Welcome to the first OFFRIDING DFCH (Germany-France-Switzerland as abbreviated in their own languages). This OFFRIDING event will take you through 3 different countries with 3 different cultures in 3 days.
Basel, located in the north of Switzerland, is the starting point of our 3-day adventure. The Black Forrest (Germany) and Alsace (France) are only a short hop from Basel, making this OFFRIDING very culturally unique.
The amount of off-road riding will be high as we will try to avoid paved roads whenever possible. Basel will be our main base for the event so you don’t have to pack and unpack every day, but we will spend one night in a historic French town to allow you to also experience the French cuisine and some good French wine.
As an added bonus, OFFRIDING DFCH finishes a day before EUROBIKE starts and Basel is close to Friedrichshafen, so if you work in the bike industry, it’s a great chance to combine the two. Even if you don’t work in the industry but have always wanted to visit Eurobike, let us know and we’ll get you a pass.
In our 3-level toughness scale, OFFRIDING DFCH is a RED event, meaning you will need a good fitness level and bike skills. Equipment category is G, but we do recommend you mount the biggest tires that will fit. There will be some single track that could be nasty when it rains as the trails can be muddy and sticky. Full details of the categories are below:
|Blue||The gravel/dirt sections are fairly fast while tougher sections are short. In principle these events feature fewer than 1,000 vertical meters per day. Saddle time for riders with reasonable fitness is 4-6 hours a day, plus breaks.|
|Red||Rough gravel/dirt sections, prolonged climbs and/or long distances are common, but in principle everything is rideable. Up to 2,000 vertical meters per day, while stages with less climbing usually feature more distance. Saddle time is 5-8 hours.|
|Black||The combination of surface, climbing and distance make these our toughest events. Up to 4,000 vertical meters per day and stretches that may be unridable ensure that saddle time is 6-10 hours.|
|G-||Gravel-specific tire not necessary; a road tire is sufficient. We do recommend a 28mm or 25mm tire if it will fit your bike. Use a Gravel/Cross tire for ultimate comfort.|
|G||Gravel/Cross-specific tire recommended; this course contains rough stretches where the bigger tire will improve comfort and puncture resistance.|
|G+||The toughest possible terrain; we recommend a small mountain bike tire or at the very least a large (40mm+) Gravel/Cross tire.|
August 20, 2015: Arrival and registration
Located in the heart of Europe, Basel is easy to get to, either by train, car or plane. Basel Airport is an Easyjet, Ryanair and Vueling base, so from most of the major cities in Europe there are good flight connections. But also by car most European cities are fewer than 5 hours of driving away. If you come from overseas you will probably fly to Zürich and then take the direct train from the airport to Basel (an easy 1-hour train ride). Our hotel is close to the train station, with good car parking and a direct, 20min bus connection to the airport of Basel. Once you settle in, you’re free to explore the city. Home to 40 museums, this city of culture for connoisseurs has the highest concentration of museums in the country. Basel also has a beautiful old town, modern architecture and the Rhine river - an inviting spot to rest or to go for a swim.
August 21, 2015: Stage 1: Basel-Basel, The Swiss Jura
The Jura Mountains are a sub-alpine mountain range and its name is derived from juria, a Latinized form of a Celtic expression that means forest. And there is plenty of forest here, as well as a lot of history, ruins and castles that you will see during this day.
The Jura ridge is 320km long and ends in Geneva. Obviously we will only do a portion of the 320km but for people that want to do more there is more. Just try to be back before dark!
We will start at an altitude of 280 meters and our highest point of the tour will be around 1200 meters. As there is constant up and down we could describe this day also as the “many hill” show. That evening we’ll have a simple but nutritious meal to prepare for stage 2.
August 22nd, 2015: Stage 2: Basel-Eguisheim (France), The Black Forrest, Germany
After leaving Basel we will cross the German border and hit the trails of the Black Forrest. We start slow and climb higher and higher during the day. After 60km of mostly climbing we reach the Belchen (1300m), the highest point of today’s stage. We get a beautiful view of the surrounding mountains and the Rhine valley. When we have a clear view, you can even see the Swiss alps and for sure we will see the mountains of the Vosges that we will explore on stage 3.
From the Belchen it will be all downhill to the Rhine river. Once we hit the Rhine river valley there will be no more big climbs but still another 45km to go until we reach our destination in France.
Equisheim is a beautiful village in France and dinner will be one to remember.
August 23rd, 2015: Stage 3: Eguisheim-Basel
Our final adventure will take us to the heart of France’s “Massif des Vosges”. We will climb up to the Grand Ballon with an altitude of 1424 meters.
The area where we ride today has seen many conflicts between Germany and France. From the 17th century until World War II, this area swapped hands no fewer than 5 times. Some of the ruins and chateaux we can see at the start of today’s journey remain silent witnesses to this era.
But back to the route: After leaving the Grand Ballon we will have a beautiful descent down to the “Route du Vin d’Alsace”; a mix of vineyards, picturesque old villages and beautiful old chateaux. You can stop anytime to try some of the famous vines of the region like Edelzwicker or Gewürztraminer, and of course have a bite of the local Münster cheese on top of a French baguette.
Once we leave the Route du Vin we will ride to Mulhouse and from there back all along a canal to Basel where our journey ends. That evening, we’ll have a special celebration. We won’t reveal too much, but bring your swimwear!
August 24, 2015: Departure
After breakfast, we’ll help you on your way to train/plane or automobile
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All OFFRIDING events have limited availability. The entry fee is €975 based on double occupancy, €1275 based on single occupancy. Registration for 2015 is now closed. For information about future events, please sign up above to receive our newsletter.