I knew that today would become tough … but not exactly that tough. Since rain had been forecasted I got up early and was on the bike by 5:30am. I had no breakfast to reduce the strain on my stomach.
Right from start itwas very windy. The first three hours were fine. After that it started raining and the traffic on the E10 picked up. Needless to say that there are no alternative bike routes up here.
For 100km after Solvær there was no infrastructure. Not even a hut to rest and hide from the rain. By noon I had already completed this distance and reached Lødimgen where I ate something and tried to get warm again, without much success.
Sine it rained cats and dogs, I waited about 1.5 hours to see if things would improve – but they choose not to.
In my inner team there was a lot of upheaval going on. More than one voice shouted things like „there is no way in hell that I am going back into this cold rain“. And this was still the nicest version.
However, eventually I went back on the road and tackled the remaining 80km. Unfortunately, my stomach problem was still there. I spare you the messy details.
Another challenge was to cross a bridge which was about 70m high at side winds with a speed of 15m/s ( which is a lot for a bike). This was the official bike route and there was no alternative. Have a look into the video to get a picture.
I had contemplated to stop for the night along the way and divvy up the distance. However, one major selling argument to my inner team had been, that I would be warm and dry tonight and that there would be no cycling in wet, cold clothes the next morning. This is really a horror for me when it is cold.
Around 8pm I finally arrived totally wet and cold in Evenes (aka base camp 2) with a new personal record. I had never cycled further with this bike and this amount of baggage.
I had parked my rental car near a wonderful camping site directly by the sea. What I had not known when I had fully intuitively picked this place on July 4 was that the island group of the Lofoten starts precisely here.
The owners recognized me immediately and had nothing but compassion for my shitty cycling weather today.
The very first step was to have a hot shower. While I had set up my tent, a Finish family had made a fire in a small hut directly by the sea. I asked if I could join. Unfortunately, the Fins soon disappeared into their camper car. They had small kids which needed to be put to bed. It was so good and relaxing to sit by the fire and suck in the warmth. Almost as good as a sauna.
Learning of the day: One good in the bad is that you can see what you are capable off.