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February 2014 Newsletter

2014
02.27

New Rentals Website

 

Our new website.

 

We have updated bikeswitzerlandrentals.com to include our new range of 2014 bikes. We’ve expanded our selection of bikes this year to include:

  • Bike Switzerland Tour des Alpes (touring)

  • Bike Switzerland Alpine Climber (road)

  • Bike Switzerland Alpine Climber Lady (road)

  • Felt F75 (aluminum road)

  • Felt Z4 (Carbon road)

  • Kona Rove (Steel touring)

  • Kona Hei Hei (full-suspension)

So you’ve got more than double the choice from last year ! …and our prices are the same.

Rent a Bike Anywhere in Switzerland ?

Yeah, it’s possible.True, our shop is in Geneva, but we’re able to send you a bike to most any town or city in Switzerland. We made a new podcast explaining how we manage that. I hope you can take a look.

 

Sign up for a tour, and load up on calories.

…at L’Academia.

Thinking about doing a tour with us, but still on the fence ? Sign up for any guided or independent trip before March 8th, and we’ll treat you to a full-course “All-you-care-to-eat” meal at our favorite local restaurant.

Of course there are loads of restaurants in Geneva and it’s tough for a tourist to know where to go, so we’d like to set you up for a “sure thing” by taking you to our local hang-out: L’Academia.

Here’s what you’ll be eating ! (click for PDF)

 

Shop opens March 11th 

 It’s been a long (MILD) winter and it’s time for us to stretch our legs, scratch our behinds and get back to work.

We’ll open for sales beginning March 11th with the following store hours:

Monday: Closed

Tuesday – Friday: 10 – 6:30pm

Saturday: 9 – 6pm

Sunday: Closed

Note: Although closed on Monday and Sunday, we’ll be open for rentals by appointment.

 

December 2013 Newsletter

2013
12.24

Our own Swiss-made Touring Bike

2014 marks our 10th year anniversary. To celebrate, we’ll be introducing our own touring bike in 2014.
We’ve been working with a local Swiss manufacturer to make the perfect bike for our tours: triple chain ring, Ultegra components and  a comfortable geometry.
You can see the bicycle and all of the specifications by clicking here.
The bike and the manufacturing process is also featured in our new podcast below.

Our 2014 Fleet

In addition to our own Bike Switzerland touring bike, we’re going to be working with Felt and Kona bicycles in 2014.
The following machines will be in our fleet of road bikes in 2014.

Felt’s F75, (Alu, 105 compact)
Click here to see.
Felt’s Z4, (Carbon, Ultegra compact)
Click here to see.
Kona’s Rove (Steel, SRAM Apex Compact)
Click here to see.

We’re working hard to update our website to showcase the new fleet. Hopefully all will be up and running by the end of January.
The bikes will be in the shop and ready to rent at some point before March 21st, 2014.

 

Doing a tour ? One More Week for 2013 Prices

As every year, we change our prices on January 1st. This means that you can still have our 2013 prices by getting in your deposit before midnight on December 31st (Swiss time).
To do this, just click here.
Deposits are 600 chf per person. The balance doesn’t need to be paid until a few months before the tour.
This 2014 prices will go up approximately 5% to 6%, so if you think you’re going to be joining us in Switzerland, you should definitely take advantage of this offer.
 

Wanted: 2014 Bike Mechanic

We’re looking for a few good men or women for the summer of 2014 who fit this description.

Someone:

- …at least 23 years-old
- …two years mechanic experience in a bike shop
- …English speaking
- …willing to spend a lot of time cleaning bikes.

And we’d prefer that you…

- Know some French
- Be ready to work from March 1st for at least 3 months
- Be a EU citizen

Anyone interested should send their C.V., photo and two references to: info@bikeswitzerland.com

Take a look below to see our 2012 mechanic in action.

November, 2013 Newsletter

2013
11.01

Free Jersey and 2013 Prices for Early Sign-up

Planning on doing a trip with us in 2014 ? Then best register with a deposit before November 10th.

