Bloody Marvelous Friday

Well so far, my aim to make Good Friday “Bloody Marvelous Friday” is going to plan. I’ve picked up the bike from AW Cycles and they have, as promised, changed the handlebars for a set that are much wider and have far more space to place my hands on the horizontal bar. They have also had to change the stem that attaches the bar to the frame for a much snazzier one. Not sure why but it is a bit shorter than the previous one so the position may not be so uncomfortable as before. I don’t know yet as I walked the bike back from the shop in the pouring rain after having met up with a friend for coffee in Caversham this morning. Anyway, the picture shows the new stem, Cateye computer and Giant bell. I do like the scale at the centre of the handlebars for measuring the angle they are set at. It means nothing to me, but it looks good!
I’ve also re-joined the University gym and spent a good 20 minutes of the running machine followed by another 20 minutes rowing. A gentle start but an important step to make. I bumped into a former colleague which was nice.
On arriving home, I found the following email in my inbox. George Jemmott has set off o the Eurovelo 5 and is hold up Basel, Switzerland. He writes in blue, my comments are in black;
Hi Andrew!
Sorry to bother you on Good Friday (it’s Bloody Marvellous Friday George but I’ll let you off 🙂 ), but I wonder if you might be able to answer a question by this time tomorrow… I’ll try and do it now!
I’m well on my way, having found EV5 all the way up through Switzerland.  So far it’s been fairly well sign-posted with a few major exceptions (I’ll note them!) and some minor ones that may cause some confusion. This is very intriguing news; the EV5 is sign-posted I’ll be posting more and more when I have internet in Amsterdam at the end of April, but at the moment, other than posting what routes and pictures I can, all my internet time is devoted to finding the route from here on.
Specifically, I’m in Basel Switzerland, about to cross into France, and have run out of maps!  I’m wondering if you know anything more about EV5 (I’m even more committed to following EV5…) than is posted on your route page and the couple of posts you made a while back.  For example, there are two cycle routes from Colmar to Strasbourg – one cuts over to the Rhine and rides alongside it (maybe crossing into Germany at one point, if I recall correctly?) while another rides along a gorgeous canal… and then some surface streets that I didn’t like as much as the canal.  So in this case I guess some pertinent questions might be “does EV5 actually go to Colmar?” or “do you have any resources more detailed than the list of major cities and the low-resolution maps they have on the ECF website?” OK, I’ll try and give you the best answers that I can.
First question: Does the EV5 actually go to Colmar?
My answer: The official description of the route says the following: “Strasbourg has many nice cyclist facilities and Colmar invites you in with beautiful old houses and nice cafes.” So I’m assuming that the route does go through Colmar.
Second question: Do I have any more detailed maps than the ones on the ECF website?
My answer: Kind of. I do have the maps from Jean-Marie Vion, the Belgium guy who cycled from Brussels to the St. Bernard’s Pass. However, that route is far more westerly and passes through Nancy and Besancon so his maps are not much good as they do not follow the EV5 as prescribed by the ECF. There is the Rhine Cycle Route and you’ll find more information on their website about the route itself (although it must be fairly straight forward to follow as you follow the river itself!). We are pioneers George – make a route if you can’t find one and let me know about it! Colmar looks like a pretty place – see the picture here – but if you follow the Rhine, a detour will obviously be needed.
I’m hanging out in a hostel, using the internet, until around noon tomorrow, finishing planning my route as well as I can, so
Thanks so much.
Here is George, with bike and trailer in a picture posted on his website – in Basel? He has more pictures on Picasso. Keep me updated with your travels George!

Categories: Cycling

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3 replies »

  1. First and most important, are we pioneers or does the ECF have an answer already that they just haven’t published yet? I’m curious… If we decide to go one way or another, will that affect the signage later on down the road? Does that matter?

    On that note, thanks for the link to the Rhein/Rhin route site. *THAT’s* what I remember seeing signs for last summer! You can see some of them in photos in the last 1/3 or so of this album: . Note, though, that EV5 purports to go to Colmar, while the Rhine route clearly misses it by some 15 kilometers.

    Also, two quick notes in reply!

    1. Sorry to get your hopes up. The signposts I mentioned using were actually swiss-made, for Swiss National Route #3, onto which EV5 piggy-backs for a while. EV5 is not signposted to my knowledge.

    2. If I had my say, having cycled that section from Colmar to Strasbourg and back, on different routes last summer, I would have EV5 go along this canal (click hi-res to not get a super-low-res version):
    But that brings me back to the question are we pioneers or have they just not published the “right” answer yet: the line on this ECF map approaching Strasbourg from the south is much more curvy: . Is there a reason for that or just an artist’s rendering?

      • The more I look at it, the more the EV5 line seems to follow the Autostrada, as do many of the other lines connecting cities. In among Swiss mountains the bike path and the Auto strada are often one and the same (or within a hundred meters), but my newly acquired “tout le Bas-Rhin a velo!” map shows otherwise for the bike paths. I’ll post it presently.

What do you think?