Swedish Cycle Part 2 – Entering Norway

Day 5 – 91.32 miles

It was a big day, I knew where I was heading. There were two route options, one was more direct the other a bit more mountainous. I started the day with some pains in my stomach which were a bit of a concern so I opted for the more direct route. After 91 miles  I still hadn’t made it to the border.  I didn’t think it was ever going to end but it nearly did at mile 70 when my front wheel slipped off the road and the bike came away from me. I crashed to the ground. I didn’t suffer any serious injuries but I did hurt my right wrist, cut my left arm and hit my left knee.  I continued cycling for another 20 miles arriving at a cheap campsite only costing 8 kronor for the night. I’d made it to Funäsdalen I could see into Norway where the terrain look was mountainous. After taking an hour to cook my pasta I went and had a quick wash. The outlet on my stove was full of soot so trying to boil water was a slow process.  It was late so no time to clean it tonight, I’ll clean it tomorrow. I was hoping for a big day on the bike assuming I wasn’t in too much pain after today’s crash. I made a quick call home before bed, it was short as my phone battery is empty. Another task for tomorrow is to use the freeloader to get my phone battery charged.

Day 6 – 80 miles

Woke up feeling groggy, started peddling slowly the big climb out of Funäsdalen wasn’t helpful. I cycled 80 miles today it could have easily been more, however, I spotted another nice campsite and couldn’t resist the relative comfort. From the start of the day until now my mood couldn’t have changed more. I’m feeling relaxed and looked forward to making to the fjords tomorrow. So fae Norway has exceeded expectation being far more dramatic than Sweden. Crossing into Norway was a nice milestone it felt as though I was making progress covering some decent mile and a border now. Today I pumped up my tires to there correct pressure which psychologically made me feel better It though I’m not sure why I thought cycling on flat tires was a good idea. 60 psi up to 90 psi and the road felt smooth and fast. I even decided that I would splash out some money on a decent lunch. It’s easy to not consume enough calories when your cycling 80 miles a day. I also stocked up on a big bag of fruit mix, an evening meal, 4 bananas and a bar of chocolate. It’s good to no have to worry about food for a day or two. The view on from the campsite of perfect I’m feeling reflective and the trip is starting to feel more purposeful. I had a quick chat with a Swiss chap, nice to talk!

Day 7 – 76.16 miles

It’s a strange day, the first where I don’t feel I have much to say. feeling a bit low. I got to a point today and couldn’t carry on 577 miles have taken their toll on my mind and body. I don’t feel like I have much more left in my legs. I stopped early and stocked up on loads of food including a pizza. I hope to have a better day on the bike tomorrow.

Tonight I’m in Oppdal, Norway, it’s a nice place but no sign of that dramatic senary I’d hoped for. I’m going to reserve my judgment on this place until I reach Tingvoll fjord. I’m yearning for the most inspiring view I can find that for me make the trip a worthwhile trip. No wild camping for me tonight, there were no locations I liked the look of. After consuming my 1800 calorie dinner my thoughts turned to the days riding. The was one magnificent downhill I experienced today heading down towards kvikne it felt like 5-6 miles on great new tarmac.

Day 8 – 113.55 miles

A short one today my stomach is turning not feeling that well. It doesn’t help that the campsite I’m staying in has two pips both of which look like drinking pipes. Apparently the one I was drinking from wasn’t drinking water. I don’t even want to dwell on what it was for. It was a massive day cycling over 113 miles a new mileage record for me. I felt strange today I could have gone the 14 miles to the next large town but I decided I didn’t need to.

I’m taking back any concerns about dramatic senary I may have had up to now. Today was amazing, actually, it was out of this world. The landscape made me feel insignificant notably cycling between Gjora and Sunndalsora was like entering some mythical world. I cycled through my first 3 mountain tunnels today, I have to be honest it made me feel terrified. Adrenaline was fueling me through the 1km long tunnels none of which have any lighting in them. Entering into the first I was lucky to miss a large pothole that could have easily sent my sliding along the floor, not a place you want to be in a dark tunnel. I know that some were not permitted for cyclists.

