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Cycling weekend activity

Posted on: 11th December 2017 | Category: Sport, Swiss adventures

This Saturday started off in a relaxed manner, with girls taking their time to eat and relax in the morning. There was plenty on offer for brunch: pancakes, almond croissants and healthy salads. The staff also enjoyed the cafe-style ambiance in the dining hall with a coffee and croissant over a conversation with the girls - very continental! 

After brunch, a group of girls were lucky enough to be the first ones to trial the new mountain bikes the school has recently purchased. They headed out with Ms Done and Ms Crisp, both keen cyclists and planned a route to challenge the girls both physically and their road-safety awareness skills. It started with a sharp descent of 200 meters and the adrenaline rush and bike-handling skills were soon triggered. One of our girls from China had never cycled on a main road before, and she took a little tumble as her nerves got the better of her. She immediately jumped back on the bike, bravely declaring that she was fine, only a little graze and quickly caught up with the group. The girls learnt how to communicate between one another as they cycled, pointing out bumps in the road or calling back to one another as they rode in single-file. 

Once we got onto the quiet bicycle lanes in Valais, we cycled all the way to the UCI cycling headquarters, where the velodrome is situated in Aigle. We also took the long, scenic route, stopping to say hello to the local farm animals or being cheered on by farmers. We even had a quick sprint to get the heart rate pumping and test our legs. Ms Done, a member of local cycling clubs, was very impressed with the strength some of the girls had in their legs! We stopped in the UCI cafe for a hot chocolate and some homemade banana bread. When everyone had warmed up from the chilly weather, we then followed the beautiful bright blue segment of the Rhone river back into Villeneuve and jumped on the funicular back up the mountain to the school. 

The girls cycled a total of 40km and were very proud of their tough day outside in the saddle. It is extremely easy to cycle long distances in Switzerland when there is so much scenic beauty to keep us entertained - it only felt like exercise when we began to get tired in the last section of the journey. A lovely afternoon was had by all, and for most of the girls, it was the furthest they had ever ridden. As they say in Le Tour de France: Chapeau!

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