We arrive for lunch at Lake Zurichsee, the far shores obscured by the rain that has been falling since our arrival.
Then it’s time for the 20 cyclists from the property industry - including fund managers, architects, engineers, solicitors, developersand Velocity editor David Taylor - to set off towards the conference in Munich.
The first stage is 46k with a stiff amount of climbing, still in the rain. Every now and again the low lying cloud breaks apart to reveal stunning views of rolling green hills and forests, churches perched on hill tops and wooden chalets. The first coffee break features an incredible selection of patisserie cakes and the hot coffee is very welcome but all too soon it’s time to roll out into the rain, and the cold bites.
The next stage is 40k, and much more rolling this time. The roads are smooth and the group’s average speed rises as we travel through remote villages and agricultural landscapes. At the next stop we spoil the locals' lovely afternoon teas, as 20 muddy-faced and wet cyclists arrive for strudel and custard and more more coffee.
Then it’s time to ride the final 26k, and we slowly dry out as we cross the border into Austria. With views of Lake Constance in the distance, we make our way swiftly towards Bregenz, our final stop of the day, for a well-deserved shower and dinner.
Day one done: 122km and 1,500m of climbing from Zurich to Bregenz.