micke-midlife on June 24th, 2009

Today it happened, the big disruption - Stefano’s knee. Some minor indications already yesterday, it hurt a bit while riding but not badly and no swelling or so. We started to ride in the morning and quickly had quite a speed, average around 30km/h. But the knee started to hurt so badly after about 80km that Stefano decided to take the train to our anticipated destination for the day, Älmhult. We parted outside Gamleby, a smaller place just north of Västervik. He headed into the town, me, I headed the opposite direction towards Vimmerby.

Riding was a lot of fun today. Great weather, 27 degrees Celsius and sun shine all day long. Tail wind that enabled cruising at 35-40km/h on flat patches. Unfortunately those patches were rare today. Some real bad ups and of course fast downs. The speedometer showed a max speed of 70,5km/h. Now that’s worth wearing a helmet!

A call from Stefano in the afternoon changed plans for the day. He’s stranded in Linkpöping and can’t get further. What, Linköping! That’s further away from our destination than where we left in the morning.
The locals in Gamleby recommended him to go to a bigger place and not Västervik in the south. So he went north. The small local train would allow him to take his bike with him. However all the trains going from Linköping south towards Norrköping or Vetlanda and Växjö wouldn’t. They would ship it as cargo within 5-7 business days. What over-engineered system is that? Similar for long distance busses, only as cargo, i.e. disassembled in a box. This is really useful for a country that markets itself mainly with experiencing nature and ecological thinking…
To our lack of luck, we have no driver’s licenses with us and the car rentals wouldn’t accept a email/fax sent copy. So now Stefano is stuck in Linköping for the night. The plan is to opt for the bus tomorrow, get a box from a bike shop, disassemble the bike and catch the 11:30 o’clock bus to Malmö. From there to Trelleborg… Let’s see, to be figured out. The ferry to Travemuende leaves at 22:00.

With all this sorting out, the batteries were drained and SportsTracker’s LiveSharing was disrupted all the time (using 2G to get through the long days with an active GPS and Bluetooth connection as well). Thanks Juho for throwing in a third power pack in the last minute, it saved the day - well the evening today.

I’m in Växjö at a great hostel by a lake, had a delicious potato salad and beer dinner at the lake front. Not bad at all! Another 230km tomorrow.

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