In British slang, being told to “get on your bike” means, to put it mildly, “please go away!” However, we are being encouraged by the regional authorities to “get on our bikes” for rather more enjoyable reasons this year. In 2022, the Canton of Vaud and the City of Lausanne will host a range of internationally renowned cycling events, including the eighth stage of the Tour de France, which concludes in the city for the first time in 20 years.
L’Année du Vélo: The Year of the Bike boasts an impressive agenda full of initiatives for all ages and abilities. And what is there not to love about cycling? It’s eco-friendly, a great form of low-impact exercise, and makes you feel like a kid again (at least how we do it). The following events are taking place in Lausanne this month.
Journée lausannoise du vélo: The Lausanne Cycling Day (15th May) is an event that started back in 1982. Various routes are offered around Chalet-à-Gobet – road, mountain bike, or family-friendly. With distances ranging from 10km to 150km, there is something for everyone.
Salon du Vélo: Every cyclist knows the optimum number of bikes you can own is n+1. If you feel like adding to your collection, check out the Lausanne Bike Show at Esplanade de Montbenon (20th-22nd May). Entry is free and there are opportunities to test bikes and talk to mobility specialists, so your next two-wheeler is exactly what you need.
Cyclotour du Leman: Every year people sign up voluntarily to cycle around Lake Geneva (176km) in one go! If you’re lacking that kind of stamina but would still like to take part (May 22nd), there are also options for Evian-Lausanne (112km) and Lausanne-Evian (64km). The scenery is beautiful and the fun energy at each pit stop helps keep you going.
Which Lakes to Visit around Lausanne
Speaking of lakes, you can’t go very far in Switzerland without stumbling across one. Our favorite pedal-powered activity is getting out of town to cycle around one of the many amazing lakes nearby. The terrain is usually quite flat making it accessible for all, the views are varied and breathtaking, and it’s a great way to explore nature.
If you feel like getting out of the city to circumnavigate a body of water, here are a few suggestions
Brienz, Switzerland ©Tim Sandock
Lake Neuchâtel (Lac de Neuchâtel)
Travel time from Lausanne (train): 42 mins
Distance around the lake: 108km
Look out for: inviting beaches, birdwatching, lush vineyards
TLG tip: Make a weekend of it – spend the night in the charming, medieval town of Estavayer-le-Lac before completing the loop the next day.
Lake Brienz (Brienzersee)
Travel time from Lausanne (train): 2 hours
Distance around the lake: 38km
Look out for: stunning views of the turquoise lake, suspension bridges, Giessbach Falls
TLG tip: Some parts of the route are quite steep so a little electric assistance might be useful for some (ahem us).
Lake Biel (Bielersee)
Travel time from Lausanne (train): 1 hour
Distance around the lake: 43km
Look out for: large nature reserve, great spots to stop and swim, winemaking villages
TLG tip: If you have time, you can tour St. Peter’s Island (+10km), a peninsula jutting out of the small town of Erlach.