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Europe by Tandem

From Castellon (Spain) to Northern Cape (Norway) by Tandem supporting the fight against cancer.

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Day 38. Sant Carles de la Rápita – Castellón

Posted by admin On Agosto - 27 - 2010

109 kilometers. 4 hours.
JL: I’m writing this belated blog post about the Sant Carles de la Rápita- Castellón final stage. I can’t say much about the road since we cycled along the national road N-340.   Not many kilometers but at warp speed. We had to get to Castellón on time, at 1 p.m. No further [...]

Day 37. El Vendrell- Sant Carles de la Rápita

Posted by admin On Agosto - 16 - 2010

129 kilometers. 5 hours and 54 minutes.
IVAN: The kilometers we covered today along the hellish national road N-340 weren’t as hard as we thought they would be. An ugly day; it was cloudy for a change but there were blasts of fair wind. We went past the Ebro Delta; that’s worth mentioning. Take a close-up [...]

Day 36. Vic- El Vendrell

Posted by admin On Agosto - 16 - 2010

142 kilometers. 8 hours and 34 minutes.
IVAN: 6:45 a.m. The alarm clock goes off at the same time it does every single day. It doesn’t wake me up, though. I’ve been awake for 15 minutes. I look through the window next to my bed. It’s open. I can see a blanket of thick black clouds [...]

Day 20. Berlin

Posted by admin On Julio - 28 - 2010ADD COMMENTS

IVAN: Today we woke up in Berlin at ease because we knew we didn’t have to pack our stuff in a hurry, because we didn’t have to get a close-up look under the bed to make sure we didn’t leave anything behind because once you leave the place, you never come back. Today we also woke up knowing that we didn’t have to cycle. Total relaxation first thing in the morning, hahaha. The thing is that we went to one of the several bike stores in Berlin so that Paco could get a checkup. Well, the typical thing: to evaluate and balance the spoke tension, to replace the brake pads, and to check the brake fluid. Our intention is to get Paco back first thing tomorrow morning so that we can continue making this curious trip.

Regarding Berlin, its huge and impressive monuments, which are a living link with the glorious past, fully integrate with its people. At first glance, the Berliners look less serious and rigorous than the traditional stereotypical representation of Germans. In fact, the German youth, just because of how they dress and because of the way they get around in the city (most of them ride old junk but useful bikes), seem not to agree entirely on those authoritarian ways, if anything, that are commonplace in the rest of Europe. I know I’m making sweeping assumptions, and it’s also true that I’ve never been to cities like Amsterdam, Oslo or Helsinski. But I’m dead certain that the “brightness” of colors we can spot in these cities is more or less the same we can see in Berlin.

Being in a huge city entails coping with the hustle and bustle of people and the trouble this spells. And to think that, some days ago, we were in the middle of the woods, in quiet solitude… The other day on the ship, while I was contemplating the vastness of the sea, a thought popped into my mind. We were sailing the dark and rough sea and I was resting in a cozy cabin on a gray and rainy day. This telling example illustrates the human race dominance over the planet. Neither the wildest animal nor the biggest oceanic abyss puts us in the shade. In fact, this dominance has enabled world population density to double in the last 50 years. This population survives and works thanks to the global consumption of the raw materials that the Earth offers. If we take into account the two-fold increase of population density in 50 years (50 years don’t mean that much in the history of the planet, do they?) and the definition of the word consumption (the first meaning in the R.A.E. (Real Academia Española) dictionary is “destruction; extinction”)  we can see that this so-called development advertised on public TV is everything but sustainable. To put it simply, it is impossible to sustain a population that doubles every 50 years; however much we divide things into portions. Sooner or later there won’t be a pie to cut up.

Day 19. Sczcecin- Berlin

Posted by admin On Julio - 28 - 2010ADD COMMENTS

151 kilometers. 8 hours and 22 minutes.

JL: A Straight road. Good weather. No wind. Cycling along approach roads to major cities isn’t that nice for leisure cyclists, but there is no choice if you want to visit those places. Thick traffic, fast speed, multi-lane roads, motorists in a mad rush, and the feeling of being at the bottom of the food chain: easy prey.

