We recently participated in the Geneva Slow Up. I had read about this bike event last summer. I noticed it again when flipping through a pdf of the Fête de Genève brochure. Gabe and I decided that we should do it since we’d been delinquent about riding the bikes we had shipped all the way from the US. However, we woke up to rainy skies and they were continuing to drizzle at the start time of 10:00. At 11:00, they cleared and Gabe mentioned that maybe it wasn’t a “hard start” that it was continual.
I was skeptical, but we rode down to Quai de Gustav Ador anyhow. And, we were pleasantly surprised. More belated bikers. And lots going on. You can start when you like, as long as you finish by 16:00. You can be on bike, trike, roller blades, or unicycles. Or even on foot. The only rule was you had to go in the same direction.
First impression of Slow Up. Cool. (For our non-Swiss readers, rivella is a Swiss soda).
We did our first few km and were impressed by how well executed this event was. First of all, cars are banned from the roads completely. Guards blocked every road that interfered with the 33km course. A heck of a lot of roads. We counted easily 100. This made it so enjoyable for me. I am not the best rider and since bikes ride with traffic in Geneva, it is intimidating for me to bike around town.
The first ascent gave us a nice view of Geneva near Cologny. As a side note, this little field was where part of Frankenstein was written!
There were “garages” in case you had a bike mishap. This was also a bonus, to know you wouldn’t be stuck 16 km away from Geneva, without aid.
Migros Sport “garage” helping bikers
And there were plenty of refreshment stands offering cereal, energy bars, apples and Rivella.
Camp in Choulex
As we started, we exclaimed how awesome it was. It was my assumption that I had missed the last eleven events and I was mad at myself because of what a great time it was. However, we found a brochure later in the day that showed that these take place in different places all over Switzerland. You can see the future ones here. So, it just comes to Geneva once a year.
We also found a map to find out where the heck we were going.
Our route continued through vineyards and cornfields. It was so peaceful. We stopped in Gy, where they had a really cool Slow Up Village. Most people were drinking wine and beer. They might have been in better shape than us. We opted for water. And a sausage.
Not sure if this is the best meal for biking 33km, but it was the only option.
We then crossed into France. Spectators gave us a bottle of Evian, a local French product, as we cruised along. This is the closest I think I’ll ever get to being a rider in the Tour de France. For one, it was my first time riding a bike in France. Second, we got swag. And, I told Gabe, we sort of did a little tour around France….
Great way to spend a Sunday
After 33km, we were looped back into Geneva and we crossed the finish line.
Thanks, Slow Up!
We aren’t experienced bike riders so couldn’t even make it up the hill to our house after riding 3 hours. However, we were happy and content with our little Sunday activity!