You know, one-half the pleasure of your vacation is anticipating the vacation, so an early sign-up gives you that much more.

Once your deposit is in, we’ll send you a Bike Switzerland jersey so that you can already start enjoying the trip.

What’s more, if you sign up before December 31st, you’ll keep our 2013 prices ! Our 2014 prices go into effect on January 1st.

30% off on all Classic and Tradition items…and more

Our Fall sale is on and so most of our items are on sale. Keep in mind that all items that are currently on sale are being discontinued.

So if you see something that you like, then best to buy now. Once they are gone, they won’t be coming back.

Click here to go directly to the sale.

New Bicycle Brands for 2014

Our long collaboration with BMC is coming to an end. We still love the brand, but feel that we need a better fit and so will be working with several different brands to maximize the diversity of our fleet.

We’ll be announcing the different bikes and brands in our fleet throughout the Fall and Winter and be making appropriate updates to our website.

That said, we can now announce that we’ll be having 30 to 40 new “Tour des Alpes” bikes in our fleet in 2014 and they will replace our Alpen Challenge line.

The bikes are made by Price GPR

These bikes will be specifically engineered for our tours. We’ve chosen the gear ratios, wheels and component set and the bikes will be branded Bike Switzerland !

Yes, we’ll also make a few extra for those wanting to take one home :)

Wanted: 2014 Bike Mechanic

We’re looking for a few good men or women for the summer of 2014 who fit this description.

Someone:

- …at least 23 years-old
- …two years mechanic experience in a bike shop
- …English speaking
- …willing to spend a lot of time cleaning bikes. 

And we’d prefer that you…

- Know some French
- Be ready to work from March 1st for at least 3 months
- Be a EU citizen

Anyone interested should send their C.V., photo and two references to: info@bikeswitzerland.com

Take a look below to see our 2012 mechanic in action.

Used Bike Sale

We still have a few of our USED BMC bicycles left. The following bikes and sizes are still available at our shop, (see below)
Store will be open this Thursday, Friday and Saturday afternoon of this week (22 Rue des Grottes), or call and we can open the shop.
Shipping anywhere in Switzerland possible for 20 chf.

BMC Alpen Challenge, Tiagra-105
Sizes: 48, 51, 54 (XS, Small, Medium)
Price: 990 chf

BMC Street Racer 105
Sizes: 48, 51 (xs, Small)
Price: 990 chf

BMC Street Racer Ultegra
Sizes: 54, 57
Price: 1190 chf

BMC Gran Fondo
Size: XL
Price: 1190 chf

BMC Speedfox
Size: Medium
Price: 990 chf

Click here to see our used bikes

 

September 2013 Newsletter

2013
09.13

Our 2013 Bikes are on Sale !

Are you looking for a new road bike, mountain bike, city bike or touring bike ? Our 2013 rental fleet has is now on sale and on-line !
In general, we take the original retail price of our bikes and then sell for 50% of that.
We then go over the entire bike: clean it, grease it, change brake pads and tires if necessary and you ride it home !
If you don’t live in Geneva, but somewhere else in Switzerland, we can send the bike to you by train for just 20 chf.
Some example prices of our 2013 bikes:

BMC Gran Fondo Shimano 105 = 1190 chf
Street Racer Ultegra = 1190 chf
Alpen Challenge Shimano 105 = 990 chf

We can also add pedals, fenders, bags and lots of other USED accessories that we renew every year.
Just click here to get to the used bike sale: USED BIKE SALE.

Our 2014 Guided Tour Dates

If you’ve ever thought about doing a guided tour with us, then next year is the year.
It will be our 10th-year anniversary !

Also, we may discontinue these guided tours in 2015.
That’s right. Our independent tours, rentals and bike sales are taking a lot of our time.
Meanwhile, our guided tours take a lot of planning and they’re not always profitable.

In any case, we’re committed to 10 years of Bike Switzerland guided tours, so we’re going to make these tours happen again in 2014.
Here are the dates:

Lite Tour: June 19th to June 30th
Challenge Tour: July 7 to July 17th
Jura Tour: July 31 to August 11th.

