More stories from the road

I still find myself at homebase (Johanna’s grandma’s wonderful home) in Katrineholm, Sweden, anxiously awaiting my 3 AM start time for the longest bike race of my life and eating way too much to make up for the last five days. In the meantime, I give you more impressions of my bike trip up the bottom third of this wonderful, beautiful, and weird country.

From day 3

I sat outside of the ICA supermarket in Västervik and tried not to freeze. It wasn’t really that cold, but when you’re sitting in a parking lot in your bike shorts guarding three heavily-loading bicycles for a half an hour, things can get kind of chilly. Good thing I had every possible iteration of the term ‘swedish redneck’ walking by me to warm my heart. There were whole families of people wearing crocs as shoes and buying hotdogs, teenage boys in Volvos with greasy hair buying cigarettes, and girls with died hair and too much makeup buying candy. I felt like I was amongst friends. the best moment came when an old man came up to me and asked ‘Ursakta mig, jag skulle vilja fråga’ (excuse me, I would like to ask) I thought he was going to ask for directions, but then he continued: ‘Har du ckylat den långa vägen?’ (Have you ridden a long way today?) I smiled and told him that we cam origianly from Kalmar, but just today had ridden from Bankaholm. ‘Ni är duktiga!’ (you guys are good!) he said enthusiatically and clapped me on the shoulder. And suddenly, the whole day was worthwhile.

——

From day 4

He had just finished giving us directions when he started talking about how he had ridden Vätternrundan fifteen times (we were amazed) and warned us to watch out for the Danes, because they are damn good at cycling. Becuase the topic of Denmark automatically leads to the topic of Skåne, the next question was, naturally in a thick Småland accent: ‘Ni har kommit från Skåne, eller?’ (you guys are from Skåne, right?) Johanna and I nodded. Annika said JA very strongly and proudly. Yup, said the old smålanning. I can hear it in your accents.

All of a sudden I remembered sitting on the Northern coast of Denmark five years ago with Anagrete’s kids, and how the pointed across the water at Skåne and told me ‘They talk funny over there’.  Never in a million years did I think that I would talk that funny talk myself.

But according to an old dude in the middle of Småland, I do. Funny how these things are.

——

From day Four

Even funnier yet was how many new friends I made in the Kolmården (sweden’s largest zoo!) camping area communal kitchen when I changed the channel to the World Cup. It was as if I was all alone, and then with the touch of a button I had my own flock of German tourists to keep me company while my comrades were in the showers.  God bless fotboll. It really does bring the world together.

—-

FOr those of you who want to know, here was our trip itinerary:

Lund – Kalmar (train)

Kalmar – mönsterås (day 1)

Mönsterås – Bankaholm (day 2)

Bankaholm – Västervik (day 3)

Västervik – Kolmården (dat 4)

Kolmården – Katrineholm (day 5)

Goolge map that one, my friends!

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3 Responses to “More stories from the road”

  1. Sabrina Says:

    Sounds like great fun, tho a little wet!

  2. Sabrina Says:

    Dang– so much riding! But it sounds exactly like you bike-related desire for “pain and fun, and painful fun” expressed earlier so I’m glad you’re having a wonderful time. 🙂

    Also, I think we talked about potentially skyping uno mas tiempo while both away, but it sounds like you will still be off on adventures till Tuesday (leaving Canberra then!) so I’ll probably just start pestering you again when I’m back in Cali in a few weeks…

    • tornspira Says:

      Hey! I probably won’t catch you on skype before you leave since I actually don’t have my computer with me! But I will be back in LUnd by the end of July! Have fun on your adventures!

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