Zurich and a little run


I left Nairobi at 5 minutes to midnight on Tuesday night.  My path would take us across the vast arid landscape that is most of northern and East Africa.

image About 7 hours and 24 minutes later, we touched down in Zurich through sunrise, where I had a stopover for about 5 hours before my continuing flight onwards back to DC.

IMGP4439 From there a friend/coworker and I bee lined it through security and caught the first train we could to the city.  The trains depart every 10 minutes and the ride to downtown Zurich is only 10 minutes long.  We figured we’d be able to get a couple of hours of wandering in before we had to head back to the airport.  Our normal luggage had been checked all the way to DC, and only our hand luggage need to be put in lockers at the Zurich airport.

IMGP4440We we arrived downtown we made about a 2 hour loop around the city through the main drag, and then the old town area.  It’s a really nice city that’s super-clean and incredibly bike friendly.  Here’s some shots from our little loop.



The light rail system runs everywhere, and was always threatening to silently run us over.  Thankfully we managed to avoid getting the squisharoo.

IMG_9258A This car is absolutely tiny.  I think my bike is actually taller than it.

IMG_9286 Down along the lakefront you can moor your boat, or just sit and watch the swans and ducks.

IMG_9296 IMG_9299 The bike routes are EVERYWHERE, and cyclists easily fill them.



One thing I found interesting is that there appears to be some bike registration/tabs type system, check out the below:


Perhaps that will help them find the owner of the below bike, which apparently fell overboard…

IMG_9326    IMG_9386Of course, if there is anything the Swiss are known for aside from banking, it’s chocolates!  And we found tons of great chocolate shops, including this one where I picked up a bunch of chocolates for the girl (and me of course!)

IMG_9396 IMG_9400 IMG_9406After we finished our little loop, I had a 40 minute easy Z1/Z2 run to knock out.  Luckily both the airport and the train station had public showers, so this made getting all cleaned up super easy.

IMGP4454I ran along the lake front for the most part, after leaving the river area.  There’s a nice little trail and park that lines the side of this portion of the lake, making it super easy and relaxing to run.

IMGP4456 IMGP4459

Once again though, I found another bike left for dead.  This one tossed in the garbage bin.  A quick check of it and I couldn’t visually see what was wrong.  But since I had limited time and wanted to keep running, I left it behind and cruised on.

IMGP4470 IMGP4478Some 40 minutes later I knocked out a bit less than 6 miles, checking the workout off my list.


I also managed to get a self-portrait without getting hit my the light rail train, or traffic.  Which I can only chalk up to a morning of light-rail train avoidance practice.

IMGP4483And with that it was finally time to head on home back to the US.


imageWhile it may not seem it, the journey was short and only lasted 7 days – a whirlwind work trip touching three continents (North America, Europe and Africa).  But, that’s how I like it.  Short and sweet.  Next up…A nice long ride on Skyline drive tomorrow morning (Saturday).


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  1. Nat

    Great pictures! You get to see so many wonderful things!

  2. Great pic the only question you are not tierd

  3. So, how bad is the jet lag?

  4. Wow, Zurich is gorgeous. Way to maximize the layover! I’m impressed you trained through such a crazy trip– very inspiring.

  5. You have totally psyched me up for Ironman Switzerland, which is 5 weeks from Sunday! Whoohoo! No one celebrates the IM like the Old Country.

    Glad you enjoyed the tour. Switzerland is one of my favorite places on earth. The delectable chocolate and fresh baked goodies are just part of the reason…My husband is Swiss :)

    We’ll be running on the other side of Lake Zurich, but I’m sure it will be just as beautiful. I can hardly wait!

  6. You really know how to maximize your time! Great trip, thanks for taking us along!

  7. That is the way to do it…in and out.

    I lived in Naples Italy for 4 years, which was great but unfortunately it cost me 10lbs per year. I’m almost back to PI…pre Italy weight. I found if you stick around too long in one place you tend to find too much of the calorie dense local delicasies. I’m hungry just thinking about it.

    I do have a question for you about gearing on your bike. I am using an 11 – 21 rear cassette but I live in flat lands. I’m getting ready to go spend a week in Louisville riding the course and will need a new cassette to handle the short steepish climbs of the course. Since you ride hills more than most of the people I know, do you find a 23 handles most of the hills you come across; or maybe a 25? I’m just trying to figure out which cassette I want to get so I am looking for input.

    Thanks for the Africa pics!

  8. Switz. is one of my absolute favourite places! That’s awesome you were able to squeeze in a run before the flight. I agree about the light rail those things come at you from every which way.

  9. It’s the details that I find fascinating. Like how do you manage to just magically find showers and just in the nick of time??!

    You live a charmed life my friend! Thanks for taking us on the tour. awesome!

  10. OMG Ray!

    I saw that same bike at the bottom of the lake last year when I was in Zurich. Totally funny and creepy at the same time. Great run along the lake. What I love was the National Pride the Swiss people have. Everyone has a Swiss flag hanging off of their balcony or out a window. I laughed at first at the pay toilets but dang they are clean and you get showers as well. Gotta love that. And we don’t have that in the states because…??? I guess being a bathroom attendant is so below anyone who is American.

  11. Man, now I am beginning to regret not taking that offer to do my PhD in Zurich instead of Iowa (er, don’t ask)!

    I’ve been out of the loop lately – all your pics are gorgeous! I’m jealous of all your travels!

    And I am so impressed you manage to stick to a training schedule while jetsetting!

  12. I am making up some long over due blog reading and again, I run across chocolate and ice cream, which makes me crave a banana split. Could you imagine a banana split with Swiss chocolate? I can.
    Great pictures as always.

  13. Glad you liked Zurich!

    The river is cleaned almost annually. This year they got out 36 bikes!

    The stickers with years on the bikes are for compulsory liability insurance (and actually you should have only the latest one on your bike), but from next year on they won’t be issued anymore because virtually everybody has a liability insurance anyway.

    The house I live in is on one of your pics, btw :)