There are three key issues as to cycling safety: road- surface conditions, bicycle tune-up, and motorist behaviour. Broadly speaking, roads in Poland are weathered, patched, potholed and rough. They have no shoulders, except for some high-speed roads. But the story doesn’t end there. Either gravel or earth is accumulated in the right-side lane, which means that you can’t move away from it. Our tandem bicycle, equipped with 25/28 inch bicycle tires, isn’t cut out for those conditions. It would have needed, at least, 32-inch tires.  Fortunately, we didn’t have any problems. Regarding motorist behaviour, well, although we are aware that hasty generalizations may lead to fallacious arguments, our first-hand experience counts. The more pressing the basic needs, the less the motorists’ sensitivity towards the rest.

The weather gave us a break today. The sunbathed landscape is a horse of a different color, let alone the mood. When the morale is at rock bottom, you feel like sawing the tandem bicycle off and like saying to the other, “you are on your own”: “Don’t move so much! Can’t you keep still?”, “Pedal harder, will you?” “Hey, am I the only one pedaling today?”; “Don’t make me stop again”, “But if you only took a leak 30 minutes ago”; “Don’t change gear that often or you’ll kill me”; “This is such a shitty saddle, I told you we should have replaced it”; “See, the slicker does let water in, we should have bought the expensive one.”

We are like Superman: the “sun” is our source of energy. If the weather is nicer and our willpower is stronger, comments aren’t that hostile : “Are you doing fine or do you feel like taking a break?”, “Shall I take over from here?” “Do you have enough water or shall I give you some?” “Great move!” How well you have negotiated these bends!” “Come on, dude, you’re as strong as an ox.”

In Poland, you can eat well on the cheap. On the whole, accommodation is inexpensive. For instance,  fair-quality accommodation in a rural area, doble room, dinner and breakfast (for 2 human beings as hungry as a bear) included: roughly 80 euros plus VAT 22% . Items of clothing are relatively cheap; public transport, as well. However, gas is more expensive than in Spain; cabs aren’t that cheap either; toiletries and brand products aren’t that far from Spain. Well, this is just what we could see at first hand; our day-to-day activities are rather military-like.

Today the important thing, more than the road in itself, was to get to Berlin. In our route plan, Berlin kind of symbolizes our Equator and, besides, it’s a city we wanted to know. We’ll take a day-off there. We have to tune Paco up. He’ll have to attend a review session; it won’t be up to us. What’s more, we have to do the laundry. The only clean garments we have left are the underpants we are wearing. We’ve been wearing the same shorts for 17 days. Their wear and tear can just be compared to John Wayne’s spats. We’ll also try to get a leg massage just to see if we recover a little bit. Our legs are dry, hard and in pain. I don’t know if we’ll have enough time to do everything, but we’ll give it a go.

Berlin is the last large city we’ll cycle around. Big cities make us waste lots of time and approach roads are too dangerous for our “long vehicle”. Up to Castellón, we’ll try to trace a route out that takes us around rural areas and that goes through tiny towns. So, we’ll leave Paris out. I think we’ll save some time.

We arrived in Berlin in time, just after lunchtime; thanks to our early rising and our excitement about getting to Berlin. As soon as we got there, we left our trolley and bags at the hotel and off we went to ride the streets of Berlin. We cycled along one of the main avenues in Berlin at 47 kilometers per hour.  What a waste of energy! We were swept away by the thrill of knowing Berlin and by a surge of pure adrenalin. Thank God we have a day-off tomorrow.

Pics, chats with American, French, English, and, of course, German people. OK, Here go some photographs:

Day 17: 136 kilometers. 7 hours and 56 minutes.

Day 18: 153 kilometers. 8 hours and 12 minutes.

IVAN: Day 17 was cloudy, rainy and windy first thing in the morning; a head wind was blowing as well, of course! Everywhere we go, the lovely weather and we are as tight as a tick. So, track farms of Murcia, no worries! If you are short of water, give us a shout! The tandem, J.L. and I will come around for visit and that will do. This tongue-in-cheek comment has recently acquired some scientific significance, though. Taking into account the whims of the weather we’ve been subjected to while we were in training for this trip, the empirical results will support my hypothesis. We started the training sessions last October; in November we went on our first tandem trip around the Aragonese soils for 5 days. On the 3rd day, we couldn’t go through the Caspe-Cariñena stage because of the wind (for further reading “Stranded in Caspe” & “Spokes Whistling into the Wind”). After that fierce fight with Aeolus, the winter term began in Castellón, and my goodness! It was the harshest winter ever! Snowfalls, lowest temperatures ever recorded; and still we woke up at 7 a.m. to ride the tandem…Well, February came and we decided to do another training session around the Andalusian soils, where the sun and the heat never quit working; to the hell with that! Heavy rains, flooded roads, paddy fields for 5 days! We had the feeling we were in Cantabria, not in Andalusia. Hey! I was kind of undergoing a duck metamorphosis. My toes were turning into webbed toes! Well, afterwards, things got better. On our way to Santiago de Compostela, we got slightly wet, it was a bit windy, but, hey, nothing wild. At this very moment, the challenge begins: so far we’ve had only 3 sunny days out of 17 days, the rest were rainy and windy. I hope that our luck changes as we get closer to our homeland. The truth is that this wouldn’t prove to be a hindrance if our bodies weren’t wearing down. It’s all in a day’s work for a cyclist, though.

