21-23 May 2016 - Denmark
I reached the Danish border at about 11:00 on the 21st. From home I can cross borders with two countries within 45 minutes of my house. Going north it takes seven days. The weather in Denmark continued nice during the day, but on the first night in Vojens, Denmark there was a terrific thunderstorm. Fortunately, my tent kept me cozy and dry.
In the campground at Vojens I met a really sweet young British couple also heading north. Mary Davies from Cambridge / London and Joe Tuckwell from Manchester. Listening to Joe speak I could close my eyes and imagine I was listening to Chris Baxter, another "Northerner" I know who lives in Aachen.
Mary and Joe started their trip in Dunkirk, Belgium. They were doing fine until this particular day when they had a huge number of flat tires. Seven, I think they said. In addition, they've had some broken spokes. Their bikes are cross bikes and may be not ideal for travelling with a heavy load. At any rate, they're a charming couple. They're heading to Oslo and were joking about us "racing" to the ferry at Frederikshavn, Denmark. They'd win for sure.
On the 22nd I left when they were still packing up. Late in the afternoon however, when I had stopped for a short break, Mary came into view riding from the north. She said Joe had two more broken spokes and they were going to have to call it a day and find a bike shop on Monday morning. I believe Joe must've gotten a lift from someone, because I didn't see him when I continued on my way. I hope they can complete their trip without much more difficulty. One way to do that will be to avoid the Pilgrim's route like the plague. It is the worst road for cycling that I've ever been on.
Though the weather and distance on the 22nd were o.k., it turned out to be my toughest day yet. Though eight days and almost 900 km is enough in itself to make an old guy like me a little tired, I made it worse by making a last-minute route adjustment to save a few kilometers. I managed that, but in the process I added serious changes in elevation. Though it wasn't posted, the grade on some of the long climbs had to be in the 17-18% range. Riding in first gear I managed two, but I ended up walking up two others. Ugh! There were many people on racing bikes using the roads for training purposes. It reminded me of Valkenburg and the Mergelland in Limburg.
The toughness of the ride on the 22nd, plus the fact that the weather forecast called for rain all day on Monday, prompted me to take my first rest day of the trip on the 23rd. So, now I sit in a little cabin simply chilling out. I even walked to the grocery store today. No cycling planned at all for today.
I only have two more days planned in Denmark. Tomorrow I will ride up to Aalestrup, and on Tuesday I'll ride to Frederikshavn. On Wednesday I plan to take the ferry to Göteborg, Sweden. I should be in Norway by Friday. Yipes! This is certainly fun.