JTE2010: Geneva – Fribourg


A quest is a high form of human endeavor and an epic quest involving a bicycle has a special place in the pantheon of such behaviour.

The XmasEpic recruiting drive into Europe could be considered a quest, but little did we know that it would spiral into such epic proportions.

We fast forward the journey into the 30th hour, Munich, where the German penchant for smoking in small glass roomswhile being observed by well-wishers and environmentally comforting messages is seen.

Germans also excel at razor wire and machine guns. Here we see an armed presence protecting the religious and the meditators.

For the curious the holy room is entered.

Who would have thought: a dead tree.

Covered in messages. The room itself containing a myriad of messages.

Finally we arrive at Geneva. After your fellow travelers have collected their baggage and dispersed, this is not a sight you want to see.

However the bike is finally recovered near the Large Hadron Collider that conveniently passes through the main Geneva train station.

Assembling the bike and hitting the road, we are appalled to find that the chirality of the known universe has been reversed.

By intense concentration and the repeated mantra “keep right, keep right” we manage to stay alive and, as a inadvertant side-effect, completely mess up the Australian election.

Divining the lake, we are now assaulted by triathon competitors wanting to know their entry number. I explain that we are on a quest and point them in the direction of the justifiably magnificent “jet d’eau”.

Drafting the 3-thoners practicing the course we are quickly on our way, here passing one of the tastefully named towns on Lac Leman.

The vineyards are precisely pruned.

And now we discover what will turn out to be the crucial phrase for an english speaking cyclist in a French region: “pain du choc”.

“Oui madame, pain du choc”, “bien sur m’suer, pain du choc”, “non officer, c’est pain du choc”


However such knowledge does not offset the fact that “il pleut toujours” which in practice means that it is pissing down. As darkness falls it is second nature to head away from the expensive lakeside into the interior. At the village “Apples” it is natural to head towards “Bière”….

….and in this haphazard fashion, refuge is finally found.

The next day has its own (albeit damp) beauty.


Culminating in the arrival in Fribourg and a ghastly realization. Imagine the crushing disappointment for a Queenslander that the JTE2010 quest will not be rewarded with four days of the “Jonathon Thurston Experience”

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