Stage 3 of the 2010 Tour de Suisse finished in the ancient town of Schwarzenburg. The German name for the area around this town is Schwarzenburgerland. As we were driving into the town, Liam and I saw the sign "Willkommen/ bienvenue/ Welcome to Schwarzenburgerland." We both looked at the sign, then looked at each other, and then started laughing. The name is rather amusing to an English speaker. I sounds like someplace the hamburgaler would live. In German, however, the translation of Schwarzenburg is "Black Castle." The town is in a beautiful area of Switzerland located right in the foothills of the Alps.
For stage 3 of the TDS, Liam and I had decided to ride the last 30k of the day's stage about two hours before the race came through. As it turned out, we were a little late in arriving so we only had about 1 hour and 10 minutes to complete the very hilly scenic race route. It was really a magical ride! The crowds were out getting ready to watch the stage and there was very little traffic on the roads. Liam absolutely jammed the course, and we made it back to see the race with time to spare. I have said it before, but I will say it again. I am truly lucky to have a son that shares the same passion for cycling that I do.
Switzerland is an amazingly beautiful country. The ride took us over mountains, through forests, down into lush grassy valleys and through little hamlets along the way. It is like we were riding through the setting of a knights tale!
Friends we met in Schwarzenburg
After the ride we found a good spot to watch the riders as they came through. The spot we had chosen was perfect because from there we would be able to see the riders come by twice. It was great to know that the riders would be covering the same route that we had just ridden! While we were waiting for the race to come by for the second time, we met some very friendly Swiss spectators. There were a group of kids close by that were Liam's age. One of the best opportunities that this trip is providing is the chance for Liam to interact with people from other cultures. Liam had a lot of fun watching the race with his new Swiss friends from Schwarzenburg!
Just after the last rider came through for the finish, the rain started and boy did it come down. There is, after all, a reason that Switzerland is so green...It rains a lot! We charged up through the town on our bikes, even riding through some fields to get back to our car. Liam loves to ride in the rain and according to him the muddier the better! It turned out to be another great day on the road and on the bike following the Tour de Suisse!
Life Strong, Train Safe, and Live Well!
Bill and Liam signing out!!!