29 May 2016 - 2nd observations.
Completing this adventure:
The first doubts have started creeping into my head about my ability to see this trip through. Not that I have been thinking of packing it in, but that I have questioned my abilities and determination.
On further reflection what I believe is that the full, originally planned scope may not be possible for me in the time allowed. I must be back in Aachen by the end of August. The challenges of the terrain in the past days have me thinking that getting to the North Cape before the end of June simply may not be possible. My plans of averaging just over 90 km per day in hilly, windy, wet conditions are not realistic. At least, they're not realistic for this old man. Also, keeping up that kind of pace over the next four weeks would do much to eat away at motivation and take away from the fun of the adventure. I want to have fun on this trip.
What is realistic is to get to the North Cape by bicycle. Once there, I can examine my motivation and whether or not I would have a realistic chance by bicycle of getting back to Aachen before the end of August. If I don't, then the route back will probably involve buses, trains, ferries, and more trains.
Speed vs. bugs:
Speed wins. On long, steep uphills where speed is measured in low, single-digit kph, bugs win. My ears have the bites to prove this!
You meet really nice people along the way on such a trip. When you unexpectedly meet them again days or weeks later, the joy can't be described. It's like meeting an old friend you haven't seen in many years. That's how I felt on 28 May when I unexpectedly met Joe Tuckwell and Mary Davies again in Munkedal, Sweden.