Bikepacking with Jules, early easter edition.

SebastianDahl-27-_DSF3003-Bicycling with Jules from CPH to GTB.jpg

450km on two wheels

from Copenhagen to Bohuslän

The end of winter is approaching and Jules and I are talking about what to do for Easter break. More precisely, where to go cycling. It's been a tough, long winter so we have to go south. We only have a few days and traveling to a far away country by plane is not an option. I suggest we take a bus from Copenhagen to Oslo and bike back, but Jules is skeptical; there's still way too much snow, it's still too cold in Scandinavia and we might not be able to make it on time.

Turns out, how was was mostly right.

The bridge between Sweden and Denmark

 Can't say we slept much on the crowded bus.

Can't say we slept much on the crowded bus.

In Copenhagen, the only thing we do is to get coffee. A shame, but we've been here many times before and "the road is not going to be cycled on its own". To make it back to Oslo on time we have to bike at least 140km every single day.

We're following several bike-paths on our way north, here going north from Copenhagen along the Strandvejen, a street famous for its architecture.

Beautiful thatched roofs on many houses.

I had told Jules itwas going to be a warm easter but he wasn't mad.

The last bit of Denmark before crossing the Kattegatt sea by ferry. Strong winds from north-east.

After 120km on the saddle and hours spent pushing on the pedals agains the wind we are not very enthusiastic about sleeping outside. It's cold and it's getting late so we decide to go to the city center of the nearest town to get some food and some warmth and we start asking people to host us for the night.

It takes us about 4 tries before a nice couple from Lund offers us to stay in their basement. We get food, a nice warm shower and a good night's sleep.

Day 2, sun is shining!

Day two. About 100km on the saddle. We stop before sunrise and find a nice place to camp by the sea, just behind a farm to be protected from the cold wind. Breakfast with eggs and coffee. We're starting to realize (Jules told me he knew all along, the bastard) that we won't make it to Oslo. We don't want to rush it, we'll just bike as far north as we want, make detours and breaks when we want to and will take a train back to Oslo on the last day. 

 

The coast is beautiful and the sun is shining. We're maintaining an average speed of 20km/hour but my knees are starting to hurt. Tonight no camping, no improcouching, we've found a nice and cheap hotel in Mölndal where we'll spend the night and have some beers.

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Gravel roads north of Göteborg.

On a small ferry towards Marstrandsön island. As soon as we stop we have to put on our down jackets to keep warm.

The second to last day was marked by two "disasters".

First, we realise four spokes are broken on Jules' back wheel; in order to continue not-by-foot we need to have the wheel either repaired or replaced.  It's Easter-sunday,  but luckily we find an open shop and get a new wheel. (and free burgers)

Last, at the end of the day, 6km before arriving at Marstrand my knee gets completely blocked. I can't pedal. The pain is almost unbearable and after a 30 minutes break we finish at 6km/hour.

 FOUR! BROKEN! SPOKES!

FOUR! BROKEN! SPOKES!

Our home for the last night on top of the island.

On the last day, the wind is finally with us. We average close to 30km/hour until my knee says stop again. We make it to Göteborg from where we take a train back to Oslo. 

Looking forward to next bike trip, I'll make sure to:

  • remember Easter in Scandinavia is cold
  • bring some cream for my knees
  • be careful with my ageing body.

So long!

 Picture of me writing my diary on the train by Jules.

Picture of me writing my diary on the train by Jules.

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Sébastian Dahl Photographer, Oslo

Photography and adventures.