I’d like to mention that there was no Day 17 post yesterday because there was no Internet coverage, not even cell phone coverage. Jastrowie, where the place we were staying at was, was in the heart of one of the countless Polish woods, so Internet access was out of reach.

Day 18 was sort of different; better, perhaps; and a bit sunny, at last! And it passed off without a problem. Now, in terms of roads and traffic flow, the story is different. Sweden was the land of caravans, road motorcycles and well-paved roads; whereas Poland is the land of busy traffic and poor roads (I’m trying to be as politically correct as possible). As to respect for cyclists, well, no comments. In Scandinavia, respect for cyclists, in some cases, was a bit excessive, well, I think that the Swedish people have robbed the Poles of that surplus of patience, those naughty Swedish…

Last, but not least, I’d like to say something about the number of street graffiti we come across while cycling the towns. Most of them have strings of words, as if they were demanding something, I guess, that is meaningful in Polish or meaningful in Spanish, as well. Too bad we don’t speak Polish!

JL: There are lots of reasons for rising to challenges.

The desire to take up a sport challenge, to break a record or to set a new one isn’t but the desire to be better, to be a cut above your competitors, or to be held as an example to be followed by the rest. In a way, this is also what companies look for when they want to become competitive.

In order to become competitive, both in a sports and in a business context, it is essential to have a crystal clear vision that guides you, that drags you towards it. In both cases, it is a must to show a long-term commitment to that vision; it is also a must to plan, to carry out your acts and to draw on your resources in constant and consistent keeping with your vision. That vision would represent the outline of the state of play or the outline of a future result; different and ambitious, even spectacular. Fancing this vision should be exciting in itself and should raise hopes for those who have to embark on this vision trip.

Sports Psychology and I-O Psychology pursue the common aim of finding the recipe for success, of the sportsperson or of the company, in the pursuit of their vision. Therefore, we can definitely draw a close analogy between the high-level training for sports and the strategic human resources management as to their approach, methods and  goals.

Just to offer a bird’s eye view: the vision would represent the horizon; and, in order to walk towards it without getting lost, you must set short-term objectives; accomplishing those objectives entails being on the correct track. In the first place, you must define those objectives and, together with the formulation of the objectives, you must establish a self-diagnosis of the current state of your strengths and weaknesses. In the second place, you must create some programs which capitalize on your key strengths and minimize your weaknesses, i.e. you must develop employment training and development programs in the business context; and sports training programs in the sports context. In addittion, all this must be accompanied by motivation programs, that is to say, tools capable of insuring that people truly want to do what they are actually doing; and tools capable of giving satisfaction, i.e. capable of guaranteeing that people feel good doing what they do. Having the capacity to do something, wanting to do something and feeling proud of something cannot be regarded as synonymous.

If the vision is the horizon, try not to lose heart; because one step forward, two steps back. Does this mean we should give up? In my view, don’t take no for an answer. This means, in the first instance, that objectives must be revisited on a daily basis and must be updated according to circumstances; secondly, this means that despite reaching your objective, you should never stop moving forward. There is no North Cape, no Cape Finisterre; the sky is the limit. The key objective is the CIP, i.e. continuous improvement process.

Well, we’re getting nearer to Gdansk, we only have one hour to go to complete the crossing. We’re going to start preparing our bag. As soon as we arrive, we have to find out how to leave the port and find the road that takes us to Starogard. Let’s hope it’s not a highway; if it is, we’ll be in trouble.

And…we’ve just entered port, at last! Poland has welcome us with open arms and with a squall line…This is a street in Gdansk in heavy downpour.

As it happens in any good tourist city, in the vicinity of the port, a cab and shuttle company was offering its service to the newcomers. We were dreadfully sorry but we had no choice but to spend 50 euros in a van-ride to the hotel. Any other decision would have been a reckless act, among other reasons, because it would have got dark. These 45 kilometers do not add up to our solidarity count. We’ll try to make up for them later on.

