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The "Herzroute" from Willisau (Lucerne) to Hasle Emmental

with a elektro bike from Flyer.

The route from Willisau to Lützelflüh (Hasle) is 55 kilometers with 1000 meters of altitude. It consists of about 15% dirt road and 85% asphalt. The sometimes very steep terrain can be done easy with the help of an electric motor on your bike. It is therefore well suited for seniors.

Start in Willisau (canton Lucerne)

At the foot of the mountain Napf, we start cycling.

Westwards via Oberwil.

By train, we reach Willisau on April 22nd 2009. at 9 a.m., our starting point for the "Herzroute".
The station has a "RENT A BIKE" counter were you can rent electric bikes in different sizes from the company "Flyer electric bikes". We are not the only ones who make a tour today. Many weekends in summer are already booked up.
We rent an electro bike for Fr.45.00. 30. After a short introduction about the electric part, we depart. (I had reserved the Bikes last evening)

Up and down through small hamlets.

Between

Gondiswil and Madiswil

Not very high but steep.

We left our home as early as 7 o'clock in the morning. First we enjoy a coffee in the sun in the centre of the small city.

Willisau is a beautiful village with houses dating from the 17th Century.
We start cycling on bike lanes to the west through meadow and farmland which are well signposted. At Zell we cross the main road and continue the ride to Gondiswil. Here we have to deal with the first real ascents. With the right gear and the engine on "high" we reach the Summit without great effort. The physical performance can be obtained by setting the engine in three different levels.(ecco standard and high)

 

"Spycher" (storehous)

 

Beautiful but demanding country to cultivate.

After 25 kilometers we reach Madiswil via Fribach, Auswil and Wyssbach.
Here we can change our battery at the inn "Bären". Although we have used only two fifth of the battery, we change it anyway, because we don't know how hilly the terrain is the next 25 km to Affoltern, where the next opportunity is.
Until now we cycled on asphalt roads. We encounter the first stretch of dirt road.
With tires "Marathon plus" from Schwalbe, we don't need to worry about flat tires. All electric bicycles of the company Flyer have such tires. I cycled with my own bike about 10,000 kilometers with Maraton plus without a single flat one.
In Ryschberg, a small hamlet with about 5 farms and a fountain on the village square, we have a break to have lunch. A peasant woman start a chat, telling us that since the elektrovelo bikes get popular, it looks like this hamlet is not that abandoned as it was years ago. She sees many cyclists, sometimes whole groups, coming through this village. For the inhabitants, it is a welcome change.

Lovely

Madiswil

charming

At this time of the year it is wonderful to cycle through the landscape. The leaves of the trees are still very tender and light green, partly in the buds and the fields are already getting into a later stadium. We see different potato machine fully automatic and semiautomatic. With semi-automatic, I mean that 4 people at the end of the machine drop the potatoes into the earth.

Good cows live without exhaustness

With four helpers on a tractor

One-man work

Steeeep

Ryschberg village square

Ryschberg gravel road

Now we have the electro bike well under control. We know exactly in which gear and with which electrical support we can cope the different slopes. It is not like a gasoline bike on which you can push the gas button, but with an electric supported bike, the motor gets into action only by pressure on the pedals. If one doesn't press the pedals, you won't get forward.

A tree on top of a hill is

typial of this country

If the farmer worked the land, he knows in the evening what he has done.

In Affoltern we have the next break. Again, it is possible to replace the batteries, but this time it is not necessary because we have consumed only two fifths of the energy. We could have cycled the whole route without a battery change. The company Flyer indicates that a full charge cost less than 0.05. A battery can be charged to 600 times. She has no memory effect, which means you can charge also a half empty battery. The weight of a battery is 2.3 kilo and the range is from 50 to 90 kilometers depending on what terrain.
At the present time a battery is very expensive (ca.Fr.1000 = 650). The current global crisis will develop new and better batteries. I expect that in a few years the prices are cheaper and the weight will be reduced.

Affoltern in Emmental

In Affoltern is an exhibition how to make cheese at 10 am. and 4 pm. Although it is very beautiful to be here, we don't want to wait 2 hours for the afternoon demonstration. We have a break on the terrace and enjoy the view.
From Affoltern to Lützelflüh we cycle only on smoothly pawed roads. We haven't encountered one car on this trip but a few tractors.
Now it is just downhill, 800 to 580 meters. Unfortunately the distance from Lützelflüh to the station in Hasle (3 Km.) is a busy and small road without cycle path, so the last few miles we have to be careful.

The final descent into the valley where the river Emme flows.

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