Be part of history ! Only 8 spaces left.
Our new store will open its doors at 10am and stay open until 8pm on April 27 and April 28.
Come in for a glass of wine ! Learn about our tours. See our new clothing line. Find out about upcoming cycling events sponsored by our shop.
We realize that most of you reading this are not in Geneva
But if you are anywhere near the shop that weekend, I hope you can come in and check us out.
New Lite Tour Date in September
We started the year with only one Lite Tour and managed to fill that date quite early.
Many people have requested that we add a second date and so we have: September 7 – 17th.
Because of late planning, not all hotels will be able to give us full occupancy and so spaces are limited. Best get on board soon !
We’ve remodeled our clothing website and added a few new products. You can see all the changes by clicking here.
Unfortunately, we have not had the time to retool the photos of the new clothing and so those items are not on line yet. We’ll send you an email when they are.
It will be early next week.
Jura Tour: What’s it all about ?
This is the second year that we’ll be doing the Jura Tour. Michael Sillitch will be leading the tour again this year.
This is Bike Switzerland’s only road bike tour and it’s also our toughest tour. Still, if you’re a regular rider, you’ve probably got what it takes.
If in doubt, take a look at the video and then send me an email and we’ll talk about it.
My apologies for taking so long to get this newsletter out to you. We’re doing so many different things this year that I hardly find the time to promote those very projects. I’m hoping the dust will settle once the shop opens.
Until then !
Most of our staff from last year are returning. However, we’re always open to new collaborators.
We’re therefore considering applications for the following positions:
To find out more information about these positions, follow this link.
I’m not entirely sure, but of course you’re invited. We signed the lease on February 1st and so the windows at 22 Rue des Grottes are all ours ! At the moment, however, there’s not much to see.
I’m working with a architect here in Zurich to come up with a design concept that is original, yet within budget. At the moment, we’re taking all of our inspiration from IKEA. Still, I think you’ll be surprised.
This is NOT going to be a bike shop. I like to call it “Bike Switzerland Welcome Center”. Yes, we’ll have our clothing for sale, and the kind of basic accessories that all bicycle tourists need, but we won’t be doing repairs or selling bikes. The shop will be to welcome our riders and other cycling tourists coming through town…so maps, a coffee machine, comfortable chairs and a video monitor or two to make sure that we don’t miss any of the Tour de France.
We’ve been working on new jersey designs since October. Of course, we think they look great, but they’re our babies and so we’re a bit biased. We need to know what YOU think .
So, we’ve put together a 5-minute survey which will take you through all of our new products. You’re asked to comment on the design and the price point.
We’d really appreciate your help on this since it will help us to decide how many of each product to make. Maybe there are some products that we won’t make at all !
If you’ve got five minutes, just click on this link and take the survey. We’ll then give you a discount code to use so that you can buy some of the products at a reduced price this spring. Just follow this link to take the survey.
We only put one Lite Tour date on the calendar this year, and it’s already full ! (not quite: two spaces left) So, since it’s only February, we’ve decided to add a second date to the schedule.
We’re not sure of the exact dates, but the tour will begin sometime between August 25th and September 10th. Check our trip dates page next week to see the date.
We’re going to have a booth at the Seattle Bike Expo on March 10th and 11th. I won’t be there personally, but we’ll 6 or 7 of our former riders have volunteered to Bike Switzerland surrogates.
There will be over 250 booths, food, entertainment, etcetera. So, if you’re in the area and it’s too cold to bike (which may be the case), then stop in for a visit. Find more information here.
Meanwhile, we’re still busy making the Bike Switzerland podcasts. We’ve just put up a new one about our Challenge Tour. Check it out below.
You can find all of our podcasts on our youtube page. Just click here.
Or look for us in iTunes podcast directory.