My last blog post was written lounging in a deck chair whilst drinking a beer, watching the sun go down on the ferry journey from Gothenburg to Frederikshavn. The sun didn’t last long and when we docked at midnight and cycled off the ferry, we were greeted but a lovely mix of rain and strong southeasterly winds. As we hadn’t booked a hotel we cycled around Frederikshavn centre looking for somewhere to sleep. After Tom had hilariously ridden into a curb and and picked up a nice puncture, we eventually found a little alley way and settled down to our first ‘proper homeless’ city sleep.
We slept well, stuffed ourselves with bacon and pancakes the next morning then took the train to Skagen at the north of Denmark so we would be laterally equivalent to Gothenburg as it is important to us that we cycle the entire way.
Now, we planned that our rest days would consist of around 50 miles with lots of rest, food and a warm shower but instead we managed 40 miles, got our showers but not the kind we were after and to make matters worse Tom and Sam both got a puncture due to the flint that covers the cycle paths throughout Denmark and would soon become our worst enemy in the days to come.
On the bright side it stopped raining and we found a great hut to sleep in, only after Sam added a few more punctures to the tally.
The score at the end of that day sat at 31 for Sam, 20 for Tom, 19 for James and 17 for Alec. It wasn’t looking good for me but I needn’t have worried!
The next day passed smoothly, we cracked out 90 miles before the rain stopped play, I bought two new tires as my stock Schwalbe ones had been worn down to the canvas. We found a nice dry veranda on a village hall and got a good nights sleep.
Today has been madness! We awoke to rain which of course as soon as we set off, increased dramatically soaking us to the skin. Despite this, 20 miles ticked by and for breakfast we stuffed ourselves with a box of cereal each (yes, we did regret it).
Setting off again, the punctures struck with Alec picking two in quick succession, both fixed with us stood in the bucketing rain. James also managed to snap his rear gear cable leaving him single-speed bound for the foreseeable future until the bike shops open again – he put in some impressive climbing though.
Back on track, cycling up a small hill (I don’t know how we found any in Denmark) as a group of roadies sprinted past us, we thought: ‘well, this won’t do!’ so we sprinted after them forming a group and whizzing back down the hill.
The heavy rain had pulled gravel all over the roads so it wasn’t long before one of the group had a puncture, Alec also picked up his third of the day quickly after. Tom, too busy racing two sprinters up a hill didn’t notice at all and disappeared over the crest.
Punctures fixed, we regrouped at the top of another hill outside a shop. Tom and his new found sprinter friends returned and after chatting for a bit we ventured on.
After having showers all day we didn’t think we could get any wetter but soon the heavens opened and we may as well have gone for a swim. I’m amazed our stuff has stayed relatively dry. Good old plastic bags!
I’m getting rather tired of writing about punctures but I got another one soon after the rain stopped. Even brand new tires haven’t helped. 40 minutes later Alec got his 4th and 5th of the day…
6 miles later we rolled into Vejle and tucked into a well deserved pizza. We have just finished and I am writing this whilst Tom and James fix a puncture each. 8 in one day, time to buy some new tubes we think…
Finally the current scores of the Great Game are:
Alec – 40
Sam – 36
James – 32
Tom – 25