So, I’ve made it to Sweden, and in Stockholm at the house of some very distant relatives. I took the ferry from Harwich to Esbjerg, Denmark and then rode up to Fredrikshavn where I took a ferry to Gothenborg (where an ex-teammate lives), and then rode over to Stockholm.
Denmark was very scary, not because of the roads (nice, well-paved and laid out, mostly flat and straight) or the drivers (good, courteous), but because there was a wind and rainstorm for the first two days I was there. The second day especially was terrifying. The trees were being pushed over, and I was being pushed all over the road. I kept stopping and waiting for it to die down, but it didn’t. I ended up camping in a little town, not having gotten very far that day. By the way, Joe Rocket Ballistic pants are not entirely waterproof (leaks along the zippers), but the jacket and pants together do make a good sleeping pad.
Since then the weather has been better and I’ve been enjoying travelling about, stopping in towns and cities that I would drive by in a car, and wouldn’t be able to get to as easily by train or bus. It’s really nice being able to have complete control of my trip like that, and being encouraged to stop and enjoy places because riding is more tiring than driving, and stopping for coffee is always a plus. In a car it’s just easier to keep going.
Sweden has been cool too, very nice – sort of like BC without the mountains in some parts (trees and rocks) and this amazing rolling farmland in other parts. Since I’m at 59N, it gets dark really really late, and there’s this cool light blue twilight for a long while in the evening. Stockholm is an amazing city.
Motorcycle related reflections. England was the land of sportbikes, not surprising really given lots of little twisty roads. Also a lot of scooters, especially in London. In Denmark, I didn’t see a lot of bikes, but given the weather, perhaps not surprising. I did see a lot of little scooters and mopeds – they’re allowed to go on the cycle paths, which are everywhere. Here in Sweden, I’ve seen mostly cruisers and tourers with the odd sportbike thrown in – again may reflect the roads, which have so far been pretty untwisty and the longer distances, or maybe a different biking culture. A fair number of scooters as well. In Denmark they were pretty laid back about parking and parking on sidewalks was fine (and most other things – drinking in public places, smoking everywhere). In Sweden I was informed very politely by a parking lady in Gothenborg that parking on sidewalks is not allowed (after I had done so for several hours without a ticket). However, there are motorcycle parking areas, and scooters seem able to park at the ever present bicycle parking areas. (Interestingly, Sweden is much more restricted about alcohol – can only buy in state stores, and smoking isn’t nearly as prevelant or allowed). However, the Swedes like to go a lot faster, though they are very polite about allowing passing and passing.
Anyway, a few pics.
Setting out from Norwich
Hmm – using a lot of wind energy=windy country? Nah…. And this wasn’t the bad day
Camping in the rain
At least it’s good for something
Me at a Viking graveyard in Aalborg, Denmark
Road near Flakeberg, Sweden. Notice two cruisers on other side of road.
Nice camping in Mariestad, Sweden – it’s 9:50 at night