Monthly Archives: April 2007

Swim in river/lake – Reasons to like Switzerland – II

Last summer I jumped from the bridge and let the current to take me here. The water is transparent. Last thursday I was almost jumping inside, if the weather would be a bit better.

It was during a ‘critical mass’ event, last friday of the month, when bikers of the city get together to disturb the traffic. We end up in the river. At night I followed the proposal of a party in the forest (on the left) and end up in a birthday party in the complete middle of nowhere but about 1km from Geneva. It was fun.

Regresso a casa e o cão de guarda

I had an adventurous return home. Still at CERN and the cable of front derailleur of the bike broke with the tension. I expected it since some days but I hoped to last until some bad weather or some trip so I would put the bicycle for a check-up. No gears means go slowly and many leg rotations. Max speed was 18km/h in the flat. As it was late to arrive on time for the bike shop by my place I stopped at athleticum, the big sport shop on the way home. And I saw the dog I was missing the other day when I did not have locker for the bike.
I always wonder how quiet are the dogs in Swiss (as the germans say in ‘french’ for Switzerland).
I got the cable (cable de freins) hoping it would be the same as for gears. My bike knowledge is at same level as for cars. I only know how to change from winter to summer tires.
Arrived hope, some centuries after my departure, the cable was too thick for the work. Zut!, got E. bike and went to a see where I will take my car in middle of Russia in some months from now. I hope. And maybe I should also get a dog for guarding the car.

Bike insurance – Reasons to like Switzerland – I

I believe that with time this could be a long series of postings. Things that you don’t learn when you are tourist in Switzerland but, with time, understand why this country become one with the highest quality of living in the world nowadays (apart of having all the terrorists money in their banks).
Above is the back part of one of the millions of bikes going around here. But is also a funny example of the age of the bike. Those stamps, a bit like in Coimbra’ university we were doing with the Burn of Ribbons (queima das fitas) annual party stamps, are mandatory. They are the third-party insurance for the bike (and rider) if he provokes an accident. They cost 7chf (4 eur) and are sold everywhere (supermarket, post-office, gas-station, …). Then they are valid for up to 17 months (January to May next year).

The funny point is that on my last year trip to the Gambia, the smallest country in Africa, when we rented a bike, one of them had a swiss insurance stamp of 95. Would you say a swiss guy cycled there? Some family transported in the boot on their holidays? Or that some other european tourist is precisely now riding my stolen bike with the 05 stamp in some African country?