22. August 2013

Across Sweden from Kungshamn to Stockholm by Bike: Day 3

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

The first breakdown

After two days and over 200 km of absolutely no troubles with the bike, the first problem appeared. Ironically, it happened when the bike stood still. The kickstand broke under the weight of the saddle bags. I silently cursed about not having paid more care in buying a proper bicycle kickstand. The upside: less weight to carry. Now, I am testing a double-legged kickstand which will hopefully also operate under heavy-duty (inspired of a Youtube video).

Bicycle track ending abruptly

A bicycle path lead from Mariestad towards Hasslerör. I made the wrong assumption that the signs will point to the closest place (Hasslerör) from where then signs will point out to the next place. However, the assumption proved to be wrong. The bicycle track ended in Hasslerör which is a very small village. After a while on a road with too much traffic, I escaped towards Lyrestad.

Other bicyclists at Göta Canal

Close to Lyrestad, I was perplexed: a sailing boat was passing through crop fields. At Göta Canal, a small moveable bridge invited for a break during which I saw probably more other bicyclists than on the rest of the whole trip. Generally, I met extremely few long-distance bicyclists between Kungshamn to Stockholm.

In the middle of the forest

In a very quiet and sparsely populated area between Lyrestad and Skagern, I found a village with a name that could not express more concisely what I was thinking: Midskog (= MIttenwald auf deutsch, Middle forest in English).

Mountain biking, fully loaded

Having chosen a very small path on the map, I had to push my bike the first time during the whole journey on the eastern side of the lake Skagern. It was going up steeply on a small gravel road with big stones. It was an interesting and fun detour, but also very time-consuming.

Stacks and supplies

The distance between Finnerödja and Åtorp is 25 kilometers. Of course, I cannot say it for sure. But I am pretty sure. There is no single grocery store along the road between Finnerödja and Åtorp. Happy about having supplies for dinner and breakfast, I continued towards Örebro.

Permission to camp

In the evening, I ended up in a place where the path lead no further. I was looking for a tent site and exchanged a few words with a Swede who lived at the end of the road. Without explicitly asking, I was granted the perfect tent site on private grounds. I won’t disclose the place here publicly in order to avoid the Lonely Planet effect (even though this is clearly not the Lonely Planet, no illusions). Really nice.

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