Training for my bike ride to COP26 in Glasgow
This long weekend (Thursday to Monday) I am training for my trip from Katrineholm to Glasgow. Unfortunately the weather was not so sunny anymore, but I cannot expect sunny weather all the time on my trip, starting in September and lasting for almost four month.
With this long weekend tour I had to find out:
1) if I am able to go almost 60 km a day for more than one day in a row
2) if I am ok with to go by bike while it is raining
3) if my VAUDE panniers (recycled of PET) really stopp for heavy rain
4) How far can I go with my battery and with which assistance level (there are five levels and the strongest is level 5, taking more out off the battery as level one, of course)?
5) Will it be comfortable to use hiking shoes for the ride?
This I found out:
- I did go by bike on Thursday around 80 km, mostly on level 2 but sometimes also on level 5 and the battery made it all the time even we (the bike, battery, I…) got really wet by a thunderstorm. The panniers were not wet from the inside. My hiking shoes are really comfortable for the ride, but the water repellent membrain is not good enouth for thunderstorms.
- I had no problem to go further today (Friday) = Neither I had sore muscles or other aches nor a cold. My trip was only for around 60 km and I could use the assistance 5 all the way. Even today it was raining, but I found a tree to hide under for the rain, though we did not get the full load of it. The panniers made it today as well. I used plastic bags in my hiking shoes, because they were still wet in the morning – and still are, which made it comfortable to use them.
- My bad experience during the ride was, that my small cooler bag was stolen, when I had to leave my bike unattended for using a bathroom. I have had the idea to fasten it with a lock at the basket of my bike, but unfortunately never bought that lock. I miss my medicines the most. I could buy my most important medicin, but not the others, because we only are allowed to buy one pack of each during a periode of three month. It does not matter, why we need more.
- Last but not least, already wet I got shelter in a garage (when the thunderstorm started I was on “the open field”) I had a wonderful CS-host from Thursday evening to Friday morning and I was interviewed by a journalist in Gnesta.
Unfortunately on my way home, during the ride between Segeltorp and Gnesta I ran nearly out of battery just around 10 km before my goal and I understood, that I won’t make it all the way to my new friend. Luckily I found a nice couple, living there, who allowed me to charge my battery somewhat – just enough for those lasting kilometers. Actually, I could have charged the battery a little more at this place, but I won’t use their help more than absolutely necessary. I am very grateful to that couple outside Mölnbo.
Without charging my battery, I could have ridden my bike, of course, but I would not have been able to ride it up the very hills. Why didn’t the battery last for this daytrip, when it did the other way around?, you may ask. There was a simple reason. I had strong head-wind off and on, which I did not had during the ride in the other direction.
Below another photo from beautiful Sörmland:
Update 2 – the last one
The weather report promised rain nearly the whole day, but especially during the afternoon, though I hoped for the best.
Unfortunately already around 10 km past Gnesta, where I had been welcomed by the same host as Friday night, I met a thunderstorm with heavy rain. It seems, just in that part of Sörmland, around Björnlunda thunderstorms are usual. I was afraid, that my battery will brake by the lightning. Therefore I was happy I found “an open church” and better a Parish home with a porch twig, that means a roof over my head and even a bench to sit on. The bike had to be in the rain, but I had a plastic bag as protection over the battery. The church was on a hill, the Parish home not and I felt save as well as I felt save for the bike.
The thunderstorm continued in nearly one hour. Afterwards I was longing for the coffee and bisquit the church offered together with “the open church”. Therefore I pushed my bike up the gravel road. Btw I don’t like gravel roads and especially not the steep ones. Well at the church I locked my bike, tog my panniers with me and was looking for the open door, but both of them were closed. Disappointed I left this place.
I could enjoy dry weather for a lot of kilometers, but first my e-bike was not working. I had to pedal it without motor and could only do that in gear 1. Up a couple of hills I had to push it. Anyway after a while it was working well again.
In a small town called Stjärnhov a signed told me, that there is an eatery in 200m. It was already around 2pm and I was hungry, though I stopped there and put my bike on the back yard under a roof, because it looked like it will start raining soon again.
When I continued after the meal it was raining again. In another small town around half an hour later I surprisingly found a hostel. Unfortunately it only had a code lock at the door, though I did not know if it was open. It was still raining and I looked up the hostel on the Internet. There was no dormitory and a single room was for about 500 SEK (50 EUR). While I decided not to stay there, the rain stopped.
I continued to the town of Flen (where my cooler bag together with my medicines was stolen). At the reception of the municipality I asked for lost and found items, but neither the cooler bag nor my medicines had been left there. I cannot understand, how people can steel medicin and then maybe throw away it. They seem to be without any conscience.
I had tried to find a host in Flen, but did not get an answer from the only one, who seemed to be active. My battery did not have enough of energy left to go all the way home, because I had used the highest assistans again (because of the rain). I was not willing to have another meal out of home, where I maybe also could charge my battery somewhat. The sky also looked like it will start raining soon again. For this moment it was dry. Therefore I did, which I had agreed with my host in Gnesta, I took the train home. I am really happy, that it is possible to take bikes on the new trains on this line.
The train ride was for half the price as a meal, because I am a retired person. Btw there was another biker with her bike on the train. There was only one compartment for bikes, though I was happy, that there was space for me.
I know, I should have done all the way by bike, but in real I also hold the opportunity open to go with the bike by train part of the trip if the circumstances are bad for biking. Some rain is ok, but when it is raining all day long, I will make an exception.
Kilometers done by bike: 268.