You can lock in the 2013 prices for the 2014 tours by reserving with a deposit before January 1st.
On January 1st, prices will go up approximately 6%, so best to get on board soon.
You can find more information here.

On vacation !

Although the season isn’t quite finished, things have slowed down long enough to allow me to take some vacation time.
Over the next week, I’ll be cycling around the Engadin region and exploring the Swiss National park in Les Grisons.
In addition to getting some rest, I’m hoping to find some inspiration for future Bike Switzerland routes.
Stay tuned to our facebook page to see the pictures all this week. Click here for our page.

Thanks for reading !

John Klemme
Director
Bike Switzerland

June 2013 Newsletter

2013
06.07

Helvetia is Here !

We’ve been promising them and here they are. I spent long hours describing all the details and improvements on our upgraded “classic” jersey and you can read all of that at this link.

For a limited time, we’ll be giving away our new Bike Switzerland musette bag anytime you buy this jersey with any pair of shorts.

Meanwhile, check out the other new items in our accessories section: new Bike Switzerland gloves and caps for 2013. You can see those here.

 

There’s still time for a tour !

We’ve still got room for you. Keep these dates in mind:

Lite Tour (Intermediate level, 40 km per day)

June 20th to July 1st

Challenge Tour  (Advanced, 80 km per day with some climbs)

July 11th to July 21st

Jura Tour (Advanced, 90+ kilometers per day with climbs)

July 25th to August 5th

For more information on spaces left and prices, click here

New volunteer staff this year

Gerry Walsh comes from Ireland via Madrid and has been helping out at Bike Switzerland since March.

A former amature rider back in the day, Gerry is now content leading our club rides, working the sales floor and helping out with all aspects of the shop and its tours.

 

 

Ben Chamberlaine has beenworking as our head mechanic since April. Although only 22 years old, Ben’s bicycle pedigree is long and impressive.

His great grandfather openned Chamberlaine bicycles in Camden (London) back in the 1880s and Ben had been working at the shop until he came to Switzerland.

He’s done his professional training at the Aylesbury Training Group and has been certified by DT-Swiss.

Francis Desaulnier: This year’s intern hails from Quebec where he has been working at a bike shop for the last few years while doing his Masters in Geography.

As our mountain bike specialist, “Frank” will be in the shop to give advice, do servicing and help out with our weekly club rides.

 

March 2013 Newsletter

2013
03.29

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

There’s still room for you to join any of our guided tours this summer.
We’ve got the following number of spaces left on our tours:

Challenge Tour
June 11 – 21st
Spaces: 8
Click here to watch the movie

Lite Tour
June 20 – July 1st
Spaces: 9
Click here to watch the movie

Jura Tour
July 25th – August 5
Spaces: 9
Click here to watch the movie

Tour de Suisse
June 9th – June 14th
Spaces: 12
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 !
My best,
JOHN

February Newsletter

2013
02.05

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.

www.bikeswitzerlandrentals.com

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 !
JOHN

December Newsletter (2012)

2012
12.13

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.

Stromer

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:

Road bikes

     – Streetracer-105 Triple (sizes 48, 51)

     – Streetracer-Ultegra (Sizes 54, 57)

     – Granfondo 105 (size 60)

MTB

     – Speedfox Deore-SLX (all sizes)

Hybrid

      – 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.

Improvements include:

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.

 

November Newsletter

2012
11.12

Bike Switzerland…before you die…say the experts !

Fifty Places to Bike Before You Die

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!

Jim and John in front of Bike Switzerland

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:

With Sebi Kuttel and Paul Betschart of Swiss Tourism fame

•    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.

2013 prices

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.

John Klemme
Director

September/October Newsletter

2012
09.26

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: info@bikeswitzerland.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.

Conference: North American Cycling Routes
Date: October 3rd
Time: 7pm
Location: UOG / Place des Grottes

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 info@bikeswitzerland.com

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 !!!
JOHN
Bike Switzerland Director