11. August 2013

Across Sweden from Kungshamn to Stockholm by Bike: Day 2

Across Sweden with the bike from the west coast to the east coast? I have tried my luck. Here is a report about the second day – from Vänersborg to Mariestad.

No thunderstorm, please

While it is quite possible to protect oneself against rain, thunderstorm is a more difficult topic. However, what I saw on the horizon, what the weather forecast told me, and what a friendly cashier pointed out all indicated that a thunderstorm was about to come up. However, in the worst case, I could have sought shelter in one of the surprisingly many churches along the way. Visual cues and the wet streets indicated that the bad weather was heading in the same direction, just a little bit faster than what I was able to do with my bicycle.

Loppis everywhere, kiosk nowhere

Rather short on water, I was on the lookout for drinking water. I could certainly have asked people who lived along the trail but when the next village is just a few kilometers away? Well, it turned out that most of the villages (given the size not really surprising) have no kiosk or grocery store. However, I saw a lot of signs pointing to “Loppis”. I was tempted to check whether this is something edible but then found out that it is the Swedish term for a “flee market”. Loppis everyhwere. Kiosk nowhere.

Coasting down from Kinnekulle

A slow ascent up Kinnekulle and a comparatively steep descent down Kinnekulle. Kinnekulle is a hill on the eastern side of Vänern (it sounds funny from a German perspective, say Kinnekulle…). Even though the descent was a nice ride, I prefer things to be the other way round: a steep ascent and a gentle, flattish descent where most of the potential energy is transferred into kinetic energy.

Vänern runt, just a little bit

Vänern runt is an annual competition where participants have to cycle 580 kilometers over three days around the lake Vänern. This competition is super-famous in Sweden. I followed part of the racing route and could somehow get an idea of the difficulty of the competition. After all, even after one day of (relatively slow) cycling, I was still at Vänern – Mariestad.

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