Serge and I spent the morning cycling through fields and woods along a wonderful 30 km section of the Rhine from Schaffhausan to Stein am Rhein. Both Serge and I marvelled at how lucky the Swiss were to have such an extraordinary series of bike trails, which are well kept and well used.
Stein am Rhein is exquisite little town with wooden buildings whose entire facades are painted in the Swiss style. It is a huge attraction, apparently packed in the summer, even at this time of year there were plenty of tourists. It is very picturesque, perched on the Rhine where it meets Lac Constance, and its main square goes back hundreds of years.
We admired the town, took plenty of pictures, then had had fine Swiss German lunch, guess what we ate:
Around Stein the Swiss-German border is so irregular that within a few kilometres we passed back in forth a few times (there were no border stations, just signs), and when we stopped by the side of the road for a minute a local sitting on his balcony started to play his 100 year old accordion, which he proudly showed me, and he even offered us a beer, which we declined in the interest of sobriety. Another thing about Switzerland, bikes are very popular, and there are well marked bike lanes or bike paths everywhere, and as you would expect everything is very organized and polite.
After lunch Serge returned to Schaffhausan for the van and I crossed into Germany and pedalled north to Tuttlingen, where we will stay the night before spending the next two days pedalling north to Ulm to meet my friend Wayne Heuff who is joining the trip. The ride was on small roads (ofter just wide enough for one car) through forests and fields. It weaved through valleys, avoiding most hills except for one 3 km uphill just before Tuttlingen, followed mercifully by a long wonderful downhill into town.
This had been quite a ride, I am almost at 1500km, a little tired from riding every day, but I am going take a long hot bath, have a nice dinner, then a good sleep, and tomorrow is another day.
Every day I reflect how lucky I am to be alive, if you haven’t donated to the Fund for Education and Research into Blood Cancers please do so by using the link above. Please help others be as fortunate as I am.
Ten years ago I was diagnosed with acute leukemia. I was 49 years old, with a wonderful wife and two adorable children, many fulfilling interests, and a great career, In short, a charmed life. From one day to the next, I was thrown into a battle of life and death.
Thanks to the wonders of science, the help of devoted, caring and skilled doctors and nurses, and a bone marrow transplant (from my brother) I survived. More importantly, through the experience of my illness and recovery, I have grown and flourished.
To celebrate my recovery, and all those without whom it would have been impossible, I cycled across Europe in April and May 2010, and the blog of my trip is at www.acelebrationoflife.blogspot.com.
In 2012 I published Portraits of Hope, see www.portraitsofhope.ca.
This year, to mark the 10th anniversary of my reciverywe established the Maryse and William Brock Chair in Applied Research into Stem Cell Transplantation.
Together we can beat leukemia.