Few things make me happier than riding my bike! I’ve been a road cyclist for 10 years and since I live in a very small country, I can do most rides around here blindfolded. So, whenever I get the chance to ride new locations, I’m off! During last couple of years, I’ve been in Italy, France, Spain, Switzerland, Austria, Norway, and Germany. Travelling with the bike is awesome – it’s often educational, and it’s always memorable.
Recently, I had the privilege of exploring Sweden together with seven fast, fun, and fabulous girls. The ambition was to do 450 km and 4000-5000 meters of altitude in three days. We were fortunate to be supported by the Pas Normal Studios and the epic team from destination everywhere! The destination this time was Skåne in southern Sweden. We travelled for just three hours on the train but entered a completely different scenery; massive pinewoods, lakes in all sizes, gravel roads and rolling hills. This season, I’ve changed my Ridley Noah for the Liz which is a perfect match for cross country conditions, especially with my new 28’’ tires which allow for lower tire pressure.
Day one, we rode just about 100 km and 1350 meters of altitude. It was terrific, yet mostly preparation for the epic day two we had waiting. Day two’s program offered 195km and as we ate our breakfast, we watched the menacing clouds above our heads. Off we went, spirits high. As we all fancied the gravel roads rarely found in Denmark, we decided to take a detour to start out on gravel. It was good, I felt super comfortable and decided to push the pace even further.
Crashing on the gravel
But sometimes, you walk a fine line between daring and rashness, and just as I was crushing the gravel, I crashed on the gravel! Ouch! I picked myself and the bike up and instantly started checking the bike, my precious. It was ok, thank god. And, besides from a lot of painful and rather deep abrasions, so was I. We rinsed off the worst blood and dirt and proceeded with the day’s program.
Let’s just say, though, I wasn’t the one doing most of the pulling that day. And I’ll also tell you that when you’ve found companions who are strong enough to pull you through a day like this and kind enough to do without further mentioning, you stick with them! We passed through lots of gravel roads, insisting climbs, crazy hail and thunder storms but we also had sunshine, the actual kind as well as the one produced by high spirits and sister solidarity.
Getting to the finish line
Day three was all about reaching the ferry taking us back to Denmark and the riding the final 90 km. It was known territory which makes pain and exhaustion less significant. When finally arriving to our destination it was smiles, high fives and hugs to everyone – and pizza and beers, not least. And “this was freaking hard and awesome, when can we go again?” echoed all around. I guess that’s just one of the characteristics of riders, we don’t want easy, we want impact and we want to make epic memories. Listed below are the ingredients for memorable times on the bike:
- Fun and tough friends with a sense of adventure
- Hilly grounds
- Magnificent scenery
- Lots of food – and a little bit of alcohol also helps
Be safe, be avid in your search for memorable adventures. /Camilla