...because you thought Sweden was Switzerland!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Back in the saddle again

We had a fulfilling Easter weekend full of food and drink, lazy evenings reading in the balcony, and a fulfilling dose of exercise.

The weather was perfect all weekend long, and inspired by last weekend's trip to Linköping, we thought we'd take the chance of doing another bike tour, this time to Söderköping and back. After an early Black Saturday breakfast of 2 croissants each (fasting is not my thing), we pumped our tires and headed for the road.

A new feature in this bike tour are our new bike tires, which are thinner and therefore faster than our old ones. I roll – almost fly – without effort downhills, and I'd love to think that the tires make me faster uphills too, even if I'm not too sure. It's unbelievable what a new sensation of speed new tires can give.

A main highway, which is illegal to bike on, runs between Nörrköping and Söderköping, so we occasionally had to make use of smaller roads and dirt tracks again. At these places, it didn't seem to matter what tires we had; rocky roads are equally uncomfortable as long as you're biking faster than walking speed. It really feels like being joggled inside a salt-and-pepper shaker – even my jaw and arms were tense, especially along the rough stretch along Göta Canal, which by the way seemed endless.

There are rewards for going off the beaten path, though. Some forest scenes can really make you gape in awe. It's especially rewarding when you reach the top of a mountain and consider the scenery below: just with a little work and a two-wheeled machine, you realize that you've reached the top of something.

We also discovered this insanely steep, narrow and banked bit of asphalted forest road with a good view of the town below but which we deemed a little bit too dangerous to actually roll down on. We thought that it might be used it for car racing events, as the other end of the road led to a sandy rally track.

Upon reaching Söderköping and paying a short visit to our friend Gertie, we sat in the sun and enjoyed ice cream before taking a different route back home. The day's tour was over and we still had most of the afternoon to read and relax. Life is good.

On my next blog entry, I'll write about a great way to cook ribs (sorry, not about fish this time) and a Norwegian tradition of reading crime novels on Easter. But I've said enough for now and that's why I'm saving that for next time.

Have a good continued Easter week!


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