One of the the most memorable part of the journey so far my my ferry crossing of Holsfjorden Fjord. I wish I had more time to spend in the dramatic location unfortunatly time wasn’t on my side and I had set myself a tough schedule. I was hard finding a campsite and I didn’t feel like camping wild. Having a shower at the end of the day made things easier and stopped my daddle sore getting any worse. It can be difficult to keep the negative thought from creeping in when time get hard. I hadn’t had much interaction with locals for one reason or another. It was either down to them or I not reaching out when there were oppotunities.

Day 9 – 71 miles

The only way I can describle the day is strange, odd even, I knew it was going to be a challenge navigating south of Trondheim. The challenge was partly my own fault. The map scale was  too large and I couldn’t see the details of where I needed to go. When you’re on a bike you can’t follow the road signs otherwide you end up on a motorway or at least a major busy road. Those 71 mile were hard, the hils of Norway keep giving are steep and pothold. Taking a wrong turn is tough in a car and pain when your walking put the frustration is maginifed when your on a bike particulalarly nearing the end of the day when the tank is empty. I was well and truly lost in the woods. It was nearing 9pm and I was still no nearer to finding the elusive Selbu.

I was getting desperate I even asked to friendly norweigian chap who kindly helped me, sadly in the wrong direction. The last guy I asked offered to give me a lift  to the main road, just prior to doing this he asked a local  who confirmed we were heading the wrong way. To my suprose the this guy kindly offered me the chance to stay in his chalet for the night. it wasn’t yet complete but he said I was more than welcome to stay if I wanted. It gave me a much needed break, I could charge my phone.

As I sank into the chair in the half finhsed cabin I had a moment to be reflective on the day and on the trip. When you struggle  even for a seaminly short peirod of time it impacts your persepctive. Spending so much time along cycling and camping you develop an intermate reationship with your thought. It can be easy to pay no attention to how you feel when your rushing between home, work, friends and family life. Here there was non of that distraction.

 

Day 10 – 110.68 miles

Apart from being the first time I had woken up in a bed for 9 days, it was relatively uneventful. Although the novelty of waking up in a bed was a nice feeling. I didn’t hang around, making a quick coffee and setting off at 9.50 am. It was a smooth start to the day and the dreaded E14 road wasn’t as made as people made out. I made fast progress all the way out of Norway. I wouldn’t be surprised if, in 10 miles I hadn’t just climbed a 1000 meters, actually, they may not be factually correct but it’s how it felt. MerakerStorlien 110 miles on a bike the second-longest day up to now.

In my diary, for the day I’d written: “feeling very sociable” that was probably because I’d spent so much time on my own.

I found a campsite for the night which made me feel happy, on top of that the lady at the campsite gave me some cake. For me, a gesture like that is something that makes my day. I struck up a conversation with someone staying on the site helpfully for me he lent me his phone charger.  It was useful topping up the phone with some charge.

Day 11 – 113.77 miles

Such a big day, feel physically sick I bought a pizza but don’t fancy eating it. The last few miles were a real grind. The only moments I enjoyed is when my mind drifted off into a dream world and for a moment I could remove myself from the pain. The day started back on the E14 the road was busy but fast. One positive about main roads is you can get through the miles. The section I moved onto was just being resurfaced the cars where flinging us stones as they passed by, clouds of dust were being thrown up it was suffocating and horrible to cycle in. Not only was the rain bad and shaking me and my bike but also I spent the day cycling into a headwind my morale was at an all-time low. It was later in the day as I was cycling down a section of road lined with trees on either side. As I entered the tree-lined part of the road I noticed a large bird circling in the sky. AS I went further down the road the large bird started to swoop down on me. I thought I might be heading towards its nesting area. I kept my eye on the bird and peddled as fast as I could. it was a bit of an intense moment but seeing such unusual wildlife felt good. it wasn’t the only wildlife I saw that day as I turned around the corner, 10 meters ahead of me stood a giant white stag looking very proud. I stopped a car stopped the other side of the stag, we were all just looking at each other. I reached for my camera after a moment or two as I did it the stag bounded off into the wood looking back, making sure he wasn’t being followed.

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