See you tomorrow. Hope I can write more enjoyable posts in the next couple of days. Today was a day of reflection.

Day 15. From Stockholm to Nymäshamn

Posted by admin On Julio - 23 - 2010ADD COMMENTS

73 kilometers. 3 hours and 53 minutes.

IVAN: Last stage of our Scandinavian route. It seems like only yesterday when we arrived and kind Berger led us up to the highest Nordic peak in this huge peninsula; today was our last day cycling this peninsula. At this very moment, we are boarding a ferry to Central Europe. An adventure which has had everything an’ all is coming to an end; another adventure is making a start in Poland.

As to Stockholm’s surroundings, well, I could say just more of the same old same old: greenery up to the arrival at the port; regarding Stockholm, well, a gorgeous colossal city, with broad avenues and, watch out, a great swarm of cycle paths. I think an exclusive map of cycle paths will be useful as a guide. In fact, these paths were perfect in the beginning; but they seemed to have a life on their own and they took you where they felt like taking you; so, in the end, we chose the same old thing: Off we go!

Here goes a little video so that you can understand what I’m saying:

Having got this far, I think this is the perfect time to tell you what has struck me the most about Norway, Finland and Sweden.

1) Bottled water doesn’t exist. I mean it! Every restaurant we went to, we were served tap water in a jar, for free, instead of bottled water. What’s more, people in the North advised us to fill our canteens up with water from the rivers and streams we came across. This is of everyday occurrence in the Scandinavian peninsula. They have a lot of
water to spare. Well, it has to be seen to be believed!

2) People are extremely obliging and kind. Whenever you’re in trouble, they come to your assistance. Take Biguer and Ore Turi! We hold them up as examples but there were many more!

3) The love for the old stuff, especially for cars. I didn’t think they had such a number of old cars and that they were well cared for. They go for Amercian cars, but there’s everything from A to Z.

4) The language. No comments. Incredibly difficult. 14-letter words; 11 letters out of 14 are consonants and 2 letters have dieresis placed over the vowels and they take accute accents. Unpronounceable. I recall a Finnish guy we met at a place where we were staying who had a strong Finnish accent when speaking in English. We didn’t know if
we were speaking with a person or with Artoo-Detoo.

5) Absolutely safe countries. Wherever you go, you needn’t worry about the tandem bicycle; no matter the time, at lunchtime, in the afternoon and even at night. At some places, Paco slept on the street; unlocked. In fact, we only spotted two police cars in almost 2 weeks. Unbelievable if we take into account the fact that we spent almost the
whole day on the road.

6) The landscape. No comments.

Goodbye Sweden. Hello Poland.

Day 14. From Tramsjo to Stockholm

Posted by admin On Julio - 22 - 2010ADD COMMENTS

149 kilometers. 8 hours and 8 minutes

JL: Yesterday we slept in bunk beds inside a 9-square-meter wooden cottage located on a concrete esplanade next to a gas station at a crossroads. Let’s see, it wasn’t the most suitable place for spending a romantic evening on Saint Valentine’s Day. The little cottage in question had been soaking up the sun for 20 hours and, as a result, the heat the wood gave out made us spend a rough night. We sweated like pigs! We sweated more than when having a quickie on a Sky sofa in August at 3 o’clock in the afternoon. And to go from bad to worse, we couldn’t open the window because the mosquitos were raring to go and carrying a comprehensive medical kit for drawing blood samples.

There isn’t much to write home about. It drizzled a bit. The road turned into a highway and my partner, Ivan, woke up with stomachache. So, as you can see, the day wasn’t that happy. I hope he feels better tomorrow. He is a brave guy, though and didn’t complain much about it. Once, he broke his fibula and spent a whole week on the go from here to there with his broken fibula until his MD told him that the pain he was suffering wasn’t normal, and Ivan dismissed it. In March, he broke his right arm radius in a cycling training. In 4 weeks’ time, he was back on the bycicle. So, when it comes to speedy recovery, Ivan is the perfect candidate and not that Wolverine, mind you! Tomorrow he’ll be, for sure, back on the mend; if not, we’ll have to come up with some solutions.

Getting closer to a big capital city and a thickly populated area, and other important cities such as Uppsala, isn’t something that makes us extremely happy. We don’t have much choice but to go by that place to get to Nynäshamn, where the ship to Poland departs from. We swapped spots of stark beauty (a beauty to be enjoyed by everybody because it can be appreciated without any sort of explanation) for another type of aesthetics which needs to be interpreted.

