Saturday, 13 August 2011

15th Day Recap

Weatherwise today was one of the nicest days of the tour so far. Very little wind, no clouds, and not too hot and not too cold.

We set off from Söderhamn in the morning after having had a hearty breakfast made by my mom. The previous night we met up with her and my grandma and we spent a very nice evening with them and the four of us stayed in the same cottage that my mom rented for one night for the occasion.

Anyway, shortly after saying goodbye to them and setting out we saw a pretty cool vintage Volvo, and then shortly after that an old MG and then an old Porche, and on and on it went. Turns out there was a vintage car "rally" (I put that in quotes, as I don't think anyone was really trying to race and win.)

The coolest vehicle we saw was a 1937 Husqvarna moped. I'm still kicking myself for not taking its picture, or pictures of any of the cars really.

It turned out the track the vintage cars were following was right along Cykelspåret for quite a while, so we kept seeing old cars and motorcycles throughout the morning.

Towards the afternoon I discovered that yet another spoke had snapped, so we pulled over in Lindefallen and had some delicious rotissery chicken, boiled potatoes, lettuce and tomato, courtesy of my mom. Tasty.

After lunch I broke out my new tools, and while it took me the better part of an hour and a bit, the whole thing was surprisingly easy.

Going in I wasn't too concerned about the actual spoke replacement part. The mechanic in Söderhamn did a good job showing me how to do it, and I had no trouble replicating what he did.

It was the truing (balancing) of the wheel afterwards that had me a bit worried. Prior to today I had attempted to true a wheel once before, but I basically used a mix of guesswork and voodoo then, and didn't do a very good job.

This time I took it nice and easy while Sue read aloud from our trusty Bike Mechanics for Dummies book, and in the end everything worked out great. Spoke installed, wheel trued, and imaginary highfives all around.

After the roadside repairs we continued our ride for Hudiksvall and soon ran into one of our four nemesis (nemesi?): gravel roads. The other three are rain, wind and hills. While rain and wind didn't rear their heads, hills soon made themselves known.

So, while I won't claim that 20 km of hilly gravel riding is awesome-fun-happytime, the amazing weather and my recent success as a bike mechanic was enough to keep me moderately cheerful until we reached good, old civilized asphalt again.

Yesterday we considered going further than Hudiksvall, and found a hostel about 20 km outside of town, but over dinner we decided that the roadside repairs had eaten too much daylight and the gravel too much energy, so in the end we settled for Hudik anyway.

We rode 85 km today, for a total of... something... 1100 km and change.

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