June 14, 2010 update: Today's Stage 3 of Tour de Suisse will pass by/along one of the best rides we've ever done. (The race will stick to the two lane roads) The photos for this ride were, until now, part of my mountainous backlog of ride reports, but it's now or never for this one.
In August of 2008, we took a 10 day bike and business trip to Switzerland. Unfortunately, we didn't do much riding because I came down with very bad food poisoning the day after this ride. We think it was a raw egg that didn't get cooked properly by the luke warm spaghetti carbonara at dinner. I didn't die in the mountains of Switzerland, but it was one awful episode. Switzerland... of all the places to get food poisoning.
After a day of driving, I studied my collection of maps and felt the 40 km loop west of Chateau d'Oex east of Lake Geneva might be the ride we needed. Other than observing the area from the valley on the drive in, we weren't sure what to expect so this picturesque loop was a pleasant surprise. This ride, to us, was quintessential Switzerland; the lush green hillsides dotted with Swiss chalets, quiet narrow twisty roads and majestic mountains. All in just 40 kilometers so this ride is great value for the mileage. Scroll down and I'll continue the story with some big photos. — Steve
The campground had what seemed to be an Olympic size swimming pool... with a great view of the lush hillsides
15 minutes after turning off of the main valley road at Montbovon (km 9), the scenery started to open up before us on a narrow climb.
Lush green hillsides
Quintessential Switzerland. You may recognize this as the banner we've used on our Tour de Romandie race dashboard the past two years
The lightly used roads weren't always in the best condition. In fact, some maps don't show this road.
Continuing up the narrow climb
Spot the waterfall
Entering a tunnel before arriving at Lac de L'Hongrin
Crossing the dam at Lac de L'Hongrin
One-hand 360 bikecam while crossing the dam (01:45)
The clear view across picturesque Lac de L'Hongrin
One last look at the lake before descending back to the valley
Probably one of the few tanks in Switzerland
Swiss Chalets dotting the lush green hillsides
Descending back to our campsite near Chateau d'Oex. Stage 3 will also descend this road after climbing the category 1 Col des Mosses.