We arrived in Stockholm shortly before 6 p.m. We quickly checked-in at the hotel and went shopping to get the necessary stuff to continue the trip. We don’t have much time for shopping in our daily routine. In most of the places we’ve been to, there aren’t many stores, apart from a bar and a little local supermarket. So, today was D-day! We bought a new front tandem saddle. The old one was racing-like, but as hard as a rock, and was “killing us softly”. We also bought some nutritional supplements like vitamins and protein shakes which are essential to this kind of adventures. Tooth paste, painkillers and, although it may look funny, we needed to get some underpants as well; 2 of them never came back from the laundry at the hotel in Piteä. However, it was mission impossible because the stores close at 7 o’clock sharp in the evening.

Little by little, we’re covering more and more kilometers for our solidarity count. Tomorrow, a 75-kilometer stage and we get on board, so there may be no post tomorrow because of lack of Internet connectivity.

Day 13. From Bollnäs to Tarmsjo

Posted by admin On Julio - 21 - 2010ADD COMMENTS

159 kilometers. 9 hours and 40 minutes.


IVAN: Today’s weather forecast called for drizzle from noon onwards and called for downpour from 6 p.m. forward. Thanks to the Vanir, the weather forecast wasn’t accurate enough but this little favor wasn’t for free. Apparently, we weren’t capable of honoring them as they deserved or as they wanted to be honored; and on the face of this, we were punished with an excessively long day with loads of headwind. This has left its mark on our muscles and joints; and has awaken, in our damaged bodies, some ghosts from the past.

When it comes to speaking about the road, it’s a road as snaking and aggressive as a viper, capable of delivering a bite with its ascents and descents. This is what we, cyclist, call a real legbreaker. As to the surroundings, they are magnificent, amazing. This is one of the most beautiful spots on the Scandinavian peninsula. A road full of lakes with beaches, where people take the opportunity to relax and read; bright and vivid colored farmlands. This place is heavily forested, I mean it, it is covered with FOREST with a capital letter. Sometimes, I find myself, with my head tilted to the ground and below shoulder-level, peeking under a school desk as a kindergarten kid would do; and all this to see…what? Well, how can I put it, to see the F-O-R-E-S-T. In fact, it’s not that easy to put this into words but I’ll have a go. The first ground-layer is grass-covered, then you have another layer of perfectly plaited tree ferns; a green blanket which reveals cracks of deep and dark grey rocks, huge rocks in fact, which crop up in between; and a thick moss layer. You can see, just on top of the moss layer, the first branches and twigs of the small firs; then, the birches; and the pines and the tallest firs that are neck and neck in the height contest. So lush! Such dense vegetation! So dark! So gloomy! You can’t even walk 3 steps straight; in fact, you can’t even see your hand beyond your face in 5 meters. It is as if the trees, the rocks and the bushes plotted with one another not to uncover the secret the forest keeps, as if they spoke in a whisper, “if you want to know, you have to get in”.

Regarding the small hotel we got to after cycling, well, it was, at first, what you see above. Yes, sir, a locomotive engine. However, we couldn’t find its owner so we wind up staying here. As you can see, it’s a such a cozy place! Not suitable for claustrophobic people, though. What’s more, this place is in the sun during the whole day, which makes it really really hot. I do need to be funny here: a couple of days ago, we were absolutely freezing while leaving the Arctic and now we sick of so much heat.

Joking aside. Just for the curious: if we bear in mind the parallel we’re on, the afternoon doesn’t get that longer. In fact, according to our Garmin, today the sun will set at 10.06 and it will rise at 3:58, so the night will last 6 hours ;-) which is a huge relief.

Day 12. From Ange to Bollnäs

Posted by admin On Julio - 20 - 2010ADD COMMENTS

172 kilometers. 8 hours and 30 minutes

To start with, we’ll say that the tour de France riders only covered a distance of 168 kilometers today and they weren’t carrying 35 kilograms of luggage behind. I don’t want to draw comparisons but…

In Norse mythology, the Vanir is a group of gods associated with the sea, the wind, the fire and fertility. They are considered an omen of good weather, good sailing and good hunting. Today we’ll honor them because, from early morning until noon, we enjoyed fair weather thanks to the tail wind that helped us cover almost 100 kilometers in 4 hours.

