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June 24th, 2007 | categorizilation: all categories,Switzerland

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Well that was some good fun!

Slowing myself down in the Swiss Alps near Leysin, Switzerland

I had only got about 15 minutes out of Leysin before I got bored with walking. I got the thin nylon hammock I had bought in anticipation of making some sort of parachute with, attached it to the ski poles I had scrounged off a local ski shop, and put together a makeshift parachute. It worked like a charm. A gentle head-on breeze helped matters, and the extra frontal area kept me at a nice fast running pace much of the way down the hill from Leysin to Aigle.

I was so estatic that I forgot to put my helmet on. I almost regretted that oversight too. At one point the wind blew me off balance. I managed to jump off the board ok, but the board rolled off the road and down a steep embankment. I trespassed into the orchard below and retrieved the board with no other hiccups.

My skateboard dropped off a ledge near Leysin, Switzerland

Cars and cyclists gazed at the fellow on a board. I was told that I wouldn’t be able to skate down that hill. I told myself I wouldn’t be able to skate down that hill.

I skated the heck out of that hill. I can’t wait for my next big downhill…

From Aigle to Montreux it was straight forward enough. I had a head breeze that was sapping my energy for a while, but that soon turned into a nice tailwind just as I was pulling into the beautiful town of Montreux on the shores of Lake Geneva. There I slept for a while under a tree and read more of It’s Not About The Bike by Lance Armstrong. For the first time on my travels so far I have packed a book with me. It is proving to be essential – getting used to skating again is taking time.

Red Bull can stove going strong on the shores of Lake Geneva, Switzerland

I cooked dinner (pasta with cheese and tomato salsa) on the Red Bull can stove, and watched a storm come up from the end of the valley. By the time I had found a construction site with a dry piece of covered concrete to sleep on, it was belting down with rain.

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    Permanent Link     Comments (11)

Comment by Alexis (from super c — June 26, 2007 @ 11:19 am | post a comment

That looks like it was such good fun.

Good luck for the rest of the journey and thanks for making super camp good fun.

Comment by AbrasiveScotsman — June 26, 2007 @ 11:21 am | post a comment

I have been following your journey avidly ever since I discovered your site. Read the first 8000km in one night, took me 6 hours. Must be amazing seeing all those different cultures! I was inspired by your stove fixation, but I've been obsessing about woodburning stoves. Got a portable one working pretty good :) I hope you'll stop by the HP Velotechnik factory if your pass near it, I'd love to hear what those guys think of how well their bike performed. Anyhoo, hope the remainder of the journey goes well, God Bless

Gavin the Abrasive Scotsman

PS – That airbrake of yours has got me thinking, could you hold it out in front of you when there's a tailwind for a little boost?

Comment by matteo — June 26, 2007 @ 12:03 pm | post a comment

rob!! i herd your comming to our school tm!!.. good luck with the journey… rubbish weather i hope ur not skating… jockstrapes for ever!! lol

Comment by Chris H — June 26, 2007 @ 1:27 pm | post a comment

Neat idea with the air brake, it should work out nicely. You may want to try to rig up some kind of leash between your board and your leg; that way if you have to bail again you don't have to watch the board go over a cliff. Just make sure the string/rope can't get caught in your wheels.

I'd tell you to have fun, but it seems that you're already doing that.

Comment by Aunty Les — June 26, 2007 @ 1:50 pm | post a comment

I agree with the Abrasive Scotsman- the airbrake would make a good sail. You could do some road-windsurffing when there are no hills to go down.

The USA is very flat, apart from the Rockies. Wouldn't surffing the length of NZ be more of a challenge? It's not the same length of journey but the terrain would be pretty challenging!

Comment by Aunty Jenny — June 26, 2007 @ 6:28 pm | post a comment

It's official Rob, you're a nutter!!! Good on you though. Nigel envys you heaps, as he would love to be back in the good old USA….. not on a skateboard mind you! With the terrain being mostly flat in the states, won't you get a bit bored with that? Looks like an awesome skateboard though. I can't see you ever wanting to settle down to "normal" life, can you? I think there are probably too many challenges out there for you.

Comment by Rob Luxton — June 27, 2007 @ 4:01 am | post a comment

All you need now is a cape and some tight fitting leggings. You kind of look like a super hero when your flapping that Air brake around in the photo.

Comment by Emma — June 27, 2007 @ 12:04 pm | post a comment

Hey!it was great to see you again at school! Hope the weather gets better for you!!As matteo said "Jockstraps for ever!!"

Good luck!!!


Comment by Tim — June 27, 2007 @ 9:56 pm | post a comment

you need something like …

Comment by Rob Thomson — June 28, 2007 @ 5:11 am | post a comment

@ AbrasiveScotsman – Thank you for keeping up on my travels. As for the airbrake idea, I am way ahead of you on that one; I can't wait for a strong tailwind!

@ Chris H – Nice idea about the leash for the board. Hopefully I won't be coming off the board enough times to make it worth it…

@ Aunty Les – Actually, there is a guy from the UK who is going to be skating the length of New Zealand soon – http://www.skatenewzealand.com

@ Tim – True, that skatebrake would be great. Only thing is that I's have to carry the handle in my hand all the time.

Comment by Tim — June 28, 2007 @ 10:28 pm | post a comment

as opposed to holding a parachute in your hands? I'm sure you could just clip it to your bag or belt when you don't need it. And an leash wouldn't be a bad idea either.

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