Living in a country with four distinctly different seasons is a new experience for me. The day to day weather is generally more consistent but both summer and winter are more extreme. This takes some getting used to when you’re used to being able to do the same activities year around, but the changes are also exciting creating totally new opportunities for fun and adventure. I’ve now come full circle and know what to expect from the year ahead.
The season of anticipation, excitement. The snow starts to melt, the sunlight increases and can be as warm as Irish summer, the countryside turns green and thousands of seasonal cyclists start crawling out of the woodwork. I seriously thought I was in heaven until summer came. Every week horizons get broadened with higher trails becoming rideable as the snow gradually disappears. Its a slow process though and over enthusiasm was inevitable, I got stuck in snow a few times!
July and August here are incredible and whizzed by in a blur of adrenaline and excitement, there are so many opportunities and no where near enough time to make the most of them all. Back to back mad weekends of high alpine riding adventures. Hot evening rides followed by swimming in the lake, bbqs, riverside beers. Reliable sunshine that lasts for weeks not hours.
The time for dry, dusty rides in the mountains surrounded by spectacular autumn colours and mild temperatures. The horrible fog started to come back but its spectacular when your can get above it. With the imminent arrival of snow I found myself panicking and trying to fit in as much fun as possible before the dreaded winter arrived. There is then a nasty few weeks between autumn and winter that is more like winter at home – damp, grey and cold but its only short though, can’t complain.
You might wonder how a cyclist can survive in snowy Switzerland in winter but it is possible. Zurich itself doesn’t have much snow and its only a few degrees colder than at home so if you’re tough enough you can ride all year round. That said most people don’t because there are too many other opportunities out there. Last year I stubbornly resisted the snow but this year I’m embracing it a bit more for some variety…