We are moving towards the south and, luckily, the weather is turning milder. Today, halfway through the road, we dared a swim in a lake. We thought the water was going to be icy, but it wasn’t that bad. There goes a pic. By the way, there was an old bus at the lakeside fitted out by its owners for accommodation. You could stay there for the night for 21 Swedish kronor (more or less 3 euros). Not suitable for luxury lovers, mind you; but suitable for those who want to enjoy a unique experience of spending a long and moonlit night by a beautiful lake.

The landscape is mellowing out little by little. The beauty of the north in the Arctic Circle is enchanting and threatening at the same time; something drops a hint that you are in the kingdom of Nature, and that nature is the undisputed driving force of the place; if you brush it off, you’ll regret it! Farther towards the south, the wind, the clouds, the colors, the shapes and the overall perception of the surroundings become more familiar and friendlier to our senses. Now, we feel safer but we miss the feeling of authenticity that the wild spots arouse.

Back to the issue of traffic signs we come across when cycling. Today we were dumbfounded at a road sign we bumped into. We tried hard to come to grips with its actual meaning; we even bounced some ideas around; a brainstorming which made us get off the tandem bicycle; we couldn’t keep it straight because we couldn’t help laughing our heads off! If anybody knows what this sign means, please let us know. Actually, we can’t truly understand what that sign is doing in the middle of the woods.

A promise is a promise! We want to thank Manolo from MAFER, our neighbor and friend, for building an articulated metal arm which lets us capture images like these:

Day 11. Hammerdal- Ange

Posted by admin On Julio - 20 - 2010ADD COMMENTS

169 kilometers. 8 hours and 32 minutes.

IVAN: Today, we took up where we left off. We resumed our solidarity adventure from the inland road. Yesterday, we made sure that Paco was in the best of health: we had a look at the wheels and brakes and we checked the oil. At first glance, Paco received a clean bill of health. This stage was not that hard but overly long since we still have to make up for the 90 kilometers we had to go backwards.

While contemplating the landscape and a good many number of geographical features most of them lakes and rivers (because we don’t see many mountains!), I try to grasp why neither our Primary nor Secondary school Geography teachers included the Swedish rivers in the syllabus! Jeez! There are thousands of them, and I’m just talking, believe or not, about those that look down on our Ebro, because the little rivers that spring up from everywhere are out of discussion!

We, otherwise, resumed our daily ritual, that ritual which extremely stresses us out because we don’t have enough time. Things don’t end after cycling. Apart from the time spent on taking some breaks to rest and to eat, we need to spend time searching for accommodation, checking-in, taking a shower, stretching, unpacking, having dinner, preparing the route plan for the following day, writing the post, and sleeping as much as possible. Hey, we don’t have much time to spare; and if the cycling day become complicated, we’re in trouble. Well, it’s all in a day’s work for a cyclist. And if you like the scratching then you do not mind the lice! There’s nothing we can do but grin and bear it because the following day, after packing our stuff up and having breakfast, the routine starts all over again.

Day 10: A tough decision

Posted by admin On Julio - 20 - 2010ADD COMMENTS

0 kilometers. 0 hours.

A rest day

IVAN: Heavy rains and fierce gales first thing in the morning. No surprise there. Strong southerly winds and stream currents from the Atlantic Ocean unleash their fury on us day after day. But not today; they won’t catch us on the hop. Today we’ll ram a rest day down our throat. Our muscles and sinews, damaged due to tandem biking posture and to the weight we have to drag, will truly appreciate it.

Now, we have to work the problem of the route plan. The dreadful mistake in planning the route made us go back 90 kilometers. The original route plan led us to Stockholm along a coastal road which could be, in theory, cycled; but this road was downright dangerous (it was a highway with no shoulder!) and, as a result, we couldn’t take it. So as to make up for those 90 kilometers we had to go backwards, we will try to catch any means of transport that will help us get those 90 kilometers back. We don’t want to get closer to our destination but rather, we want to get to a strategic spot on the Swedish map that lets us arrive in Stockholm and not spin our wheels. Concerning the number of kilometers, no worries, they’ll end up being the same number and, hence, we’ll raise the same amount of money for our fight against cancer. The spirit of our challenge won’t be broken, and there’s no way our effort will be wasted.

We’re really looking forward to getting to more thickly populated areas! During the last stages, we’ve been cycling among sparsely inhabited areas; through woods…these routes are the ones that spoil things: we have to take last-minute decisions and suffer a series of mishaps ;-)  

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