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TW560: back on the road – first few km

Finally – the day I’ve been waiting for has come!

TW560 is ready for a first week of driving in minimum configuration in order to detect any major problems before going ahead and concentrating on the remaining details.

I will be collecting TW560 from Andi in a ‘barely driveable’ state.

This means:

  • No fog lights
  • No reverse light
  • No internal lights
  • No 12V outlets
  • No windscreen wiper!
  • The hood will not fully open
  • No wheel covers
  • No battery bay cover!
  • Lots of non-connected cables everywhere
  • No serial number…I’m incognito 🙂
  • but:

  • All drive-related parts are functional!
  • Front lights work
  • Indicators work

I travel to Ramsen in the north of Switzerland to collect my TWIKE. Really looking forward to my first real trip in my vehicle after totaling the vehicle and its subsequent re-build.

Andi getting TW560 ready for a first week of driving

Andi getting TW560 ready for a first week of driving


 
After a first week driving shorter distances and making sure everything is ok, the following week I’ll be taking TW560 across Switzerland for some business meetings and to take part in a equestrian challenge in a small mountain village called Flond and visit one of the until recently most closely guarded military secrets of Switzerland.

Home to Flond via Bern and Thun

Home to Flond via Bern and Thun


 
Back to all-new TW560… Time to get in!

First minute in my 'new-old' TWIKE

First minute in my ‘new-old’ TWIKE


 
Aaahh…my TWIKE: this just feels magic! It’s like getting back together with an old friend.

Ready to leave

Ready to leave


 
Andi and I go through a quick check if the most important things work…they do. I’m ready to leave and drive my first few kilometres.

I say goodbye to Andi and off I go.

Immediately I notice that the soundscape within TW560 is very different. The motor assembly noise is similar, the rest is new. (not surprising, as everything else is a different TWIKE!)

Hmm. It feels similar.

Hmm. It feels similar.


 
But is it TW560? I still can’t decide. For my first drive I decide to drive to the rolling hills of upper rural Canton Zurich region.

Heading to the hills close to my home

Heading to the hills close to my home


 
I feel grand! Very soon I’m back to the meditative state every TWIKE pilot knows – the electric motor humming and the TWIKE just blending into the overall scene.

First evening out with 'new' TW560

First evening out with ‘new’ TW560


 
After a few days and a few hundred kilometres on short trips only, the time has come to take TW560 on a longer trip – to Berne, Thun and Flond. This trip includes some mountain passes…which I’m really looking forward to!

I’m not going to bore you with pictures of me driving motorways or flat rural roads…we start after my meetings in Berne and Thun and me driving towards Gadmen from Brienz.

Climbing towards the Sustenpass

Climbing towards the Sustenpass


 
It’s difficult to describe how long I’ve been waiting for this kind of trip. Crossing Switzerland in a TWIKE is probably one of the best ways to experience its beauty. (Try it!)

Very happy!

Very happy!


 
TW560 climbs the windy mountain road without any problems – the motor, if anything, is running cooler than before.

I've missed this sooo much!

I’ve missed this sooo much!


 
I’ve already been here a while ago – it’s still impressive.

Alpine panorama

Alpine panorama


 
Without much fuss or fanfare, I arrive at the highest point looking forward to the unusually gradual descent on the other side. I’m sure this isn’t as easy to feel in a car than in a TWIKE. The descent allows for near-100% recuperation rates on the way down.

TW560 proving that passes are fine

TW560 proving that passes are fine


 
Arriving in Wassen, a village in the main Canton Uri valley, I get to see an impressive sight – a completely blocked motorway with backed-up traffic queuing for kilometres.

10km of traffic jam going towards the Gotthard tunnel

10km of traffic jam going towards the Gotthard tunnel


 
This means that there is quite some traffic on the usually deserted side roads leading up the valley.

Lots of cars trying to avoid the traffic jam on the motorway

Lots of cars trying to avoid the traffic jam on the motorway


 
This is not a problem – just a few kilometres of slow traffic for me…in Andermatt, I leave the main road leading to the Gotthard pass and head off to the Oberalp pass with the roads belonging – once again – just to me.

Beautiful roads

Beautiful roads


 
The Swiss alps are a beautiful place to be. You should come to visit if you haven’t and you will forever want to come back again.

Alpine vegetation

Alpine vegetation


 
Climbing towards the Oberalp pass offers many stunning views of the valley below, which includes the incredible 5-star Chedi Andermatt. It’s stunning, architecturally works really well with its surroundings and offers an interesting mix of Asian and Alpine design language. If you have a moment to spare, give the living room a try, if you have a little more time and the time is appropriate, try the library with a fine cigar and some rare spirits. Some day, I’d like to stay and enjoy one of the rooms.

Andermatt in the background

Andermatt in the background


 
Up, up, up!

Driving up the Oberalp pass

Driving up the Oberalp pass


 
Nearly there.

Driving up the Oberalp pass

Driving up the Oberalp pass


 

Yet another pass

Yet another pass


 
Just a few kilometres and I’m in Flond – where my daughter and her friend are already tending to our horse, ready for the competition taking place during the next 3 days.

I, however, tomorrow, will be driving back up the Oberalp pass to go to visit the super-secret Swiss military installation I mentioned at the beginning of this post – stay tuned!