Cycling from Oxford to Switzerland

It would be fair to say that in the summer of 1965 , I was a little hard up. So, together with Mike Miller & Graham Clarke, we hit upon a plan to go cycling and camping in Europe.None of us had ever cycled long distances before, but we probably got carried away over a few drinks in College, and decided to go.

As I could not afford even a bike, I constructed a sturdy affair out of bits I found in the College bicycle shed, from a number of machines abandoned by their previous owners. We met up at Grahams house, and I cycled the 90 miles straight off, but such was by fitness, that by the time I got there I had bad cramp in both legs.

Anyway, we set off heading south , following the Rhine most of the way to Basel, then into the hillier terrain of Switzerland. Our highest point was only 900 meters, but it seemed like a lot at the time. By the time we got to a camp site in Lucerne after about 3 weeks, the weather was wet, very wet. And after 3 days continuous rain, which is not pleasant if you are confined to a small tent containing the three of us, we decided that if it was raining the next day we would return by train to UK. But if the sun was shining we would continue on and up over the Alps. Perhaps providentially, it was raining, and we booked ourselves and our bikes on the railway back to Ostend and thence to home

Certainly a different sort of holiday and retrospectively a very interesting journey, and it did not put me off cycling long distances as I did two long trips in Spain some 40 odd years later.



All Holidays