|Posted on June 2, 2009 at 10:27 AM|
June 2, 2009
Halmstad (Sweden) - Tynset (Norway)
We have pedalled a total of 3472km in 32 days.
We cycled southwestern Sweden, more or less following the coast. We reached the Norwegian border about 100km east of Oslo and since then have been cycling northbound in the central mountains aiming for Trondheim and the western fjords.
Though Sweden is the size of France and has only 9 million inhabitants, the roads are still well travelled. The hills became higher and higher and we were riding along many lakes. Often surrounded by glacier carved hills and rocks we travelled back in time along Copper age burial mounds and other historical sights. We have had the opportunity to camp on lakeshores, and along fresh mountain creeks.
Our flights from Northcape to Iceland are booked for June 29. The day we booked these plane tickets we were counting on the cycling distance from southern France to Northcape to be about 4500km. With the time we have learned that we underestimated the distance, and it might just be more than 5500km total. We are and have been biking against the clock, making a minimum distance of 120km a day, 7 days a week. We needed to catch up with the mileage of the first weeks in France, where we couldn`t make much mileage due to pains in knees and Mountains. We have now made enough mileage to bring our total average per day of all 32 days to 110km.
Just a few days ago as we were doing random maintenance on the bikes, we noticed a crack in Philippe's rear rim. Taking a closer look, we actually ended up finding 3 half inch size cracks. This was quite a shocking discovery! We are expecting our bikes to do much more mileage! We both didn't sleep too good that night, wondering how we could fix this problem.
We decided to switch rims, Philippe's rear rim went on Leandra's rear. We took off the cassettes so each of us would keep the same drivetrain. Of all wheels, Philippe's rear wheel is the one dealing with the most stress: pulling the trailer, carrying the food, and carrying Philippe. The bikes have ridden a total of 11000km by now and we expect them to double this distance before the end of the year so they better behave! haha.
We have stopped counting pimples and abscesses on our butts, crotch and groins. Since day one we have been rubbing an antiseptic solution on eachother every night. but all of this loving work does not seem to do much so far. Some days Philippe has to bike the entire day in standing position, not able to sit. Funny because on our previous trip, we didn't suffer any of these sort of things.
The heat has been having it's effects as well. Leandra with her blonde hair and fair skin, got sunburned on her left leg and left shoulder (we always go the same direction so the sun is always shining on the same spot). Thanks to her sunburns she was forced to wear full pants and a long sleeved shirt. Half way through a mountaineous day, Leandra (who is dealing with Raynaud's syndrome in her daily life) started a heatstroke that we stopped with the icecold water from mountaincreeks around us.
As we are now in higher elevation, the temperature has cooled down. The weatherforecast is predicting us a mix of sun and rain for the next days.
We should be reaching Trondheim, and thereby the mid-Northwestern coast in a day or two.