SlowUps, which started in 2000 around the lake of Murten as part of the “Human-Powered Mobility” project at Expo.02, take place in many parts of Switzerland and are a great way to discover an area without the use or presence of cars. The recipe is simple—take approximately 30 km of relatively flat roads in an attractive area, close them to motorized traffic for the day, and allow participants to discover and enjoy the region and a host of activities in a cheerful, safe, and car-free atmosphere. You can take your bicycle, inline skates, scooter, skateboard, wave board, or wheelchair, or just walk or jog along all or part of the route. Everyone is welcome to join. Nearly half a million people participate each year in one of the 20 slowUps in Switzerland and neighboring areas.
The slowUp Basel–Dreiland takes place on a circuit that covers three countries, including Basel-Stadt, Baselland, and Aargau in Switzerland, as well as border towns in France and Germany. It includes 70 km of roads, including highways and rural roads, that will be closed to car traffic from 10:00-17:00. There will be first-aid stations, bike repair stations, and toilets along the way, as well as many festive stops where participants can get food, drinks, and free giveaway items; for a map, go to their website. Note that if you live along the route, you will need to move your car before 08:00 if you plan to use it on that day!
The circuit includes three loops that you can complete individually or in combination, and you can simply enter and leave wherever you like.
1. The western loop is approximately 23 km long and runs counterclockwise from Basel to Riehen, Lörrach (DE), Weil am Rhein (DE), over the Rhein using the pedestrian bridge to Huningue (FR), St. Louis (FR), and back to Basel.
2. The middle loop is approximately 19 km long and runs counterclockwise from Basel to Birsfelden, Muttenz, Pratteln, Augst, Wyhlen (DE), Grenzach (DE), and back to Basel.
3. The eastern loop is about 20 km long and runs clockwise from Augst to Wyhlen (DE), Herten (DE), Rheinfelden (DE), over the Rhein to Rheinfelden (CH), Kaiseraugst, and back to Augst.
The circuits are one-way only, so plan your route such that it doesn’t require you to double back on the same road you came on. Ride on the right side of the road and pass only on the left. If you plan to cross the border, be sure to bring valid documents. While not obligatory, it is recommended to wear appropriate protection gear, such as helmets and knee/elbow pads.
The special emergency number assigned to this event is 061-283-0000; be sure to bring it with you in case of accident, emergency, or lost child.
Participation is free, but to cover some of the considerable costs associated with organizing the SlowUp, closing off roads, checking trails, etc., they introduced a CHF 5 badge at the last edition. The sale of these badges is critical to the survival of this special event, so do your part, and purchase one at one of the many stations along the route.