Jura Mountains

September 6, 2013

Map Link

September already? Where has the summer gone? The weekend’s forecast was for nothing but rain and I had nothing else going on today, so I snuck out for a ride. I thought I might check out the French side of the Swiss/French border a little more thoroughly, as I really enjoy the roads there. Plus, I can be on a country road within 20 minutes of my garage.

With no set destination I meandered through villages and towns and just kept an eye on the GPS for a “general direction” when it came time to choosing which road to take at a junction. And much to my surprise, I found myself on a lot of the same roads I’d taken when I rode in this direction before. Oh well – it had been a while so it was like the first time. Again.

Crossing into France for the first of many times today

Sharing the road

Whoops! Another border crossing!

The air was much cooler in the mountains than in the city, something I was thankful for since it had been overly warm in Basel the last few days. I shed my liner quick enough and a little while later I was glad for the clouds or the cooler forested stretches.

Chicken farm! They look so content…

I had stopped in St Ursanne, mostly because it was nearby and secondly because I was testing out a GoPro I’d borrowed from a friend and I wanted to take some video of riding through an old town. I decided that this would be a good stretch to test it out. A little ways from the town I turned it on and hoped that it was angled correctly. Too bad I didn’t think about cleaning off the lens first. A link is here, but be warned that 1) it is long, 2) the sound is bad and 3) the mount shakes too much for a smooth picture. That being said, this is a small sample of what it is like to ride through the Jura Mountains and a medieval town.

There was a small town south of St Ursanne that had intrigued me when I rode through it before and I thought it would be fun to check it out this time. I headed south, following the River Doubs.

At the town of Glere I turned right, up the mountainside and into the forest. I had lost interest in finding the other town I had been looking for and chose fresh pavement.

Another border crossing

I had cleared the mountains and entered farm country. Various villages dotted the fields and I saw this interesting church. I haven’t seen architecture like this around here before.

The bustling town of Porrentruy was a surprise to me. For some reason I expected a sprawling modern network of roads and businesses and neighborhoods. Instead I found a charming old downtown core with a medieval castle looming on the mountain above. I made a mental note to come back again with Dan and explore it more thoroughly.

Wooden triangle on the goat – apparently it keeps it from escaping

It was time to go home so I asked the GSP to route me there via the most pleasant way while still keeping me on track. This meant a lot more farmland and open fields of corn. Why do I see so much corn in the fields and barely any in the store?

School time!

Someone put some care into their flowers

Its getting to be that time of year!

I should have paid closer attention to the GPS, as it would have saved me from waiting in line at the St Louis/Basel autobahn border crossing. The temperature had gone up considerably when I dropped out of the mountains and waiting in traffic was not the ideal way to end my ride. Fortunately the previous four hours overwhelmed the last 15 minutes.


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